Peregrine Farm News Vol. 10 #27, 8/29/13

What’s been going on!

Two popular questions we get at market this time of year.  Particularly with this summer’s much cooler than normal temperatures people are wondering what the winter will be like.  I used to think that if we had a cool winter we would have a cooler summer and vice versa summer into winter because the mass of the earth wasn’t as warm as it would otherwise be.  Now I realize that it really is all about the Jet Stream and how far north or south it tends to be and how amplified the waves in it are.  It is all about El Nino and the other steering factors.

If you go to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center you can see their best estimates of what the winter will be like.  Right now it looks like a normal fall both in temperature and rainfall, that would be refreshing, but as we move into winter it will be a bit drier than normal and as we move into late winter/early spring becoming warmer than normal but with average rainfall, much like the last few winters.  This is the forecast map for the November/December/January period.  So according to them nothing too cold.

The other question is of course pepper related.  The pepper roaster was really invented in the southwest to roast green chile, the national vegetable of New Mexico.  The question we get many times a day is “Are these Hatch Chiles?”  The answer is no in two ways.  First Hatch is not a variety of the New Mexican pod type, also more commonly known as Anaheims, it is a small town in southern New Mexico in the heart of the chile growing region.  Of course the second no answer is because we have to grow everything we sell at the Carrboro market they certainly can’t be chiles grown in Hatch New Mexico.

That all being said, we have and do grow New Mexican bred varieties of green chile.  Many of the varieties grown in Hatch have been bred just down the road at New Mexico State Univ.  Over the years we have trialed and sold 8-10 NMSU varieties, most recently NuMex Joe Parker.  What we can’t reproduce here is the conditions of southern New Mexico, hot arid days with cool nights in the alluvial soils of the Rio Grande valley.  Those conditions lead to a more consistent pepper in flavor, heat and in meatiness.  Think of Hatch chiles as Vidalia onions, there is no Vidalia variety, just a soil and climate that leads to really sweet onions.  We think that the best peppers we produce, including green chile, are harvested in the next six weeks as we come closest to the warm, dry and cool night conditions of the southwest.

Picture of the Week

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The perennial question is how are the turkeys?  4 weeks old

What’s going to be at the market?

The flower department is down to the fall line-up.  It is all about Celosia in all it’s intense colors and shapes.  The return of some fall Lisianthus.  Of course Beautiful Bouquets.

A ton of Red Bells and of Red, Yellow and Orange sweet Corno di Toro’s.  Rounding out the sweet peppers are Purple Bells and Cubanelles.  In hot peppers a good amount of Anaheim and Poblanos for roasting and other uses.  In the rest of the hots we have Passillas, Jalapenos, Serranos, the first of the Picante Pimentos and Cayennes.  In not or rarely hots more of first of the Aji Dulce (the habanero without the heat) and the appetizer Japanese Shishitos and Spanish Padrons.

It is the beginning of the transition to cool season crops with a few Radishes and a new Asian green Yukina Savoy a very mild mustardy flavor with the texture of spinach.  The first Japanese Turnips.  Sweet Red Onions.  Still some nice Basil.  A few more Italian heirloom Eggplant but the plants are taking a beating in this rainy weather.

As a reminder if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you.

Hope to see you all at the market!

Alex and Betsy

If you know folks who you think would be interested in news of the farm then please feel free to forward this to them and encourage them to sign up at the website.

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