By Mic LeBel, Nyle Systems
The owners of Kitchen Garden Farm are bold and adventurous just like the hot chili peppers packed to full capacity into their new Nyle FD-24. After many years of hard work farming, they had a recent breakthrough when sales of their famous value-added chili pepper products began to take-off. They decided to seize the opportunity and ‘go all-in’ by investing in a Nyle drying system to help fast-track their entrepreneurial dream.
With help from the Nyle team, Kitchen Garden Farm (KGF) in Sunderland, Massachusetts recently installed their Nyle FD-24 food drying system. They have been running it non-stop, day and night ever since to keep up with their abundant fresh pepper harvest that keeps rolling in from the beautiful fields behind their production facility.
KGF has been owned and operated by Caroline Pam and Tim Wilcox since 2006. They grow 50+ acres of certified organic vegetables for stores and restaurants across MA, NYC and RI, including 15 varieties of chilis. They also produce a line of value-added products from organic ingredients grown on the farm. Their best-seller is organic Sriracha sauce (pictured below), which is the best condiment I’ve ever tried! Skyrocketing demand for their Sriracha and Salsa products at Whole Foods Market and many other natural food grocers across the Northeast led to their need for a Nyle food dryer.
Wilcox, Pam and their team can barely make Sriracha fast enough to keep up with sales orders, but at least the pepper dehydration stage is no longer a barrier to growth. “Our prior drying process was a bottleneck that was holding us back from growth,” noted Wilcox, whom is the primary operator of the Nyle dryer. “The FD-24 twelve rack system has been humming along smoothly since we fired it up, and it’s increased capacity from 320 lbs per batch to 960 lbs per batch,” said Wilcox. “The drying time for each chili pepper cycle was 7 days, and that’s been shortened to 2 to 4 days depending on the variety we’re drying.”
Pam recently filed for a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture under their Ag Energy program to help pay for the new drying system. “We’re organic farmers that care about sustainability and energy efficiency, so we want to make sure production investments are eco-friendly and efficient,” noted Pam. “We like how the Nyle dehumidification dryer works differently than conventional food dryers we looked at such as tunnel dryers,” said Pam. The KGF grant application highlights how the system uses up to 60% less energy than conventional dryers and produces zero emissions. “Nyle features heat pump technology that captures heat that would be lost by other systems, and recycles that back into the system.“
For more information about Nyle Food Dryers, visit https://www.nyle.com/food-drying-systems/ or call 800-777-6953.