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2009-07-23 digital edition

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2009-07-23 / General Stories

Gourmet Chili Pepper and Salsa Festival

Wildseed Farms announces it's third annual Gourmet Chili Pepper and Salsa Festival this summer on July 24, 25 & 26. Wildseed Farms, known for its flowers, has planted several fields of peppers: chilis for ristras and drying, specialty and ethnic peppers, sweet and hot peppers, southwestern style chilis, ornamental peppers and more.

Some of the great music lined up include The Fabs on Friday at 7 p.m. and Rotel & the Hot Tomatoes on Saturday at 8 p.m. Plus booths to sample salsas and other great, spicy foods.

The Hot Air Balloon Show includes a Balloon Glow Friday and Saturday, and a Balloon Flight Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m.. Join us as we color the skies with these beautiful balloons.

This festival not only promotes chili peppers and wildflowers but will educate the folks as well. Top Chefs scheduled so far: Chef Ross Burtwell of Cabernet Grill: Having fun with peppers; Jesse Lemos Chef for Boot Ranch and Steve Howard. More information to come.

The dates and times are Friday, July 24, noon - 10 p.m. • Saturday, July 25, 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. and Sunday, July 26, noon - 3 p.m..

The admission includes everything at Wildseed Farms: Festival grounds, Hot Air Balloon Show, Guest Chefs and Speakers, Butterfly Haus, Market Center, Brewbonnet Biergarten, colorful wildflower fields, spicy pepper fields. Pick your own flowers and/ or peppers, $3.50 per container.

John R. Thomas, Wildseed's founder and president, knows that color reigns on the vast, open fields along the highway. In 1983, there were very few sources for wildflower seeds; the seeds that were available were prohibitively expensive. The public's love of wildflowers and demands from landscape contractors and the highway department motivated Thomas to turn his sideline turf seeding business into a full-time wildflower farm.

Then the new company pioneered the practice of planting wildflowers in rows on large acreage. Today, Wildseed Farms is the largest working wildflower farm in the U.S. At its Hill Country headquarters, the farm has more than 200 acres under cultivation. Wildseed Farms produces 88 varieties of wildflower seeds.

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