Photo by Genevieve Russell for Squash Blossom Local Food Inc.

By Nina Yozell-Epstein

The nights are beginning to cool and those gorgeous golden hues are right around the corner. Back to school means back to building and caring for our immune system—am I right?! As we head indoors for autumn, with everyone else, into the petri dish of (wonderful) community events, we should take good care to stay healthy and resilient. Some of our favorite harvest treats have our back. With the heavenly scent of green chile roasting in the air, we can take extra appreciation of this New Mexican staple, for its high vitamin content. Green chile is rich in vitamins A, C, and K and has been used to cure colds in our state for centuries. Eat your garlic with your chile, roast it alone, or throw it in your autumn broth, this allium is one of your best friends for immune health. At Squash Blossom Local Food, we supply Santa Feans healthy, fresh, local produce year-round. Find our produce from over 25 farms in your favorite restaurants in our capital city, and subscribe to a weekly Blossom Bag to keep your system running strong.

One of my favorite folk remedies is putting slices of onions in your socks to fight a cold or flu. I’ve also been known to stick a whole clove of garlic in my ear to combat an ear infection. Regardless of your comfort with cozying up to these pungent alliums in bed at night, I hope you will enjoy eating them in as many of your autumn meals as possible because their wide array of sulfur compounds gives them numerous health benefits. Garlic’s natural allicin has antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Don’t you just love the smell of garlic roasting in your oven? It’s so simple, slice off the end of a full head, cozy it next to a few others that you’ve done the same too, drizzle with olive oil, and roast slowly at 400°F for 30-40 minutes. When it’s done, the tender cloves will slide right out of their skins with ease. This dish is an excellent tapa or side, spread the soft garlic on a slice of bread, or eat it straight. It is delicious, simple, and will make you feel like a superhero for its remarkable health benefits. If you are hardcore, you can get even more benefits from eating garlic raw. That can be a bit intense, so I’ve taken to chopping it up into pill size bits and swallowing them like a vitamin. I swear by it.

Danny Farrar, harvesting chile at Rancho La Jolla. Photo by Genevieve Russell for Squash Blossom Local Food Inc.

Farmer Danny Farrar of Rancho La Jolla has been growing chile in Velarde his whole life and his family has been farming in Velarde for centuries. I asked Danny what variety of chile he grows and he says he just calls it the “native chile.” He’s been saving the seeds every year, so it’s truly a Velarde landrace now—sometimes he’ll add seeds that he’s swapped from his neighbors.  His favorite thing about growing chile is carrying on such a long-standing tradition, and eating it of course, “in everything, every day.” He says you can tell which will be hot by the curl on the tip—the tighter the curl, the hotter. Danny has been working with Squash Blossom since our inception, you can taste Rancho La Jolla’s chile, squash, tomatoes, apples, and more in our Blossom Bags throughout the year.

Get $5 off your first Blossom Bag today with the code: Edible – Fall to stay healthy this season. Learn more at

Nina Yozell-Epstein

Founder | Director, Squash Blossom Local Food Inc. 
– Your Local Farm Source –

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Edible celebrates New Mexico's food culture, season by season. We believe that knowing where our food comes from is a powerful thing. With our high-quality, aesthetically pleasing and informative publication, we inspire readers to support and celebrate the growers, producers, chefs, beverage and food artisans, and other food professionals in our community.