Lots of abbreviations here. The obvious one is the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), the second, NRCS (National Resource Conservation Society). How the heck does this apply or relate to us? Easy!
Here's the story so far. As a registered farm with the USDA, we are able to grow what our region will allow us to, and utilize all of these items in our spice blends. The shorter version of this story is... we are ramping up our production for next year to be sure the majority of herbs, as well as peppers, are grown in Rhody soil. This is our 'farm to bottle' vision. The obvious spices we cannot produce here will continue to be sourced by us from the highest quality spice retailers we can locate. We feel really good about this, and it looks to be an exciting future! It will be a lot of work, but usually the best things are.
From our testing, the quality of flavor from freshly picked, dried, and ground peppers and herbs is a night-and-day difference in overall quality. Makes sense...and this is how we feel that we separate ourselves from the average Joe spice blender.
Now on to the NRCS. This is a government-based program that helps fund farming on the local level with opportunities, grants, and reward systems. We got together with them about their high-tunnel greenhouse program. These programs allow smaller farms and farmers fund and build greenhouses that they might not be able to afford on their own, and in turn, promotes local agriculture, soil conservation, and will stimulate the local economy even further. These guys have been absolutely amazing to work with! It's a nice feeling when government funded agencies are there for you and WANT you to do better, and it's a great feeling to be involved with something that is good for everyone...supporting us, to make sure we can provide the end user with a great product that we can be proud of.
Stay tuned...we should know more by the middle of February, and we have already been hard at work with our 2018 seed starting. If all goes well and the greenhouse goes up, it will allow us to get an early jump on production, and extend the growing season far into November, a month you usually don't hear about peppers growing in Zone 5.
Meanwhile, here's a shot of our starts. The seedlings so far on deck: Carolina reaper, Moruga Scorpion, Naga Morich (our favorite), and Sepia Serpent. We are bringing the heat! Don't worry, we will have some lower scoville rate peppers...it just takes FOREVER to germinate the superhots. Cheers!