Are you looking to buy hot sauce? Go here.
We started playing around with chili peppers just for the heck of it in 2011 and started coming with some pretty tasty hot sauces. It didn't take long for us to figure out that to get yumminess out of a hot sauce that you need to put yumminess into a hot sauce (we also learned never to saute chili peppers - as it turns out pepper gas is easy to DIY). That meant never buying peppers on the commodity market, but instead waiting all summer long for the tasty local peppers to be ready in whatever quantity that ended up being. But customers kept wanting more hot sauce than we could reliably get peppers for.
So in the dead of winter, 2015 we contracted with some of our favorite growers for about 1000 pounds of peppers and started planning for a big hot sauce year. We got the word out to distributors about our hot sauces and thought that all was good. But as we started actually making the 2015 batches of hot sauces and cases started going out the door, we quickly realized that we had woefully underestimated the demand and needed more of our most precious asset - those awesome Vermont chili peppers. Thankfully it was a great year and we were able to scour the farms for 2600 lbs of peppers. But that wasn't enough, so we ordered 5000 lbs for 2016 and ultimately prepped and packed away 6500 lbs of pepper. But gosh darn it, folks just keep buying our hot sauce and it looks like we'll run out again. But that's not our amazing farmers fault! Meet the folks who grew out 2016 crop of peppers:
Jim at Stillmeadow Gardens - Jim just blisses out in his garden. Every year he tells me that he's not going to grow peppers again, then deep in the winter he gets the itch and ends up starting 1000+ plants in his living room because he's just that kind of guy. His peppers are the ones that gave us a name in the hot sauce world. Without his peppers we'd never have made it this far. Let's just say that he has a lifetime hot sauce subscription with us.
Beth at Maple Wind Farm - I knew Maple Wind Farm for their awesome bacon and eggs, but as a sustainable & organic farm, they make use of all their assets to produce some amazing vegetables as well. We got some amazing red flame and jalapeno peppers from them this year which turned into our best batch of sriracha yet. http://maplewindfarm.com/
Steven at True Love Farm - Steven developed his passion for pepper growing during the decade of his youth spent in Tucson, AZ. But now his farm is only a few hours away, in Bennington Vermont. Steven grows some huge, beautiful jalapenos. https://www.facebook.com/True-Love-Farm-242080838190/timeline/
Aaron at Kingsbury Market Garden - The average age of a farmer is 57 years old and getting older every year, so it's pretty inspiring when some young folks pick up the spade and breathe new life and technologies into the trade. http://www.kingsburymarketgarden.com/
Stephen at Dutchess Farm - This small family farm in Castleton, Vermont delivered some stunning serrano and jalapeno peppers this year. They are committed to the sustainable growing practices that iconifies Vermont farming. http://www.dutchessfarmvt.com/
Joey from Littlewood Farm - Littlewood Farm is the very first farm that I knew the name of when I moved to Vermont 13 years ago. One of the daughters of the family friends that I was living with was working there during her first college summer break. So I was very happy when this sustainable, local farm contacted me about their bumper crop of blazingly hot serranos.
Eli from Shadow Creek Farm - Eli is one of the guys who came through at the last minute with some great peppers. He's working at making a name for himself in the Vermont pepper world and is experimenting with many varieties of peppers.
We've put in our orders for 2017 peppers and it's topping out at nearly 17,000 lbs of peppers. It's going to be an amazing year.