Needless to say, we LOVE peppers at BLF, for their fruity, dusky, sweet, smokey, bitter and incendiary flavors and wide range of culinary uses. We love their renegade spirit. Fun fact: the reproductive strategy for most fruits is to be so deliciously appealing that you get eaten and your seeds spread. The wild pepper says, “Naww, I’m going to hurt those who eat me.” Why would this be the case? Not all animals are created equal. Birds can spread seeds much more effectively than bears and birds have evolved without capsaicin (the compound in peppers that is spicy) receptors. Brilliant. Wild peppers have a built-in appeal to the best animal ally to spread their seeds.
We plant over 40 varieties of pepper seeds in February and then patiently wait. And wait. Until now, in August looking out into the pepper field we see bursts of red, yellow, purple, white, and orange with cultivars from the Caribbean, Italy, Hungary, France, Peru, and Mexico. The pepper party has officially begun. Our famous rainbow sweet pepper mix will begin shipping out this week!
By way of introduction, my name is Dylan. I am the pack shed manager here at Blue Leg Farms. If you call the farm line (707-758-2021) to ask a question about vegetables, there is a good chance it will be me on the line. Currently, in addition to drafting this newsletter, I'm also "driving" the transplanting rig at approximately .11 MPH while two crew members plant lettuce starts behind me - no joke. I have been farming full time for six years and this is my third at Blue Leg. My favorite pepper in the field is the Jimmy Nardello, an incredibly sweet Italian frying pepper brought over from Italy by the Nardello family. Feel free to hit "reply" and let me know your favorite/s - I'd love to know!
Happenings on the farm in August, you ask? Harvest. Harvest. Harvest. Oh and don’t forget to plant the winter crops. Half of the year's sales happen in August and September and it is a constant hustle. Today we harvested cherry tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, Japanese cucumbers, summer squash, and of course peppers, loading each bin onto our shaded harvest cart that we lovingly call ‘The Oregon Trail Wagon.' Our plans for sweet corn have come to fruition - over 1,000 ears are harvested each week for our farmers’ markets, and we've sold out every week! The corn is so sweet you can eat it raw. The days in August feel long but the weeks zip on by.It is surreal to feel this familiar farming rush of August against the backdrop of a frightening and uncertain world. The crew here feels incredibly grateful to be able to continue the work of growing food, and we are ever so thankful for your continuous support. Come say hello at our farmers markets: Occidental on Friday nights, Healdsburg on Saturday, and San Rafael on Sunday.
Stay spicy out there,