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My Chili Day

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My Chili Day

Post  johnp on 10/26/2013, 8:04 am

I was going to post this three weeks ago and then last week when we had my avatar for dinner. It brings new meaning to the term stuffed pepper (one) that feeds two people. That pepper was over 6.5 inches across, over 6 inches tall and weighed over 1.5 lbs.

It was the first sat. in Oct., Apple Day for our little town. We went to the fire station fundraiser breakfast and saw all the vendors setting up their booths along a two block stretch of the main road. The parade would start about 11:00. After breakfast we went home and then I went out to get our yearly supply of roasted green chili's. We buy one bushel but most of our friends normally get two. I have always gone out on the mesa east of Pueblo Co. were most of the growers are. Some say the Pueblo chili is the best in the US but friends from Hatch N.M. would argue with that. This year however I elected to go to Lipis farms, about seven miles away. They were highly recommended by a friend that grew up here. The farm was hard to find but I finally saw a small sign and drove around the house and saw three cars so I parked. I saw his big delivery truck with the name so I knew I was in the right place. I walked down a long concrete driveway with a large greenhouse on the right and large storage buildings on both sides. I saw three or four people way down at the end so I walked down there and sure enough some one was roasting peppers with two roasters going. After the others left it was just me and the roaster, who turned out to be the owner of the farm. We talked for a while and I told him I was a SFG and he new all  about it. Turns out he is a totally organic pepper grower and sells to Whole foods in 17 locations in Tx. and all along the front range of Co. I ordered a half of Poblano's and a half of Big Jims. We went into the barn for the Pobs. and I have never seen so many pallets of fresh peppers, Bags and bags of Japalenos, red, green, yellow bells and others I didn't know. I paid him and I had a dollar coming back and I asked him if I could have a pepper instead. He said help yourself and I picked my Avatar off the top of a pallet. It wasn't the biggest. I asked to tell me his methods for growing but he wouldn't tell me. Then he did. He starts in the fall with cow manure, plows it in and plants a green manure crop. In Feb. he plants all his peppers in the greenhouse. He said some of his seeds cost $900.00 per 1,000 seeds so he is real careful with them. The roaster was loud so I missed some of the rest. After transplanting into the fields ( about mother's day) he leaves them alone for the next two ( or few) weeks and then he takes a mixture of chicken something that he gets from Tx. He pointed to a pallet that was shrink wrapped with boxes I couldn't read and blood meal that he stores in a walk in right next to the roasters. He said he applies the mixture with a special tool that he made and he applies it about 3 to 4 inches away from each pepper along both sides. His statement was you have to hit them heavy early. Well I could go on and on because the chili's are great, they are huge and it was a great day for a parade.
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Re: My Chili Day

Post  bnoles on 10/26/2013, 10:10 am

Sounds like a really fun day John and that avatar pepper looks like a winner for sure. I am starting to take a real interest in peppers for the upcoming growing season and your post has added fuel to my fires. Very Happy 

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Re: My Chili Day

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/27/2013, 1:35 am

Really interesting post, johnp. I wish you had more of the specifics. My take-away is that peppers like getting transplanted into a combination of mature overwintered manure mixed in with the juicy goodness of a plowed(or tilled) in cover cop, and then getting a lot of fertilizer early, including nitrogenous (blood meal is the nitrogenous one and bone meal is the phosphorous-heavy one, right?). Also that I want to eat some roasted peppers.

I find peppers hard to understand now (mine did much better in fall than summer, for instance, which confuses me), and am happy to see any tips about growing them better.
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Re: My Chili Day

Post  johnp on 10/27/2013, 7:09 am

I went back to the farm yesterday. We had some friends come down for a studio tour of one of our local artists. They always get their peppers like we did and they already had theirs. After the tour we were going to lunch and I suggested going by the farm just to see. We went by and went behind the house and stopped. The owner was just finishing up as we arrived. All he had left were poblanos. Our friends bought a box to roast themselves as they were so impressed with the size. But I did get better information. He puts cow manure in the ground in Nov. He said by law he is required to put manure in the soil a minimum of 90 days for plants that mature above ground. He plants rye for the green manure and plows it in in the spring. After planting the seedlings, 10 days to 2 weeks, he puts on a mixture of pelletized, pastureized chicken poop with blood and bone meal. He said spacing was very important but he didn't say what he did. One change from my last post were the cost of the seeds. They were $90.00 per 1000 not $900.00.
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