? ? ?

Caramba! The blueberries were doing wonderfully – and then the mercury soared to above 90 degrees for almost a week. Now they look like they’re in suspended animation, because the blueberry bushes are loaded – with lots and lots of berries, green as gooseberries.

Well. Now I see why the weather is always a topic among farmers.

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Whether the weather withers the crops

What a strange week in weather – again. Rainy, then very hot (hot as a chile pepper, with a Heat Index at 105 degrees), then a cold rain.

But through it all, the chile plants stand green and healthy. Going to be some really good chili this winter! Delicioso!

Su amigo, Diego

Surf’s Up, Chile Heads!

If you like knowing cool facts about your favorite hot spice (for example, the poblano is known as an ancho chile once it’s red, ripe and dried), here are some really neat sites I’ve found that you may like:

https://www.chowhound.com/food-news/55198/know-your-peppers/ Great reference.

http://www.chilly.in/ This site is a little hard to read, but has interesting facts throughout: Wilbur Scoville, who invented the ‘heat scale’ still in use today back in 1912, was a pharmacist by trade. Bet he knew a lot of ways to extinguish the flames in your mouth.

http://www.thechileman.org/ If you want to venture into growing your own pet variety.

https://www.cayennediane.com/big-list-of-hot-peppers/ Cayenne Diane … ay yi. There’s a lovely lady’s name with which I’d certainly be smitten.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/whats-so-hot-about-chili-peppers-116907465/
Did the Smithsonian expedition to Bolivia find the true source of all the chile peppers in the world?

Of course, there’s much more information on the net – but these sites will give you enough facts and curiosity-sparks to have you adding to your chile knowledge and tasting them too!

Salud! Diego

Picking until you’re blue(berry) in the face

Mr. Tim is pleased this year; his blueberry bushes have taken hold and are busy producing a modest but very tasty first crop.

It takes four to five years for blueberry bushes to start producing an amount sufficient to take to market, so it’s been a long wait. (I don’t do “wait” at all well.)

So a new crop is evident at the Dixie Chile Ranch! Watch Mr. Tim invent a blueberry wine with chile highlights – ay!

Su amigo, Diego

If the weather’s getting hotter …

it means the strawberries are almost over for this year. But then the blueberries begin, and the blackberries follow.

Pumpkin vines are being started from seeds, while apple trees are carefully tended to produce a good crop …

Before you know it, the chile plants will be bursting with chile pods and pumpkin vines roaming all over their original area.

Seasons in the sun.

Diego

Even a Strawberry Museum

Sí, it’s true – the photo is of The Musée de la Fraise gift shop in Wèpion, Belgium, where ‘the best strawberries are grown,’ and strawberry jam, candy, liqueurs and beer are made in the country too.

Quick facts: You may not know strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring, and also are a member of the rose family. (Gracias to the University of Illinois Extension for all the information.)

Most researchers think the strawberry plant was first found in ancient Rome in 234 B.C., and was commonly used for medicinal purposes. They were discovered growing in America in 1588, and American Indians crushed the berries and mixed them with cornmeal to bake them into strawberry bread. The Colonists tried it and developed their own version of the recipe, creating the first Strawberry Shortcake.

Here’s OUR final fact: we believe Kenton strawberries are the very best, and we’ll match them against any berry grown in Belgium, California or Florida any day of the week!

Olé! See you next week. Diego