It's Harvest Time!
Our farm is situated in the heart of the Anderson Valley, surrounded by vineyards for miles and miles. Each night for the past three weeks, the Valley has been awake and humming as hundreds of vineyard workers pick grapes by the light of headlamps and tractor drivers move full bins of grapes onto flatbeds to transport to wineries across Northern California. It’s a wild and exhausting time of the year here in Wine Country. And while most grape harvests will wind down over the next few weeks, here on our farm, our harvest season will *just* be kicking into full gear.
We leave our chiles out in the field to fully ripen on the plants with the sun. This takes a shocking amount of time. And since all our chiles need to turn red or orange before they are ready to be picked, our harvest season spans from late September through November, with mid-October being peak harvest.
But there’s always an exception, right? And for us, it’s our Poblano Chile Powder. We harvest the poblano chiles when they are deep green starting at the end of August through the first few weeks of September. After spending the morning harvesting, we take the afternoon to prep the chiles for drying.
How We Prep the Poblano Chile Powder
We’re purists here and ensuring that our chile powders are solely made of the flesh of the chiles is our main priority. That means we take the time to remove all the seeds and stems from all the chiles before we dry and grind them.
There’s 2 methods to do this for the poblano chiles. You can use a knife to cut around the stem and pull out the stem and seeds in one go. Or you can take a chile, rip it in half with your hands, and pull out the seeds and stem. We’ve become rippers here in Boonville. The chiles then head into the dehydrator for a few days to get fully crisp and are then ground into our Poblano Chile Powder.
The whole process from field to jar for the Poblano Chile Powder takes 7 days - something we are incredibly proud of. We’ll give you the big heads up once we’ve got the 2021 poblano ready to go! In the meantime, you can still grab a few jars of our Poblano Chile Powder or in a mixed pack with Piment d’Ville and Comapeño!
We’re currently elbow deep in poblano peppers and are spending the short time between poblano harvest and the Piment d’Ville harvest threshing our dry bean crops on our bike-powered bean thresher (Don’t have any idea what we’re talking about? Read more about how we clean our beans here!). I highly recommend following us @boonvillebarn on instagram to see more of the bean threshing and chile harvesting action.
What We're Cooking
A week ago I had eaten a single ear of corn all season. Well, that’s changed and Gideon and I decided it’s a necessary side at as many dinners as possible until it’s gone for the year. And this elote recipe will do just the trick.
Late Summer Elote Corn
6 ears of corn - shucked
4 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
1 Tbsp Poblano Chile Powder, plus more for finishing
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup Mexican Crema (optional!)
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
4 oz Cotija cheese
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
1. Prep your grill and get it hot!
2. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add corn and cook until corn is just barely done, about 5 minutes. Pull out the corn and head over to the grill.
Meanwhile, mix the butter and poblano powder together in one small bowl. Set aside.
3. In another small bowl, mix mayonnaise, crema and lime juice. Set aside.
4. When the grill is hot, put ears of corn directly on the grates. Roll the corn over the grates until all sides of the corn are slightly charred.
5. Transfer corn to a serving dish and brush with poblano butter. Next brush the corn with the mayo mixture. Sprinkle cotija cheese and cilantro on all sides of the corn.
6. Finish with a pinch of Poblano chile powder or Smoky Piment d’Ville.
Can’t find any fresh ears of corn? You can also make this with 5 cups of corn kernels. Just heat up the kernels in a pan with the poblano butter for a few minutes. Take it off the heat, add the corn to a bowl, and mix in the rest of the ingredients!
Be sure to follow us on Instagram, and until next month, you can find us riding the bean bike, ripping peppers apart, and otherwise bringing in this years harvest!
Thanks for being part of our journey,
Krissy and the Boonville Barn team