PUEBLO — The chile pepper has grown into an icon of Pueblo and nearby Arkansas Valley farming communities. “The Pueblo Chile, of course has become really a flag that the community of Pueblo can carry,” said Colorado State University, Arkansas Valley Research Center, Research Scientist, Dr. Michael Bartolo.
It is not just any chile. The Mosco chile, now commonly known as the Pueblo Chile was developed over decades specifically to grow in Southern Colorado.
“What we did 30 years ago is take some of that original seed and developed new and improved strains of that.” Bartolo, who has a Ph D in plant physiology was given some prized chile pepper seeds after his uncle, a Pueblo farmer, passed away. Decades later there is the Pueblo Chile, and a genealogy tree of chile pepper descendants. “They are all descendants of that original strain or that heirloom strain of Pueblo Chile,” said Bartolo
The Pueblo Chile season is well underway as farmers started the process of planting several weeks ago. With hotter weather in store this year, the same can be said for the peppers. We're still a few weeks away from seeing and smelling roasters across the region this summer, plus the Pueblo Chile & Frijole Festival in late September.
However, there's a new addition to the chile lineup, the Pueblo Primrose. "Range in color from kind of a cream color, to an orange, yellow, and then to a bright red," said Bartolo. Most Pueblo Chiles are meant for eating, but the Pueblo Primrose is ornamental and for beauty in landscapes. It took 13 years to develop.
Interested? Here's where you can find the plant for sale:
News 5 is taking a closer look at the past, present and future of the Pueblo Chile on-air and online. Dr. Bartolo explains how new chile varieties are created. It is a science. Pueblo farmers talk about the importance of their chile crops.