Local agriculture is hard at 6500 feet. Most of El Paso County is well over a mile high in elevation, and with a 90 day growing season, few cities in North America are this size with a growing season this short. Home grown produce is more novelty than reality for most individuals.
This weekend is the 15th Annual Loaf and Jug Chile and Frijole Festival. I mean, how can you not attend with a name like that? It is your opportunity to head south for a little local culture that has been native to the Front Range for centuries... yes, chile cultivation predates by centuries the more commonly celebrated "western heritage" of events like the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo. And let's face it... burgers, dogs and funnel cake ain't got nothing on hoppin' mean green made with the local Mira Sol. And if you need burgers, dogs and funnel cake you can find it at the 15th Annual Loaf and Jug Chile and Frijole Festival ...slathered in chile of course.
If you're a first timer to local chile, keep in mind that the hotter the summer, generally the more pungent the heat. This was not a toasty summer so it probably won't be so hot. If you're making chile and have a low Scoville tolerance, stick with the Anaheims. This SoCal import is conisderably milder and still rich in flavor. If you like mellow nutiness, get the extra-vine-ripened red chiles for a different, more complex flavor.
But if you really want the full-on, local experience... this is the weekend to head to Pueblo, buy a bushel of flame-kissed peppers