With Fall comes harvest season and so I’ve been busy processing the beautiful peppers grown by Masse’s Fruit and Vegetable farm in nearby St. Joseph. Between smoking and drying batches of jalapeños and shepherds and starting the mash for fermented pepper sauce, it’s been a busy time.
I’d like to thank everyone who’s purchased my products for the first time as well as many who have come back for second and third orders. In a few posts this summer, I told you about 3 stores in Bluewater where you can buy my products. I’m pleased to say it’s been an encouraging success. Between retail sales on online sales, Hellfire Habanero sauce and Jerk Chipotle Seasoning are currently sold out (though more is on the way). There’s still plenty of Hot Smokey Chipotle, Chili Powder and Whole Leaf Oregano, plus a few whole Ancho and Guajillo chilies.
In addition to the fantastic jalapeños This year’s pepper crop includes sweet shepherd peppers (upper right in the photo). Watch for a couple of new products in the coming weeks that will show off the natural sweetness and delicious flavour of these field-grown shepherds.
I spent 2 solid weeks in October smoking this year’s peppers. Aided by some glorious fall weather I was able to process few hundred pounds! Oh, and there’s another batch of my Hellfire Habanero hot sauce fermenting away. Watch for it in the next couple of months – I don’t want to rush the fermentation.
All Canadian Sauce!
After a lot of trial and error, I created a new sauce recipe that will nicely complement the Hellfire. It’s a savoury ferment of sweet and hot peppers, cranberries and spices. The acidity of the cranberries and fermentation is balanced with maple syrup – I think of it as the All-Canadian sauce. The heat will be mild, so if you can’t handle the hot stuff, this one’s for you. Watch for it to be available some time in November in time for the holidays.
Picking up fresh cranberries was a great excuse for a road trip to Muskoka Lakes Farm and Winery. It turned out to be a perfect Fall day for taking a hike through their sugar bush and exploring the cranberry bog where they’re grown.
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As always, August brings a rich harvest in Huron County – everything seems to peak at the same time. Our vegetable garden has been slow to start, but is now producing a surplus of beans, cabbage, carrots and onions. Fortunately I’m not reliant on my own peppers as they’re somewhat of a disappointment this year. More about that in a later post. Meantime, I’ve been busy with a few other projects.
I picked up some nice slabs of apple and cherry wood for the smoker. I felt kinda bad about cutting the big apple piece up for chips as it would have made a beautiful tabletop. However, I think these are better than buying the bags of chips and definitely cheaper. Tested them with a hunk of brisket on the smoker.
My Bluewater Pepper Farm Chipotle powder is for sale at Masse’s Fruit and Vegetable Market during the summer months. It sold well this past year, so be sure to drop by Masse’s when they re-open in late May. While you’re there, pick up outstanding sweet corn, strawberries, peaches and all kinds of other fresh local fruits and vegetables. If you can’t wait, I’m now pleased to offer an online shop too.
It was time to rebuild a couple of my raised beds. They served well for a decade, but I confess they weren’t very well built to begin with
I used some salvaged 2×8 lumber from the deck we replaced last year. I know many will tell you to avoid pressure treated lumber for garden boxes, but these are well aged. They do not contain arsenic which hasn’t been used in a few decades. Best of all, it was already stacked behind the shed, looking for a purpose.
A couple of hours later, I’m happy with the end result. I decided to build it up higher this time – the 2×8’s made that easy to do. I prefer the height because it allows me to add more soil, plus it’s just plain easier to reach. Another option would be to use it as a cold frame. I could add a hinged plastic window on top to grow greens and such in early Spring.