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Episode 19 - From Heatwaves to Hatch Magic
Michael Swickard here. Welcome to Enchanting Stories of New Mexico sponsored by the Fresh Chile Company in Las Cruces, N M. Our award-winning Hatch Green and Red Chile is brought to you from locally owned farms in Hatch, NM, The Chile Capital of the World.
Quote of the day from Willard Scott: Everyone complains about the weather, but nobody ever seems to do anything about it. Speaking about weather, this Chile growing season is hotter than normal. The Hatch Valley Chile Farmers live a somewhat challenging life when it comes to the weather. They already had a bout of hailstones a few weeks ago which did some damage but did not destroy their crops since Chile plants are resilient.
But it is hotter than normal in the fields. What the extra hot did was cause the Chile Pepper plants that were started early and transplanted into the fields to mature sooner than expected. This is not really a bad thing, just it was not planned this way. By the Chile maturing early, the Chile Farmers were able to start the Chile Harvest early which is good. Now there has been some of what is called Heat Stress and the farmers are working through that challenge.
The Chile Peppers the Fresh Chile Company use are grown by Scott Adams, a fourth generation Hatch Valley Farmer. Scott uses a drip water system for the Chile which has proven to be the best hydration for Chile development. But the heat stress on some of the plants has caused some Chile Peppers to become red earlier than normal. There will still be plenty of that wonderful Hatch Valley Chile, but there is the question we have been asked of why are we experiencing the unusual heat?
It is tied to the Monsoon season in Southern New Mexico. Or the lack of it. Bob Endlich has been a meteorologist for fifty some years and wrote: The Monsoon has yet to start, and this Monsoon season might never really get started in the classic way, with the Subtropical Ridge (the high pressure that forms the Sun Belt) is yet to reach its usual July-August position north of Santa Fe, on the NM-CO border.
Bob Endlich continued his analysis of the upcoming weather for our area: The Charts for the next then days in New Mexico do not indicate the strong winds from the southeast direction which normally bring Gulf of Mexico moisture to New Mexico. That said, the Monsoon season this year just might fizzle completely and leave us with only spotty showers, not widespread gully washers that usually accompany the Monsoon in southern New Mexico. It has happened previously, but not often.
So that is what is happening and what else is happening is that The Fresh Chile Company has plenty of Chile for your dining pleasure. Enjoy our Chile and let’s all pray for some of that wonderful cooling rain.
Good news. If you use the checkout code Podcast15 you get 15% off your order this week.
Some really good Chile News. This week the Fresh Chile Company is roasting our 2023 Big Jim special reserve release of the Hatch Green Chile varietal in a 16-ounce jar. Varietal means that this product will only be made with Big Jim Chile, which is very popular.
A little background on Big Jim Green Chile which is my favorite Chile. In 1975, Big Jim was listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as having the largest Chile Pods, perfect for Chile Rellenos. It was developed by Chile Researcher Dr. Roy Nakayama at New Mexico State University. It is a hybrid of New Mexico Chile Peppers and a Peruvian pepper that Nakayama and fellow researcher Jim Lytle were able to combin over a couple years. Big Jim is named for Jim Lytle who died unexpectedly at that time. I talked about Dr. Roy Nakayama on a Wednesday podcast a couple weeks ago. You can find all of the podcasts on the website for The Fresh Chile Company.
Remember. If you use the checkout code Podcast15 you get 15% off your order this week.
Speaking of Good Chile this last week we were processing Sandia Select which is a hot Green Chile in a 16-ounce jar. There is a smile every time you open one of these Chile jars. When you want your food to be as hot as the weather, Sandia Select is a good choice. And if you use the checkout code Podcast15 you get 15% off your order this week.
Michael Swickard here with Enchanting Stories of New Mexico sponsored by the Fresh Chile Company in Las Cruces, N M. Hit subscribe to automatically get these podcasts.
