So many kinds of chili peppers. What’s a good way to try them out? This from Patricia Gadsby with the Falmouth Farmers’ Market. It offers a way to explore the flavor and heat of chili peppers in measured amounts – a little or a lot – all in the same recipe.

This recipe is a minty-fresh, cooling yogurt-based sauce, kicked up with a little (or a lot of) chili. Experiment with different kinds of chili peppers to find one(s) that best suit your palate. You can serve with fish, grilled vegetables and meat, or mop it up with flat breads like pita and naan.

Mint-Cilantro-Chili Yogurt Sauce
Ingredients:

  • 1-2 green or yellow chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • ½ cup packed, chopped mint leaves
  • ½ cup packed, chopped cilantro
  • 1 large scallion or small spring onion, chopped squeeze of lime juice
  • ¼ tsp. or so salt
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt

Procedure:

  • Finely chop one of the chili peppers.
  • Chop washed herbs and put herbs and chili into a blender or food-processor with everything but the yogurt.
  • Pulse to blend to a fine green paste, scraping down, adding a spoonful of yogurt or splash of icy water if necessary to get things moving.
  • Taste, and blend in more chopped chili, or add some chili seeds, if the paste doesn’t have sufficient kick.
  • Scrape paste into a bowl and stir in yogurt. Slake with a little cold water if it’s too thick.
  • Taste and adjust the balance of sweet-salty-spicy to your liking.

Note: This recipe is extremely flexible. If you want it hotter, add more chili peppers, chopping very fine. If you like it milder, stir in more yogurt.

Enough for 4-6.

Thanks, Patricia. Nice recipe.

Enjoy!

Cheers,
  Rooster

We’ve had a crazy busy spring, and things are set for a very busy summer and fall. Where to start?

  • How about Facebook? … it’s our new portal for short, quick updates about activities on the farm. Like us to keep up with current events. Facebook complements our long standing Twitter feed, which features commentary by us along with re-tweets on topics of interest. If you are into pictures of events around the farm, then our Instagram postings may be for you.
  • Physical infrastructure improved with access to a commercial kitchen. Our production has expanded beyond what is convenient in our approved, residential kitchen. Plus a commercial kitchen sets the stage for a wholesale license, of which we are in the application process. The attached photo shows Rooster’s Rocket Fuel™ hot sauce and Ghost Pepper Jelly in production.
  • We’re doing two farmers’ markets this summer: Falmouth Farmers’ Market and Mashpee Commons Farmers’ Market. Check our Facebook page for upcoming dates.
  • Edible Cape Cod ran a feature article about Nobska Farms. The author, Julie Mirocha, did a wonderful job of capturing the essence and spirit of our operations.
  • In addition to farmers’ markets and direct sales at the farm and events, Nobska Farms products are appearing in stores and outlets across the Cape. We provided Pocket Rocket™ hot sauce to Delicious Living Nutrition for their CSA along with Rooster’s Rocket Fuel hot sauce for the store. We also have a complete line of products available at Windfall Market, Cape Abilities, and Cape Cod Beer. These new outlets complement existing sales at Bean & Cod, Spice Merchant, and Marty’s Fine Wine
  • Nobska Farms is tripling our growing operations this year. We have laid out new beds in the continuing transformation of our property from almost purely ornamental to a combination of ornamental and functional (for food production). In the fall, we will start our first winter of four season farming via the methods championed by Eliot Coleman. If he can do it in Maine, we can sure give it a shot on Cape Cod.
  • We’re thankful for help during the busy summer season by two young women. One is a college student helping with the growing operations, harvesting, and general management of the plants. The other is a high school student who is using our aquaponic system as the basis for a science fair project. Both are interested in the science behind the agricultural methods and are learning by doing.
  • Nobska Farms is now a member of Buy Fresh Buy Local Cape Cod. See our listing on their website here along with many other local farms and farm stands on the Cape. Also, stay tuned for details about our participation in the BFBL scavenger hunt. Sounds like a lot of fun!
  • If you are near Woods Hole over the summer, please stop by. We are open Wed and Sun 3-5pm or by appointment. If you are traveling any distance, please call, text or email ahead of time to make sure we are around. When you visit, we’ll give you a tour of the operations, talk about our mission for developing methods in high-intensity urban agriculture, have you sample products, and send you away with a bag full of chili goodies.
  • New developments are in the works. We’re always looking to improve our operations and expand our market reach. Contact us with comments, requests, suggestions, and feedback.

    Cheers,
      Rooster

We’re well into spring. There might be one more snow coming, but daffodils are up, lawn is greening, forsythia are blooming, osprey have returned … SPRING!

Frost free date is in a few weeks. In our greenhouse, we’ve been planting seeds for almost 100 varieties of chili peppers, many of which we are offering to the public. Here’s the list. One tab is sorted alphabetically and the other is sorted by heat level. The varieties range from mild to wild. We are also growing a variety of ornamental chili peppers this year. These are all edible and tend to be pretty hot.

On May 24, we will have an event with two talks and plants for sale at Miskovsky Landscaping in collaboration with Jenny’s Edibles & Blooms. The first talk will be Cooking & Preserving Chili Peppers and the second talk will be Decorative Pepper Pots.

