The St. Andrews “Holy Smokes” Chili Farm is inspired by the Church of the Transfiguration’s project in Apache Junction, “The Crazy Chili Farm”. Our mission is to financially support St. Andrew’s outreach programs.
Rows of Chimayo chile peppers, an heirloom type cultivated by Pueblo people for generations in New Mexico, are planted each year. St. Andrew’s harvests, dries, and grinds the peppers for sale as Holy Smokes and for creates spicy homemade condiments that are sold at the church, and to family/friends.
In addition, we plant planted varietals of Yoeme blue corn, native squash, and Sacaton brown tepary beans. Native Seeds/SEARCH, a Tucson non-profit conserves dry-climate friendly plants originally grown by indigenous peoples and early immigrants. Our seeds are saved and forwarded to them to replenish dangerously low seed bank reserves.
As head Chili-Farm wrangler Ron Rummell points out, “When many Native Americans were granted land by the government, they were not given adequate water rights to sustain their traditional crops. The Native Seeds project helps to revive some of those lost heirloom plants.”
Want to know more? Contact the parish office.