Hello, again!

It was good to be able to have Iron ChileHead again this year. If you were able to make it, I know you had a good time. Regional breweries sampling their version of what a bit of Hatch chile will add to a brew was, as always, a big part of the event. Central Standard from Wichita with their Hatch Green Chile Cheesecake beer was the crowd favorite, while the Yucatan-inspired, unfiltered wheat beer from Free State out of Lawrence won the Judge’s Choice. The food judges found the corn waffle topped with green chile, crema and chile honey from Face Stuffers to be their favorite. I’ll have to agree with the judges, it was fantastic. The Bolzen Beer Band from Lincoln was back again to entertain the crowd this year. Prost from here in Wichita hosted our 2nd annual Steinholding Competition at the event with champions in both women’s and men’s categories.

A good time was had by all in attendance, whether they experienced a cheesecake flavored beer, a Hatch chile covered waffle or listened to a punk polka version of Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’. Be sure to get next year's Iron ChileHead on your list of things to do next year. The date will be August 20,2022.

We continue to bring in green chile from Hatch, New Mexico. With a load last week and more scheduled soon, we should have whatever heat level you are wanting to use, from mild to extra hot. I encourage you to try green chile in a dish you normally wouldn’t think of. For example, I think green chile in pasta sauce gives a unique Southwest flavor to Italian dishes.

It’s still hot this week, but soon enough we’ll see the high temperatures trend a bit downward. With that, there are many things we can start planting again, from fall fescue grass seed to landscape plants - trees and shrubs, as well as perennial plants. With warm soil and typically good soil moisture, newly installed plants get established rapidly in the fall. If you are thinking about fall vegetable plants, now would be a good time to start fall crops such as cole crops - cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. Fall seeded cool crops such as radishes, lettuce, beets, turnips and greens are quick crops, some producing in as little as 30 days.

Our friend Piet Stuifbergen was at Iron ChileHead and mentioned our spring flowering Dutch bulbs are on their way and should be in the stores around Labor Day. I’ll say when the bulbs arrive, the fall gardening season has arrived!

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center