Starting in mid-May, plants will be available at Soares Flower Garden Nursery. On May 31, we will be giving a talk at Soares about chilies as a component in an ornamental landscape.

Seedlings are also available directly from the farm. Please contact us about your interests and to coordinate a visit.

The season is in transition … spring is here … summer is coming! Let the heat begin.

Cheers,
  Rooster

Spring is here. Seedlings are started or are going to be bought soon. Frost free date is only a handful of weeks away. If you are planting in containers, the question arises … What soil mix do I use?

At Nobska Farms, we have developed an organic mix that gives good and consistent results. We’re passing the recipe along for your use and as a basis for further experimentation.

The recipe is in two parts: the bulk soil recipe and the nutrient charge. A five gallon bucket makes for a convenient measuring container for the soil mix.

Soil mix:

  • 7 1/2 gal loam or top soil
  • 2 1/2 gal peat
  • 2 1/2 compost
  • 2 1/2 perlite
  • 1 qt nutrient charge (see below)
  • … mix together thoroughly with enough water to moisten

Nutrient charge:

  • 7 1/2 cps bone meal
  • 7 1/2 cps dolomitic limestone
  • 5 cps kelp meal
  • 5 cps blood meal
  • … mix together thoroughly and keep dry

For a single chili plant, choose a container that is 3-5 gal. We plant up to three chili plants in a 10 gal container. Dig a hole for the chili plant and put in about a teaspoon of plant starter fertilizer. (We use organic Whitney Farms Smart Start, but there are many others.) Scratch in about a tablespoon of bone meal on the surface after the chili plant is planted. Be sure to leave enough space in the container for mulch, up to about 5 inches. We principally use straw or seaweed for mulch. Many other types of mulch are fine. The key is to prevent the hot sun from striking the surface of soil in the container. Water only when the soil a few inches deep is dry. The mulch will significantly reduce your water needs and virtually eliminate weeds.

More about watering? Watch the leaves. When they wilt, it’s time to water. If the leaves look Ok in the morning and are wilted in the hot sun later in the afternoon, delay watering. Chili plants conserve water on a hot afternoon and pull water out of their leaves. If the leaves are full again in the morning, don’t water, yet. If they are wilted in the morning, water heavily. The leaves are your water indicator. By being stingy with the water, you will encourage the plant to send roots deep and give it strength against dry conditions. Furthermore, if you like hot chili peppers, being stingy with water stresses the plants, and stressed plants produce pods with higher concentrations of capsaicin, and higher concentrations of capsaicin makes … well, hotter chili peppers. That’s a good thing, right?

In addition to chili peppers, this container soil recipe would be excellent for tomatoes and eggplant. Might also give it a try for container growing of other vegetables including squash, cucumber, and strawberries. With a trellis, or at least a set of string upon which to climb, you can also grow peas and beans in containers.

Happy growing for 2014!

Cheers,
  Rooster

And so we begin a new collaboration. This with foodie and photographer, Katie Salerno, at her blog Oh Shine On. Katie is passionate about life in general and about food in particular. We like her enthusiasm and her style. It’s going be fun.

Recently we gave Katie a bunch of chili peppers to start her experimentation. It didn’t take long. Katie’s first post about Nobska Farms came when she helped us set up our event at Marty’s Fine Wines in Newton, MA. Soon thereafter, Katie created her first recipe using chili peppers, a Spicy Broccoli and Coconut Milk soup. From the recipe description: “It torched my taste buds and made its way to my nose and throat. In a really cool super rad good way, I promise.” Like we said, we love her style.

Stay tuned. Over the coming months, you will see more of Katie’s recipes as we provide chili peppers to her and she shares the results of her culinary developments.

By the way, you should also check out Katie’s extraordinary photography. It ranges from “a day in africa” to “apple orchard” and more.

Cheers,
  Rooster

Over the past couple of months we’ve been working with two talented designers to update our branding image and develop new product labels. The results are beautiful and have received lots of positive feedback from customer.

The Rooster art was created by Ariel Simon. With lots of creativity, she gave the rooster a mischievous smirk while allowing his heart of gold to show through. Try that with a bird that hasn’t any lips!

Next, Sam DeWys took the graphic and integrated it into our new logo, which is the centerpiece of our labels. It is simple. And, it captures the essence of Nobska Farms. We’re a farm with ties to the past and hope for the future. Visit our products page to see the new labels in action.

Special thanks are due to the designers for their extraordinary work. Every company should have it so good.

Cheers,
  Rooster

Nobska Farms on FCTV

In the fall of this year, we were interviewed for a video segment on Falmouth Community TV by Basia Groszczynska. The resulting segment was broadcast on FCTV starting December 23.

During the interview, we described our chili pepper growing operations; we also described our plans for an aquaponic system to experiment with one aspect of high intensity urban agriculture. Research and development of these systems is an example of our dedication to Farming for the Future℠. As a community, we must work together over the coming decades to figure out how to expand global food production, and aquaponics is one part of the solution.

In comparison to the stark winter landscape we now see in December, the lush, green foliage of the chili plants in the video looks like it was filmed on a different planet. Reassuring to know that winter will pass in its time and that these incredible green displays will once again return to the farm.

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