Fishing in New Mexico – the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is committed to maintaining the quality of New Mexico’s fisheries, improving fish habitat and restoring native sport fishes, while also providing outstanding recreational angling opportunities for the public. Anglers can find a variety of warm-water species, including largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, white bass, catfish, bluegills, perch and pike in New Mexico lakes and reservoirs; as well as a variety of trout species in lakes, rivers and streams They raise and stock more than 2 million fish each year to provide recreational fishing in many of the state’s popular waters. Successful reintroduction and stocking efforts also have increased fishing opportunities for native Rio Grande cutthroats, Gila trout, Kokanee salmon and tiger muskie. There is also Angler Education Fishing Clinics that offer basic fishing-skills clinics for school kids, families, community and civic groups. Out-of-state anglers must purchase an annual fishing license, a one-day license or a five-day license. The fishing license year is April 1- March 31. A fishing license is not required for 11-year-olds and younger. You can get a license online at the New Mexico Game and Fish website. 70 years of age or older your fishing license is free.
If have a fish for dinner and use the Fresh Chile Company products to enhance it, take a picture and post it and recipe on the Fresh Chile Company Facebook page.
Today, tomorrow and Sunday, August 6th is the Last Escape of Billy the Kid Pageant and Old Lincoln Days fun in Historic Lincoln New Mexico. The cool mountains of Lincoln County and lots and lots of tourist stuff to do. This pageant has been going on since the 1940s and famous painter Peter Hurd was the first person to play Billy the Kid. Lincoln County used to be about a quarter of the state before many counties were carved out. The town of Lincoln was a powerhouse in the 1870s and 80s when the last escape of Billy the Kid happened.
The Lincoln area is very historic, including where Fort Stanton was an army fort many years ago and it is now a regional airport. And if you are going to Lincoln, New Mexico, you are close to Capitan, the birthplace, sort of to speak of Smokey Bear which has a great museum. You are in the Sierra Blanca area with Ruidoso. I could go on and on about all the fun and it is in the mountains, so the temperatures are better than Las Cruces.
One thing is for sure: all Chile Peppers are not the same. Some have more or less taste heat than others, some taste a bit more sweet. Well now, the same is true with onions. And New Mexico State University is one of two universities that really researches the different varieties of onions. They do so for taste, ability to resist onion diseases and stuff tied to growing and harvesting the onions. So, there is a term that is used, Sweet Onions. Those are onions that are not as strong, not as pungent as other onions. Here in our area and for sale at the Fresh Chile Company are Sweet Onions that are near the end of their season, so you have to get them quick. They are also used in the development of a new product at the Fresh Chile Company. It is Hatch Sweet Onion Dressing. Have I tried it? Oh yes, and it is ever so great when I put it on Mashed Potatoes and also on steaks that I am grilling. About ten percent of the onions grown in our area are Sweet in nature meaning they are not as strong which is what some people like. Some people like me, that is. So if this sounds good, the Hatch Sweet Onion Dressing you should give it a try. Use the checkout code Podcast15 to get 15% off your order this week
Nu-Mex Sweet is a holding name for several that have high productivity, low pungency and are disease tolerant as compared to other onions. New Mexico State University researchers have been working on onions clear back to the days of Fabian Garcia in the 1920s who started many of the programs for Chile Peppers, Pecans and Onions. There are many competitors, and the onions are constantly being evaluated and adjustments made to make them the best for consumers and for use in commercial operations. Again, The Fresh Chile Company have the fresh Nu-Mex Sweet for sale and also, we are using these onions in other products such as a great onion dressing which will be released shortly. Enjoy.
Michael Swickard here with Enchanting Stories of New Mexico. One thing that happens when people live in Las Cruces or happen to be in our little slice of paradise. They can come by the Fresh Chile Company Gift Shop at 1160 El Paseo Rd, Suite D7A in Las Cruces, NM. It is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Now I need to tell you about some new products at the Fresh Chile Company that I find wonderful. There is a Local Honey with Hatch Red Chile that is great on biscuits. French fries are so much more with the Fresh Chile Company’s Hatchup which is ketchup and Hatch Red Chile. Come browse and there are many more surprises and also, there are some frozen surprises that I assure you are wonderful. Again from Monday to Saturday, the Fresh Chile Company Gift Shop at 1160 El Paseo Rd, Suite D7A in Las Cruces, NM. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This is Michael Swickard with Enchanting Stories of New Mexico brought to you by The Fresh Chile Company. Thank you for your time today. We will have lots of News and stories about New Mexico for you on these Podcasts, If you have something or someone you want me to talk about, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org Have a great rest of your day. Oh yes and eat plenty of that good Hatch Valley Chile. Like I always say, “Some Chile is good, more is better.” Bye for now.