In 1987, game and fish department authorities in New Mexico gave farmers permission to shoot deer out of season. The reason? The deer were raiding chile pepper fields–a heinous crime in our state. They ate two acres of pods and severely damaged three additional acres. Although such deer depredations are unusual, they illustrate the fact that peppers damaged by more things than insects and disease.
Freezing chiles is an excellent way of preserving them. Chiles that have been frozen retain all the characteristics of fresh chiles except for their texture. Since the individual cell walls have been ruptured by the freezing of the water within each cell, the chiles will lose their crisp texture.
We received this message from a reader who wants to get into the business end of chile growing, and asked The Pope of Peppers for some advice. Here’s Brandon’s question and Dave’s answer.
From now through October you can visit the gardens at New Mexico State University’s Fabian Garcia Science Center in Las Cruces. There you’ll see peppers being grown the way the pros do it, and possibly pick up some growing tips to take home!
In an article posted on The Atlantic’s website last week, Gary Paul Nabhan, co-author of Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail, addressed the relationship between farming in the Southwest and climate change—both food production and food security have been cast into question with the growing scarcity of water and unpredictable growing seasons and weather patterns, such as drought. …
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