Green Chili Shortages Cripple Slope

(Pea Green, CO October 26, 2014) As has been feared a chronic shortage of green chilies is expected to envelope Western Colorado this fall. Partly due to a wet summer, poor distribution and limited storage, nightmares have come to roost leaving consumers desperate for the little green peppers.
Considered a delicacy, and verified as a rare source of vitamins, the chilies will be scarce all over the region but shortages will be most acute in Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and Archuleta Counties, ironically the traditional sources of the vegetables.
Agricultural experts are perplexed and a little embarrassed at having been caught off-guard on such imperatives as crop status and yield prediction.
“We were blind-sided by our own calculations,” said one seed seer over in Conejos County. “The numbers were exceptional in 2013 and we saw no indication of a shift or change for 2014.”
Beyond this trouble in the fields, the popular crop’s dismal performance may have been political as well as nutritional since the lack of Immigration Reform made it more difficult to provide workers at the optimum time for picking.
Growers say many of the chilies died on the vine since no one showed up to pick them.
“Many of our regular employees did not show up this year since they were not clear on legal status and enforcement of existing laws which have always been shady but now are psychotic,” said one farmer in Ignacio.
Green chilies could fetch up to $20 per pound by October although jalapeno and tortilla sales should remain constant according to watchdogs in the thick of it. Hoarding is expected, if not encouraged.
Already an illegal flood of Tabasco, banana peppers, Carib hot sauces and various strains of cayenne have found their way into Colorado making life difficult for border police. Notable busts include thousands of pounds of habanera peppers, confiscated near Rico and a semi-load of Trinidad Scorpion Peppers (estimated street value of over $500,000) seized Friday in downtown Cahone.
“We legalized the possession of peppers some three decades ago,” said one policeman. “But not truckloads of them swarming our borders. Every time we think we have a narcotics ring in our sights it turns out to be pepper smugglers. We are seeing a pattern here. We just don’t know what it might be.”
And if this news is not bad enough, genetically modified peppers have sneaked into the fray often impersonating the real thing. Persons purchasing such produce should be warned as to health risks. A decision to eat these products could be fatal.
“Just look to the source. Would you trust these corporate farmers?” asked the Conejos seer. “They are the same people who are killing the bees, spraying poisons on crops and even destroying the soil with their mass methods of production. Supporting this evil plan is the deathblow to activist environmentalism in this nation.”
“These pepper enthusiasts are desperate. They will get their heat one way or another,” she said. “Let’s just hope it all remains peaceful.”
A benefit concert for chili farmers is scheduled for late October in Dove Creek. Headliners include Freddy Fender, Beyonce, Billy Nelson, Ruben Rada and Julius La Rosa Quartet. – Maria Jardin

Filed Under: Reflections on Disorder

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