Monday, January 3, 2011

Time Passages

"It was late in December, the sky turned to snow. All round the day was going down slow, night like a river beginning to flow. I felt the beat of my mind go drifting into time passages. Years go falling in the fading light, time passages, buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight."

Z Food Farm's final market of the 2010 farm season was December 4 at Rittenhouse Square. Though the temperature was a bit brisk, it was a lovely late fall day. It was a great opportunity to offer a personal thank you to those who came on that day and who have supported Z Food Farm throughout the season. This last market also provided David a chance to make some new friends in anticipation of the 2011 farm season. As we look forward to the coming season the next few postings will be used to introduce you to some of the produce that will be, weather permitting, coming your way. The hope is that writing about the summer bounty will help ease the chill of winter and give everyone something warming to think about. So, while we move through the passage of winter into spring and spring into summer, here is the first of the posts about what you can expect at the farm stand and at the farmers markets.

Hot Peppers - Part 1

BLACK HUNGARIAN - (Seed Savers Exchange) Similar in shape to jalapenos, but shiny black ripening to red. Medium hot.

FISH - (Seed Savers Exchange) Heat 3. This pepper is an African-American heirloom that predates the 1870's. The Fish Pepper is bright in color and crunchy, with a hot and bold flavor. In the late 1800's, the Fish Pepper was widely grown in the Philadelphia and Baltimore area. Traditionally, the Fish Pepper was used in oyster and crab houses around the Chesapeake Bay.Rated as 3 on a heat scale of 1-5. Is on Slow Food USA's Ark of Taste.

HINKELHATZ - (Seed Savers Exchange) Cultivated by the Pennsylvania Dutch since the 1880's. The name translates as chicken heart. Traditionally used for pickling and making pepper vinegar. It is considered to be quite hot. It is a rare heirloom pepper. The Hinkelhatz is part of the US Ark of Taste of Slow Food USA.

FATALI - (Seed Savers Exchange) Scalding hot. Excellent citrus flavor, but very hot. The Scoville Food Institute lists the Fatalii as the sixth hottest pepper with Scolville units ranging from 125,000-325,000 units.

JOE'S LONG CAYENNE - (Seed Savers Exchange) Originally from Calabria, Italy. Introduce to SSE in 1996 by Dr. Carolyn Male. Great for fresh eating or drying. Hot.

TRIUNFO JALAPENO - (Seeds of Change) Extra large fruits are very dark green and pungent. Most jalapenos are between 3,000-6,000 on the Scoville Scale.

NUMEX JOE E. PARKER (Johnny's Seeds) ripen from bright green to mahogany to red, but are mostly consumed green. Southwest favorite for stuffing, grilling, and roasting. The flesh is thick and crisp with a delicious mild heat and richly satisfying Chile flavor.

ANCHO/PABLANO - (Seed Savers Exchange) Heat 2. Called Poblano when fresh and green and Ancho when red and dried. The standard Mexican variety for sauces and stuffing. Distinctive rich flavor.

This is a partial list of the hot peppers that will be available from Z Food Farm this coming season. Next post will provide the rest of the list. Support local farmers. Support sustainable farming. Buy organic when possible and practical. Here's hoping that you had a wonderful holiday season. May the coming year bring you good health, happiness, hopefulness, and peace.

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