Late 2019 and early 2020 sales of Campo Dorado Chile powder and Ute Mountain blue cornmeal took an unanticipated upturn. This gave us ample funding for additional food outreach, refurbishing farm equipment, and the enable us to extend the reach of the Native American program. The latter provides indigenous, desert adapted seed to tribal communities struggling to re-establish traditional agriculture on Native lands. So far, we have delivered large quantities of seed grown here at the Crazy Chile Farm to the Tohono O’odham, Pasqua Yaqui, Guadalupe Yaqui, Gila River Pima, and the Navajo Nation. Plus, we have provided seeds to the St. Vincent DePaul Food Relief Garden, and the Desert Botanical Garden. Fr. Bob, Bishop Jennifer Reddall, and the Rev. Cn. Debbie Royals, Canon for Episcopal Native American Ministries, have supported the Farm in this effort. Follow the far-flung work of The Crazy Chile Farm on the Transfiguration Facebook site.
Planting of the 2020 crop began in January with the assembly of the greenhouse and the planting of starter trays of Chiles. Both fields were tilled and field planting started in February and has continued weekly since then. This years crops are Yoeme Blue Corn, Navajo Blue Corn, Tohono O’odham squash, Salt River Pima summer squash, Sacaton brown Tepary beans, white Tepary beans, Navajo Christmas Lima beans, and, of course, our signature Campo Dorado Chile Peppers.
Then, as of 5pm today, 3/31, Arizona has been declared a "stay-at-home" State. And though Transfiguration is on lockdown, The Crazy Chile Farm is considered an "essential business" and will continue to operate...albeit on a limited basis with smaller numbers of farmers maintaining strict social distancing. Also, anyone working on the processing benches, or in the greenhouse or storage room will be required to wear gloves and a facemask. Installation of the new irrigation system in Field#2 can continue and we are content to hold off the planting until it's ready to go. Field#1, however, is now completely planted. Gaps in germination have already been replanted and lots of seeds have sprouted and gotten large enough that the cups have been removed.
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