St. Andrew’s Chile Farm Pilot Project was started in the Spring of 2017, after a few curious parishioners visited the “Crazy Chile Farm” of the Church of the Transfiguration in Mesa, Arizona. Their project showed us a new way of living within our campus; using available resources (the rectory backyard) to create a sustainable income and support church outreach, while building connections within the congregation and greater community. We were inspired!
We reported our experience to the vestry and our pilot farm was launched. St. Andrew’s Pilot Chile Farm is growing heirloom Chimayo Chile. This chili pepper is native to a New Mexico mountain climate much like our own. Its pedigree is rooted in northern New Mexico where it has been cultivated for generations by Pueblo people. Chimayo Chile peppers create medium heat and rich earthy flavors. Green peppers produce a milder/green chili powder. While waiting for them to turn red produces a stronger/earthy red chili powder.
We now have 96 lovingly cultivated plants. Our first harvest was in August. Yum!! This first year our goal is to learn if a Chile farm can be sustained through Sedona’s four seasons, measure the production, engage our congregation, and determine the resources involved. One challenge will be to “over winter” our plants so we can be producing Chile by May 2018.
Our Chile Farm welcomes all volunteers, ideas, and customers that can take the heat. Soon we will be talking about a name for our own “Crazy Chile Farm.” Exciting stuff!!
Want to know more? Contact:
Ron Rummell, Chile Wrangler Extraordinaire
John & Linda Rachel and Jim Hose, Wranglers-in-Training