The chiles and peppers are about two weeks later than usual this year. “Usually we have ‘You pick ‘em’ time over the Labor Day Weekend,” said Margaret Hanagan. “The peppers and tomatoes are late, but they are abundant and very good. We’re afraid people won’t know they’re here. You can save some money by picking them yourself.”

When Margaret asked her son Eric how many kinds of peppers they have, he went for a paper and listed them: Anaheim, Mirasol, Big Jim, Miss Juie, Lumbre, Jalapeno, Fresno, cubonella, Ancho, Inferno, Bell pepper. The workers had just unloaded and were heading out to the fields to pick again on a nice cool Monday morning about 10:30 a.m.

The Mirasols were easy to photograph, because the peppers grow up. Anaheims hide from you, so Margaret pulled aside the leaves for good pictures. The pepper fields are immediately south of the shed.

Larry and Patsy Bloyd from Las Animas were at the shed on Monday morning to buy fresh peppers and tomatoes for salsa at a wedding reception. After Margaret helped them, a trip to the tomato fields was next.

“I love salsa,” said Margaret upon arrival at one of the tomato fields. “Don’t know why I bother with chips. I could just eat it with a spoon.” Tomatoes weighed down all the vines.

The reason for the late harvest was the late planting date this year, but the rest of the season has been sunny and warm, with plenty of irrigation water.

In a week or two, said Margaret, they will open their Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze. Anyone can enjoy the fun, but the school buses bring the biggest crowds of children.  Classes from elementary schools all over the area reserve a time for their classes to come, learn about agriculture, jump into the corn sand box, climb on the hay bales, wend their way through the corn maze, and pick their very own pumpkin.