Hello again!

Spending last week in Colorado, Angie and I enjoyed the beauty of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Visiting the Great Sand Dunes, "Jeeping", biking and hiking the back roads was a great break. We camped in my Vintage Overland trailer, and soaked up the cool nights of the Rockies while grilling shishito peppers on my Skottle grill. 

Heading out of Westcliffe on our way to Buena Vista, we stopped by local coffee roaster Peregrine Coffee Roasters. Having learned the trade of roasting in Kathmandu, the staff was amazing - not to mention the aroma in that small shop! We remarked about how interestingly a barista describes coffee, just like a brewer or winemaker describes their products. Black Hermit was described as a medium dark roast with notes of charred sugar, peanut butter and dark spice undertones. It’s delicious.

This morning on social media, I had a photo come up from the past - it was of a trip picking up Hatch Green Chile. August is always a special month at the garden center. It’s a transition time going from summer to fall. Our Dutch bulbs and mums will be here soon, and with the cooler days we are experiencing, I’d consider starting fall seeding soon. But before all of that begins, it’s Hatch Green Chile season!

Our plan is to have Hatch Green Chiles roasting at the stores starting this weekend. From what our supplier is telling us, we should have all heat levels available - Mild to Extra Hot. Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer sampling of our chiles or recipes this year. Instead, I’ll make an attempt to describe each heat level as only a Chilehead can do.  
Mild - Our mildest var iety is a staple among chile lovers with a great smoky, buttery flavor. Prized for its consistent flavor and very low capsaicin content, this var iety is truly mild. No more heat than a bell pepper but still has that delicious New Mexico chile flavor once it's roasted and peeled. This var iety is also very large and meaty so it is a great choice for chile relleños!
Medium - Topping out like a mild jalapeño in spiciness with a delicious fresh flavor, this 2,750-ish Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) pepper is a great option for stuffed peppers, chile verde and chile relleños recipes. This is a level of spiciness that most everyone can handle.
Hot - This pepper packs a surprising punch considering its appearance. Its SHU heat range of 5,000 to 7,000 puts it on par with the hottest possible jalapeño peppers. It can be surprising for many eaters who may look at this chile and immediately expect a heat level comparable to other New Mexico chiles. There aren’t many chiles of its size that pack a comparable heat.
Extra Hot - Growing to 5-7 inches in length, this is one of the hottest of the New Mexico var ieties. This heirloom chile blends good flavor with heat. The fruits have thin skins, making them great for roasting, frying whole, canning or stuffing. They also make deliciously hot salsa with more than 7,000 SHU.
This year, we’ll have Green Chile available by the pound, half bushel and bushel. Our recipe book is available again; pick one up and try something new!

Unfortunately this year, we won't be having our 8th Annual Iron ChileHead Beerfest and Competition. However, we do have 2020 Iron ChileHead t-shirts available online for purchase.
Stop by this Hatch Chile Season and smell the peppers! They save well, so grab yourself a bushel and freeze them to last you until 2021!

Your friend in the garden,
Marty Johnson