>Ely Farms displayed their products at the Omaha Home & Garden Show at the Quest Center in Omaha on February 18th-21st. The show was a success, and was also a lot of fun! As always, I came away from the show encouraged, motivated, and re-energized. The highlight of the show was the sales and general response to Ely Farms Pickled Bell Peppers. I actually sold just as many jars of pickled bell peppers as I did pickled asparagus, and to be honest, at shows and farmers markets, this is not unusual. Although I have become known as Mr. Asparagus, the asparagus kid, or that asparagus guy, not until this show did I consider Peter Piper a potential new nickname!
Ely Farms has been pickling green, red, and yellow bell peppers for two years now. The recipe came from a family friend. It was their Grandmothers recipe, and she was ill. To make sure the family recipe wasn’t lost; they gave it to us and asked us if we would be willing to make it our second product. After tasting them, we said YES! We grow all the bell pepper on our farm outside of Grafton, Nebraska, and then pickle them in our commercial kitchen facility. Marketing the pickled bell peppers has been a success, but has also been challenging at times. At first I thought marketing the peppers would be as easy as saying, “right there next to the asparagus are Ely Farms Pickled Bell Peppers,” and folks would buy them and fall in love with them. However, I soon found out it wasn’t this simple. Many people think they are hot, or just don’t know what to expect for flavor at all. Also, bell peppers don’t have the same sort of fancy image that asparagus does, which also makes it a tougher sell. However, after another successful pepper showing at the show, I am convinced the key is allowing folks to taste the peppers, and also to educate my customers how they can prepare the peppers. Preparation ideas are the key! Following are some preparation ideas I took away from my show:
• Add them to a Sandwich or a Wrap
• Add them to a Tuna or Chicken Salad
• Put them on Shish-kabobs
• Wrap some bacon around them with a toothpick and grill them on tinfoil for an appetizer
• Add them to a salad
• Zest up an Italian Dish
• Tailgate with them and put them on the Brat
• Blend them up to make a tasty relish
• Add color to the relish tray during the holidays
So if you haven’t tried Ely Farms Pickled Bell Peppers, now is a great time to give them a try. They are sweet, but have a bit of a jalapeno kick to them. Not too much kick, just enough. They have beautiful color, they taste great, and they are very unique.