​​​​​​Hand Harvested Chiltipen Chiles

Seeds are like tiny time capsules bringing 
flavor and genes through time. Chiltepin seeds arrive wrapped in red, aromatic fruit that you can eat.

These tiny chiles are the closest living relative to the oldest known chile. They have a rare flavor that humans have enjoyed for 8,000 years, and birds for much longer.
And, they still grow wild.

Now that's one potent survival-thrival strategy. 
The Wisdom of Wild.

We love these chiles so much, we decided to build our buisness model following  their example. Any life form that has thrived as long as these have clearly has dignity. We pay the women who hand harvest these rare chiles a dignified wage. And they in turn treat the plants with 
respect.  ​​​​


             The Wisdom of Wildness


The first “harvesters” of the earliest wild chiles were birds.  Just like the wild varieties today, their ancient relatives had small erect fruit pods that stuck up like tiny balloons offering themselves to the birds to eat.  Interestingly, wild chiles have a higher number of seed per fruit than do domesticated varieties.  Unlike mammals, birds don't have taste receptors in their mouths that register the chiles' heat  (capsicum). As the seeds passed through the birds' digestive tract, the seeds are deposited in perfectly fertilized packets ready for the next generation to begin.
It is a truly beautiful thing, the way nature operates.   Nearly everything is beneficially connected. It is the wisdom of wildness. 
Now bring domesticated peppers to mind. Their fruit is big and too much for birds to eat and disperse. Interestingly most domesticated chiles have smaller seed to fruit ratio as well. They are dependent upon humans for reproduction, whereas the wild chiltepin is doing just fine without us thank you very much.  It's the wisdom of wildness.

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One secret to the adaptive strategy of wild chiles, and the reason they have survived over thousands of years, is that they don’t “go it alone”.  Said another way, they live in mutually beneficial ecosystems. As we know, birds played and continue to play a pivotal role. Yet these mutually beneficial systems have many players in addition to birds.
Lets say you are a bird.  You swoop down onto the green bushy foliage of the chiltepin, and you feast on the tiny red fruits.  You get all the benefits of vitamins and antioxidants and potassium, just like humans do. You swoop up above the chile plant and land on the branch of a mesquite tree. This tree is right there for you to perch on, because it functions as a nurse plant for the chile plant you’ve been feasting on below. It provides badly needed shade in the summer, and protection from intense cold in the winter.  The chiltepin is a perennial plant (most domesticated chiles are annuals), and manages to survive through the winter although it drops its leaves. The leaves create litter that enhances the soil. 

But back to the story.  Spanish explorers visiting the New World discovered these tiny chiles and were so wowed by them, that they dispersed them just like birds had for thousands of years. People began experimenting.  They planted,  experimented, harvested,  played with taste, savored and very very rapidly transformed what had once been the tiny ancestor of the chiltepin,  into East Indian Curries, Korean spices, Middle Eastern, African fare , and Caribbean foods. All these, and all the cultural identities surrounding them, are the result of the Creative Human Spirit to come up with new variations on a theme. 


                                                  Be part of the Wild Ecosystem.   
 ​              ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Fruitful Facts

* Contain as much Vitamin C of an orange in one chiltepin

* Are a rich source of vitamins A & B2, niacin, potassium

* Have been used effectively to treat acid indigestion

* Antioxidant properties

* Contain no gluten

* Are not genetically modified

* Provide rare flavor and heat

* Are wild grown and hand harvested 

*  Compliment raw and cooked foods, veggies and meats.



Click on our "Some Surprising Recipes” link for fun Wild Ways to delight in this chile.​​​​​​ ​​​​ Some Surprising Recipes
We are excited to hear from you!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send us a message.