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Hot Peppers, Hot Sauce: IFFS Incubator Farmer Mike Carpenter

August 30, 2013


Mike Carpenter, 28, is a chemical engineer and biofuels researcher by trade, but he also has a passion for peppers, spicy food, and growing things. His interests come together in his plot at the IFFS Teaching Farm – growing peppers to create lacto-fermented hot sauces!

As part of the Incubator Farm Program ant the Teaching Farm, Mike also grows a lot of herbs, focusing on pollinators, companion planting, and attracting a crowd of butterflies, bees, and predatory wasps.

Participating in the Incubator Farm Program has allowed him to scale up his operation and make plans to sell his hot sauces (called Magarbendar’s) instead of growing and producing them primarily for personal use. When I visited his plot, I had the chance to try some of the peppers he grows. For those who are spice-sensitive, beware and handle with caution – these pack some serious heat – many rank high on the Scoville scale.  But for those who can handle it, they also pack some serious flavor. Mike grows brain strains, trans-scorpians, fataliis, super nagas, datils, habaneros, jalapenos, as well as some sweet peppers.

He plans to also grow some garlic for use in his sauces as well as other vegetables over the winter.

Personally, I can’t wait to try the sauces–providing I can handle the heat in a concentrated form.

AND, you can learn about making hot sauce from Mike, too!

Join us Saturday, September 14th from 10am-11am for a Hot Pepper Sauce Workshop  with IFFS Incubator Farmer Mike Carpenter.

At the workshop, Mike will share his expertise in pepper farming and beneficial insect conservation and some of his recipes for making his magic pepper sauces.  A walk through Mike’s incubator plot is a veritable pepper garden of eating with many strange and wonderful varieties.  Across the road we will tour Food Shuttle Teaching Farm’s commercial pepper production under black plastic.  If you are going to have a pepper crop in the ground from April until October, you want to have a plan for controlling weeds.

Email Farm Educator Sun Butler sun@foodshuttle.org to reserve your spot.

Workshop cost $10 payable day-of.

Workshop location: IFFS Teaching Farm, 4505 Tryon Rd. Raleigh 27606

Then stick around for Planning Your Fall Garden, Part 2  – workshop with Farmer Sun Butler starting at 11:15am!

The IFFS Incubator Farm Program supports and grows new viable, independent farm businesses and aims to serve as a model new-farmer program.




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