Welcome to Otis Acres Micro-Farm, located on 32 acres in Brunswick County, Virginia.
We are grew 41 Pepper varieties for this year’s production of Jellies, Relishes, In Vinegar’s, Dehydrated and Fresh in Season. These are grown without herbicides and pesticides, as we respect our essential pollinators.
The question we often hear is “What do I do with this jelly, or relish, or dried pepper?” Reasonable question, as you have never tasted anything like what we make.
Try our relishes in Deviled Eggs – or use them as garnishes on meat or salads. Spice up a burger or meatloaf by folding either a sweet pepper, a jalapeno, or chili relish into the meat. Add our relishes to stir fry or collard greens.
The jellies can also be added to stir fry for a Polnesian finish – the hotter the jelly, the hotter the finish. Use the jellies as a glaze for meat or fish. Or as a base for barbecue. Try the Caribbean with breakfast crepes or on vanilla ice cream. Instead of cream cheese and crackers, try cream cheese and cucumber slices. There are no rules.
We are offering 3 spice mixes this year – a 5 Chili mix, a 3 chili mix, and a Paprika/Gold Cayenne mix. We used the Paprika mix in a chicken stew last week; we liked it so much we made the stew twice. These mixes can be used as rubs, they can be blended with mayonnaise, they can spice stews and soups… Again – no rules.
Which brings us to the Dehydrated Peppers. We do not apply sulfites to them, unlike the offerings from Badia and California Peppers in the grocery stores. We do not air dry, we use Advanco Dehydrators. Why? Air drying does not kill mold spores, pathogens, or bacteria. Dehydrating at 160F does. If you love to cook, if you want to love to cook, if you want to do ‘something’ different with a meal, this is where you need to start. Vindaloo? We have the peppers. Jamaican Curry? Southwest Chili? Hot Wings? Jerk Sauce? We have you covered. Crush a Gold Cayenne and sprinkle the flakes over a fresh salad. Be the Super Star of your next dinner.
Louise is offering hand made aprons this season. One style is for the kitchen, one is for the garden (lots of pockets). Each style comes in 2 sizes. And there will also be throw pillows which add color to any room. Louise is reaching back into her past as a costume and set designer. I still have shirts she made me 30 years ago. I tell her she makes fabric dance, she says she makes fabric behave.
A last word about What Makes Hot Hot, and what to do when someone gets into hot that is Too Hot. Got a pet that eats food that hits the floor? Got a ‘Tweenage’ boy? A ‘macho’ neighbor? Pay attention. Capiscum Oil is colorless and odorless, and is used to make toxic pepper sprays for personal protection, police and military use. It is found in hot peppers, the greater the concentration, the hotter the pepper. The ONLY acknowledged antidote is the whey protein, Casein. You find it in dairy products. That’s why cream cheese cuts the bite in our jellies. That’s why every classic India meal has a yogurt dish on the table. Cut a pepper, rub your face? Reach for the milk. Did Fido floor surf a hot pepper? Get the plain yogurt. Tweenage son playing Dare? There really isn’t any antidote for that, but have some sour cream milk ready.
The Carolina Reaper, which we grow, was originally grown for the capiscum oil, which was sprayed on tobacco slips to keep the deer off the field. I have read someone is trying to engineer it up to 4,000,000 Scoville Heat Units. The word irresponsible comes to mind.
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I recently bought a variety of fresh peppers as well as two jars of Jalapeno Orange Mild Pepper Jelly and a jar of Sweet Pepper Relish from you at the Farmers Market. We have thoroughly enjoyed every single item! If I don’t make it back to the market next week, I’ll definitely be making an appointment to come and visit you all in Alberta. The quality and taste are phenomenal!