Friday, September 3, 2010

Where did my time go?

As I was sitting at the computer this morning taking a break from Dove Hunting, I decided to come back and check out my blog. To my surprise, I found that the blog did not write itself, and there had been no activity for quite a while.

So here are some updates, 2010 Competitions were put on hold due to scheduling issues at work. The same goes with catering out at the orchard. My son was born earlier this year, and my oldest daughter is starting 2nd grade...thus my free time has become scarce to say the least.

I will make an honest effort to sit down and update this thing more regularly now!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Competition BBQ is back on the radar

Well, after several years of missing the BBQ competition circuit, I have been persuaded to un-retire.

I will be joining forces with 3 of the most important people in my life to start competition BBQ again. Along with my wife, my sister and her husband, Prairie Fire BBQ will begin competition BBQ in the spring of 2010.

As of now, we will compete at Lawrence Sertoma 48 in May, The Great Lenexa BBQ Battle in June, Grass Roots Festival in Paola in August and Cookin' on the Kaw in Desoto in October.

My off season plans include purchasing a competition BBQ rig on a trailer this winter and then introducing the rest of my team to the wonderful world of competition BBQ at Lawrence.

In years past, I have had to debate with another chef as far as what recipes to use for our competition meat. Now, I have 3 wonderful volunteers do use my recipes and turn in the best competition meat that we can. It will be a wonderful experience to not have to argue about what flavors should be turned in.

It will be a fun time introducing a NEW team of Prairie Fire BBQ and Wagon Wheel Orchard to the competition scene!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


What a great weekend to visit the orchard!!! We opened up the orchard today at noon, and had the parking lot filled in a minute and a half!!! I really enjoyed seeing all the new visitors come out and enjoy the orchard and enjoy my BBQ. Even met a few new "regulars" that will be coming out in the future for some more BBQ. I have had some rave reviews of my "Axle Grease" BBQ sauce which I developed for use at the orchard. It is the only place I use it! I kinda wish I would have concocted this recipe back in my BBQ competition days!!!

We were able to wrap up the day with some fishing in the orchard's pond! Overall, an exceptional day..oh yeah, and whoever said anything about global warming??? I am really starting to get concerned about this winter. I can hardly recall many days over the 95 degree mark...and as of late, I can hardly remember what an 80 degree day felt like!!! We are loving it!

The orchard should be open in another 2 weeks, hope to see you all out there for some BBQ, and don't forget our organic produce as well!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Orchard Season

We are in full swing now at Wagon Wheel Orchard! We have been open the last few weekends and things are looking great! Lots of apples are starting to ripen up. Now that we are in the fall season, I will be bringing pulled pork out to the orchard most weekends. I smoked 2 pork butts for last weekend and sold them out in 3 hours.

We will be open this weekend, so check out the Wagon Wheel Orchard blogspot for hours, as well as which varieties of apples we will be picking this weekend!

The produce has finally started to come out of the garden...we have had some tomatoes and green bell peppers as well as a handful of Anaheim peppers. As normal, we have a plethora of Sweet Banana peppers available. All of my produce is organically grown!!! Have a great week and we will see you at the orchard this weekend!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dissapointing Gardening Year

Not much I can say about this year's garden. First, it was too cool, then too wet, then I was too busy, and then it was too wet, and then it stayed cool...

So much for global warming this year? Maybe the scientists will blame the odd KC summer weather on El Nino, or the Republican Party or someone else, who knows. Regardless, my garden has not thrived this year. Unfortunately, we only had a handful of entries into the fair this year; a few herbs and of course banana peppers. Maggie's peppers took second premium and Reserve Champion this year. Her peppers are perennial champions it would seem.

But between the weather and my schedule i neglected the garden. When the weather was nice, I had no time...and it seemed that when I did have time, the weather did not cooperate. Weeds have taken over the garden, and I am already making plans for next year....

This fall, I will destroy the existing garden and rebuild one that is even more rabbit proof. Plus I will have more size, going from 11' x 24' to a massive 14' x 32'.

So now it is on to enjoying the weekends at the orchard. I wish I had more produce to sell this year, but it just is not happening. I will still be offering my normal BBQ fare each weekend, and come this September, I will have more time on the weekends and plan to start bringing out the turkey legs and pulled pork for everyone. Hope to see you there.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dog Days of Summer

Here we are in the start of summer. The temps have skyrocketed, the vegetable garden is growing like crazy, the kids are driving me crazy, and it is time to get out of this house and have some fun. Looks like I will be opening up the BBQ for Wagon Wheel Orchard's opening weekend, the first weekend in August. Please come out and see us and take a look around the orchard.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

White Spring

Well, it looks like my delay in getting the garden ready to go this spring has been a good thing. Kansas City just got blanketed with 1/4 inch of ice and a few inches of heavy wet snow this weekend. So thankfully, I did not risk putting some of my early veggies out already like peas and lettuce. They will probably make it in the ground this week sometime.

The rest of our indoor veggies are doing well and will be ready to get into the ground once the last frost has passed. I just hope that this weather does not hurt the orchard. I am not sure of the status of the trees out there and whether or not they have bloomed yet.

This storm was a rather interesting one to watch develop out west and move into the Midwest. Most of Kansas was covered with over a foot of snow, with some places reporting drifts nearing 6 feet deep. Some of the highest snow totals that I saw were over 16 inches of snow. For a March storm, that is rather impressive.

I hope to have some photos of the plants growing uploaded, as well as a picture of what things look like here in KC soon.