Ken and Rosa Armijo
Armijo Farms/My Chilito
Sabinal, N.M.

New Mexico officially designated the chili pepper as its state vegetable in 1965. (Much like New Jersey, New Mexico appears confused as to the classification of fruits vs. vegetables, but we’ll forgive.) Ken Armijo has been growing chilies on his grandfather’s farm for 20 years, and also sells dried, pureed, and powdered chilies.

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Why we chose these chilies:

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Armijo Farms has been certified organic for the past four years. Ken first made the decision to switch from conventional farming methods to organic when he started reading materials from the Rodale Institute. “I really didn’t have a mentor or anybody that I could talk to about farming practices,” he says. “I was really opening my eyes to a whole new world of growing food.”

These are your father’s seeds:

“When I started growing crops out here, I grew what my dad wanted to grow,” says Ken. “He saved these seeds from when he was younger … He had some melon seeds, corn, beans, chili, different things. He’d come out here and take out his little jar of seeds and we’d plant them.”

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