Our buddy, Teddy works for Casados Farms which is next door to him. They farm red chiles for chile powder, white corn for posole and chicos and blue corn to make atole for mostly the wholesale markets. They sell in bulk the restaurants and grocery stores.
I wanted to buy some fresh posole and chile powder so last Saturday Teddy and Roberta took me over and introduced me to Peter Casados who was gracious enough to take time to explain the whole operation to me. This is a family farm that operates the traditional way with little machinery and a lot of physical labor…all the procedures were passed down from father to son…the old-fashion way.
But first I had to meet Juanita, (Peter’s mama) and her friend, Patsy. And look at those home grown tomatoes…sadly, the last of the crop for the year.
We worked the operation backwards…starting with the end product, where I bought my yearly supplies for the road.
Next Peter and Teddy took me across the street to where the corn and chiles are dried.
This is an open-aired structure with wooden racks six tiers high. Each rack has chicken wire bottoms where the chile and corn is placed to dry naturally by Mother Nature. Notice the different colored corn…white, black, and speckled. The red chiles are being dried for seed crop for next years planting.
Next Roberta and Teddy drove me a short distance to where they pile the corn once it has been harvested from the fields. This is all the blue corn crop ready to be husked and put on the drying racks.
Behind the corn pile is the hay they raised, baled and stacked to feed their cattle during the winter.
Teddy pulls apart the white husk to reveal the blue corn inside.
Look at this pink husk beauty
And look at the dark blue corn inside…very pretty.
I heard a grunt and looked around and found these two cute characters penned up behind me.
Here is the field where they grow the hay for the cattle. Teddy has to go up to Colorado next week and spend a couple of weeks rounding up all the cattle that have been grazing up there all summer and truck them back down to Espanola.
Next Roberta drove me a little farther down the road to the fields of corn….oh, what a pretty sight.
So there is my backwards tour. The Casados Farms does a mail order business as well. They can be reached at P. O. Box 852, San Juan Pueblo, NM 87566 or at 505-852-2433. Tell them what you want, how much and Teddy will probably be the one to mail it out to you. It’s all organic and natural and the tastes are amazing.
This type of farming is a dying art…a way of life that will not continue after this generation of people. The next generation isn’t interested in expending this amount of time and energy to make a living on the land. I admire Peter Casados immensely for his dedication to his land and this way of life. It goes with him.
I bought a ristra of red chiles that Juanita made so I can use the whole pods to make posole. And here is some blue corn with part of the husks braided together for a nice center piece Teddy brought to us.
Teddy and Roberta came over Sunday night to say good-bye. We’ve had a great time staying and visiting with them this week. Poncho had a hard time reconnecting with us as he spends all his time with them and their three dogs when we are away. You let Poncho outside and he immediately runs to their house.
Thank you Teddy and Roberta for your gracious hospitality and for making us part of your family.
Remember, you are loved.