In my former life as a teacher, this was always the time of year I'd be heading back to the classroom leaving garden maintenance for evenings and weekends. It wasn't uncommon for my students to arrive on Monday to find the classroom full of little boxes of tomatoes, peppers, onions and other garden treats for them to take home to share with their families. Since buying my farm, I have always grown enough food to feed at least 50 families because baby plants are so cute and the instant green of freshly planted seedlings in May is SO FUN! Now, bags under the eyes, I look at the garden bounty with exhaustion and wonder, as most ambitious gardeners do, "What was I thinking?" I tell William, "Remind me next year that I only need 4 tomato plants - not 60!"
As many of you know, here at Lake View Organic Farm we love hot peppers. Besides a variety of heirloom hotties from around the world, we grow the Mexican standards - jalapenos, serranos and habaneros. This year we also decided to grow Ed Currie's CAROLINA REAPER. Winning the title of World's Hottest Pepper, this pepper may seem scary, but like the habanero, it has a sort of nutty flavor with a heat profile I describe as "low and slow" compared to the "high" heat of the cheyenne. Of course, it's hot, but also surprisingly delicious. This year we also grew a variety of Italian Bull's Horn Sweet Red peppers that look quite redhot and gnarly in the greenhouse, but are actually sweet and very flavorful. With a wide palate of pepper profiles and heat to choose, William has been making sauce.
In the store this weekend you will find two new hot sauce blends that are fantastic on eggs, tacos, quesadillas, grilled cheese, etc. One, a combination of orange and red jalapenos, a couple of heirloom peppers that originate from the Balkans area, and a few sweet hornies from the booted side of the Adriatic Sea we named "Summer '21 Was Hot." The second sauce employs the Carolina Reaper, habaneros, a few jalapenos, some of the worldly heirlooms and our Italian Sweeties. This condiment, named, "Nothing Grim About This Reaper Sauce" is very flavorful with a heat that actually allows you to enjoy your meal!
The Carolina Reaper making friends with some of our other farm animals!
Sadly, another rogue storm ripped through our area Tuesday morning taking our greenhouse roof for the second time in a month! It's getting easier and easier to see the silver linings in these sorts of things. I won't have to water again and all the tomatoes planted along the sides of the greenhouse will now be easy to pick and pull from the outside. "You gotta take the bad to appreciate the good" is what William is known to say. I suspect we will move fast on the greenhouse harvest now. But, of course, suspecting is what gardeners do best!
Stop out for some cancer-fighting capsaicin, fresh-pressed sunflower oil, Peach Apple Farmhouse Bars, Tomato Chutney (think homemade ketchup), and a CBD smoke, balm or oil tincture to help you rest well at night. For my soup lovers out there, Soups On! This week the sweet peppers find themselves in an Italian Chickpea Sweet Pepper bowl of goodness. It looks to be quite rainy the next four days when the store is open - perfect soup weather!
Happy harvesting to all you crazy gardeners out there!
Sending love from the farm,