Down on the River Farm we like our weather hot and our chilis even hotter.
We started our River Farm on the Llano River in 2003 as a mean to grow and harvest the Native Pepper of Texas, the Chilitepin. This robust little Texas native is the stuff legends are made of, dating back centuries to Aztec and Mayan folklore. Mockingbirds, turkey and many other animals of nature have spread undigested Chilitepin seeds throughout Texas and the Southwest for years.
Chilitepins have been hand harvested and sun dried for centuries. Columbus carried the plants back to Asia where they became more popular in India than the black pepper that was so coveted in Western Europe.
Many other peppers around the globe have been derived from the Chilitepin which is why many people call it the Mother of All Peppers. The plant is hearty and considered easy to grow and can be a wonderful addition to a native Texas xeriscape project. This shrub loves the sun, but thrives with a little afternoon shade. In the wild the Chilitepin is usually an understory plant, often growing in the shade of the scrubby mesquite trees, usually around three and a half feet, but the shrub can reach ten feet and tales of 20 foot Chilitepins have surfaced! As long as there are no killing freezes, this plant is a perennial and can grow for twenty or more years.
The Chilitepin has tiny round, red fruit about the size of peppercorns. The pungent, smoky flavor delivers a bite hotter than a jalapeno, but the heat usually dissipates faster than most other peppers. Different types of Chilitepins can reach 100,000 on the Scoville heat index. If you happen to bite off more than you can handle, a swig of milk will help quench the fire. The sun dried fruit is considered one of the super foods and is known to relieve indigestion.
While pepper plants and pepper-based products are currently our focus products from the River Farm, we also have a peach orchard, beehives and elephant garlic. All of our farm ingredients are grown naturally with absolutely no pesticides or herbicides. As we continue to grow so will our natural product line up so please be sure to visit us often!