Hello, again!

We filled our walk-in cooler late last week with the first boxes of Hatch Green Chile. The multiple pallets of chile soon filled up the cooler, not only space-wise, but also with the aroma of the fresh goodness from New Mexico. The air we were breathing changed from just good ol' Kansas air to the most magical of New Mexico aromas. It wasn't just because of the fruits themselves, but as we fired up the roaster and readied the chiles for roasting, the air filled with an amazing culinary euphoria. With our online order again this season, the roasting quickly got started for those orders as well as walk-ins eagerly awaiting their fresh roasted peppers.

With bushel, half bushel and frozen by the pound sizes available, we have sizes for all needs and in all heat levels. Last week in my newsletter, I gave a description of the different heat levels. I’m frequently asked what my thoughts are on how the peppers look and taste. Are they hot? Mild? Compared to the past, from what I’ve sampled this season so far, the taste is as good as we have ever offered.

Last week on Facebook Live, I talked about how Jimmy Lytle (son of Jim Lytle, developer of the Big Jim pepper) taught me that most of the heat in a chile is along the mid-rib. It’s where the capsicum is found; the yellow streak found in a fresh pepper. The more yellow, the hotter it is. Try touching the line of capsicum and tasting it. Believe me, it’s there!!

After the weekend, most of the chile had been sold from the walk-in cooler. With more chile arriving this week, soon we’ll have the cooler overflowing with cases of chile of all heat levels again. This season’s harvest seems to be earlier than in past years, meaning we’re not sure how long it will last! I encourage you to order or pick yours up sooner rather than later.

As we did last year, we are doing a roasting demonstration at The PourHouse in Old Town this Saturday. We’ll have a roaster there to roast peppers for you on site. The PourHouse will be offering special food items on their menu containing Hatch Green Chile. How about trying beer-infused Black Garlic Hatch Chile Wings, a New Mexico Funnel Cake, or my favorite: a Hatch Chile Cheeseburger with cheese?

There are several breweries around town who are releasing their Hatch Green Chile beers that were originally brewed for the Iron ChileHead Competition that has now been canceled. Here is the chile beer release information we have so far:

Hopping Gnome: Releasing on August 22 in 12oz. cans, their Chile Honey Amber was brewed with Hatch Green Chile and local honey! Order online Saturday, August 22 beginning at 9 AM; pick up from 12-5 PM at the brewery.

Walnut River Brewing: Releasing THIS weekend at The PourHouse, an 8.5% Chocolate Imperial Stout brewed with Hatch and Ancho Chile with 57 IBU will be available. Chocolate and chile pair so well together; I can’t wait to try one.

Limestone Beer Co.: Releasing "Bang Bang Pineapple Kolsch" on August 22 on tap, and squealers to go. There are only 10 gallons available of this traditional Kolsch style beer infused with Hatch Green Chile and pineapple.

Be sure to stop by other breweries in the area; hopefully they’ll have a Hatch brew to share with you. We’ll keep you updated when we know of other offerings!

Our late crop of summer annuals keeps growing and blooming for late summer color in your garden or patio. This week, we are offering Celosia ‘Dragon’s Breath’. A great sun-loving and heat tolerant plant for fiery red color until frost. Grown in large 8” containers, they are sure to brighten up any place in the landscape.

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center