By Carolyn Twesten, Weaver Street Market Produce Merchandiser
This week’s owner coupon is 25 percent off tomatoes and peppers. Learn more about the coupon below.
It’s the dog days of summer, and everyone and everything is over this heat, right? Everything but the pepper plants out in the field, which are loving life right now! Peppers thrive in the heat and we’ve got a great selection right now from our local farmers. Try out some of these varieties, fresh in a salad, roasted, sautéed, grilled, pickled, whatever you can think of!
Green and Colored Bells
Everyone knows what to do with a juicy, thick-walled bell pepper. But did you know that a green bell is actually just an unripe colored bell pepper? A green bell pepper gets to size on the plant about 60 days from planting but a colored pepper takes at least another two to three weeks to ripen on the plant. During this time the sugars in the fruit (yes, they’re a fruit!) increase, making them much more tasty to eat for all critters—insects, rodents, and yes, us. This extra time on the plant as well as reduced yield due to crop loss is the reason why colored bells are usually more expensive. But so worth the wait, and the expense!
Our bell peppers are coming from Red Hawk Farm in Hurdle Mills as well as M&M Farm in Elon, NC, via Eastern Carolina Organics (ECO). ECO has been a Weaver Street Market vendor partner since their inception in 2004. A project of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, ECO delivers fresh organic produce year round from the Carolinas and Virginia.
Hot peppers run the gamut from the mild Anaheim to the flaming hot habanero. My favorite are smoky poblanos, which are great roasted and pureed in a salsa verde, or stuffed with cheese and grilled or baked. A new variety for us this year are the “habanada” type peppers, which look like habaneros and share their fruity flavor, but without their scorching heat. We just started receiving these from Nourishing Acres Farm in Cedar Grove, NC! They also offer a mixed hot pepper pack if you want to experiment with a few different varieties.
I’ve written about these before but I’m not afraid to sing their praises again and again. These peppers aren’t much to look at, finger-sized, green, and wrinkly, but fried up in a skillet they taste divine! I love them because they give you all that great chili pepper flavor without the heat. But beware! One fruit out of every 10 or so may have some heat. We like to call it shishito roulette. These are available from Nourishing Acres Farm.
Sweet Mini Peppers
These peppers are just what their name describes: sweet, bite-size snackable peppers! I love them as a great healthy snack option as they are super easy to toss in the lunch bag in the morning, no fuss. You can get fancy with them as well though, with this easy stuffed mini pepper recipe. Our mini sweet peppers have been coming from Nourishing Acres and Elysian Fields Farm, both in Cedar Grove, NC.
Our owner coupon this week includes 25 percent off all local peppers and tomatoes! In addition to all the pepper varieties previously mentioned, we also still have a good supply of tomatoes coming in from our local farms. Try sungold, grape, or black cherry tomatoes in the pint clamshells, big juicy heirlooms, or the mini Roma-type called Juliet (great for roasting!). Both peppers and tomatoes can be preserved by roasting and freezing to add to sauces and stews when you’re hankering for the flavor of summer come winter.
This week’s owner coupon is 25 percent off all tomatoes and peppers, good through August 21, 2019. Owners, look for the coupon in our weekly e-news, sent on Wednesday morning. If you didn’t get the coupon, you may need to update your email address in our owner database. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not an owner? Become one today to receive the weekly owner coupon as well as the other benefits of ownership, like invitations to the Co-op Fair, a logo T-shirt and bag, and the right to vote in board elections. Learn more here.