Friday, March 23, 2007

Wow, Blogger has teamed up with Google huh? Neat.

Well, I thought I would bring my Blog up-to-date with all that's gone on with my main web site: A lot of progress has been made and the site is coming along. Please check it out and let me know what you think.

The web store is working fine. We've tested it several times and its worked flawlessly each time. I've added pictures in the Recipe section and updated all my links on the Links page.

The main project I have going on is trying to find a company to process my garlic on a larger scale. I'm to the point now where I cant keep up with orders. Plus I'm very seasonal due to what I can grow myself. If anyone knows of a company that makes rubs and sauces please post or email me. I know of two such companies and I'm talking to them now.

Thanks for reading and feel free to post your thoughts about my main site. I'm still working on it so keep in mind that It's only about 1/3 of what I have in mind. Such as: I only have 2 recipes on the recipe page. I will fill that page with my favorite recipes. What I'm looking at now is the font and pic sizes. I'm happy with the look of my recipe page and I'll go with what you see there.

Take care,


Thursday, October 12, 2006

pics of the smoking process

As promised, here are a few pics from the smoking process yesterday.

This first one shows a pic of my whole setup. Note the wireless thermometer on top. Im kindve a BBQ junkie and Ive got all the toys.

The next pic shows my "New Braunfels Bandera" Smoker. Or Bandera for short. Here I have 4 racks of garlic above a sausage roll (Tennessee Pride - Sage) and a London Broil. I couldnt just smoke garlic when I could be cooking supper too.
*Note- we call smoked sausage logs "fatties" in BBQ lingo. They are delicious and non fattening!!

The last pic shows a close up of the garlic and one of my biggest garlic bulbs. Its about the size of a softball. The peeled cloves are in the bowl.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The smoking has begun

After a long time curing in my dad's barn, the garlic is well cured and ready to process into powder.

It takes quite a while to bust up all the bulbs into cloves then skin the cloves. As much as I love garlic I must admit that this part gets to me. The fumes get intense after a while and then every thing gets sticky: my fingers, my knife and the cutting board. It gets to be a real mess. Oh, by the way, here's how I peel my cloves. I use a big sharp knife and I cut off the blunt end of the clove. The skin usually pops right off but sometimes you have to peel it like a shrimp. This is very time consuming.

After I get a large bowl filled with skinned cloves, I use a different knife and cut the cloves into 3/16" chips. I place these chips onto special grates that I made to fit my big smoker. This is also a very time consuming process. I really need to find a way to streamline this process.

I have found that hickory is the best wood to impart the smoke flavor I desire into my garlic and I use it exclusively. But first I light a full chimney of Kingsford charcoal and use it to "start" my smoker. One full load will get my smoker up to 200 degrees in about 15 minutes. After the smoker is up to temp I place in a couple of hickory splits and start minding my temp. I have a desired temp for smoking the garlic and I'll keep that as a trade secret.

The actual smoking of the chips is the best part of this operation. The smell from the smoker is incredible. A mix of garlic and hickory! I sit back and take it in. It really does have a wonderful aroma.

I'll have pics to follow and more on how I finish the process in my next post. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Pics of the crop

Ok, as promised here are a couple of pics of the garlic.

This is Elephant Garlic and it gets really big. I just spent some time going through the rows and snapping off the flower stalks that will shoot up at this time in the growing cycle. If you don't snap off that stalk, the garlic bulb will end up very small as the plant will put its energy into making the flower. By snapping the stalk off, the plant puts its energy into the bulb and they can get as big as softballs.

I have about 550 plants this year and they all look really good so far. Harvest should be in another month and it appears that I may have some prize winning bulbs. We have had good rainfall this year and the temps has been nice & cool.

On another note, I attended the small business workshop put on by SCORE, an arm of the Small Business Administration, last Friday. Lots of information to comprehend. I'm glad I went; there is so much I still need to do to get this little venture off the ground. It'll be a challenge but I have a goal: I need to get my business plan written by July 1. As it turns out, the Jaycees are having a contest on Business Plans. Top prize being $5000. That would go a long way to finalize the web page and all the legal matters. Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Learning business

Well friends I have been busy taking some steps to start a successful business. I contacted my local SBA - Small Business Administration - and in turn got hooked up with the SCORE group. This is a group of mostly retired business people who volunteer their time helping aspiring young entrepreneurs get started. From my rep I got several eye-opening pointers that caused me to slow down and make some correct moves instead of rushing in and possibly getting myself into some trouble.

I have several reading assignments. One of which is The E-Myth Revisited. If any of you are thinking of starting a small business or have just started one, this is a good read. I'm about halfway through it.

The big step I have taken is to sign up for a workshop via the SBA which is all about starting a small business. This looks to be very educational. I'm planning on starting an LLC and getting all of my permits straight through the state so I'll be legal to sell a food based product... Yes, real fun stuff (sarcasm). I'd rather be hiking or fishing but I really think this product has potential so I want to do it right.

Ok, enough boring stuff. I promise to post pics of me garlic next time. Its looking good and healthy.

Take care,

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

First Post

Hi all. This is my first ever post to my first ever Blog. So exciting.

I am creating a web site called: As of today, 4/18/06, the Site is maybe a month away from being published. On the web site I will be selling my homemade garlic powder made from my own organically raised Elephant Garlic. I make two types of garlic powder: regular and smoked. At this point I'm not sure whether to call it smoked or roasted. I'm also working on a smoked garlic based rub for pork butts. The research and trial & error in under way and it will be a rub for garlic lovers only. My wife and I love garlic and I have been raising it for about 8 years now. We regularly attend the Va Garlic Festival and plan to travel to other garlic festivals across the country.

I'm big time into BBQ and I have a large wood burning smoker. I like to smoke almost any kind of food so smoking the garlic was naturally going to happen sooner or later. As soon as I finished the first batch of powder that was smoked I knew I was onto something. The aroma was incredible. When my friends and family tried it their reaction was the same: you need to market this stuff! So that's kind've what lead me to create the web site and share my homemade garlic powder with you.

So, in the mean time until I get my site up & running, please use this blog space to share your favorite garlic recipes or stories about garlic. Also if you have any thoughts or ideas of things you would like to see on my web site - a site for garlic lovers - please share them too. I plan to sell garlic cookbooks, garlic presses, cutting boards, and everything garlic related that I can think of. Maybe you can help me here with other items I can feature on the site.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy my web Site when I finally get it published.