Monday, January 29, 2018


Okay, so clearly, we didn't do a great job blogging in the last year.  So, to sum up -

We sold lots of plants at the Farmers Markets.

We sold lots of peppers at the Farmers Markets.

We froze lots of peppers.

We did not, in 2017, make a single bottle of hot sauce.

We were thankful for changes in certain regulations making the production and sales of hot sauce easier to pursue in the local market.

And now, 2018, I present to you....


Our PH is tested, our kitchen is registered, and we have been saucin' boieeeee!!!!!

Want to get your hands on some?  Come visit us at farmer's markets.  Dates will be posted soon at

I'll tell you what, though... As of right now, these sauces are looking pretty

MMmmmm, Spicy!

Below you see pictured - Our 2018 sauces!!!!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Can you believe the time has almost come again?

That's right, we are nearly at pepper season.  Plants will be going in the ground in almost a month, but this year, we are well ahead of schedule.

Every year, we seem to grow a little bit more.  When we started, we grew a couple of Fatalii plants, a couple Douglahs, and then some boring old Habanero's and Serranos.  Most everything else we tried died off or never sprouted.

However, we learned, we improved, we stopped buying seeds from certain places....

What started as four or five plants turned into twenty, then seventy, then over 100!

And now, we have our biggest crop yet, with over 600 different plants already.  Strange feelings emerge inside, knowing full well we will not be keeping most of these, but instead, attempting to sell them.  Sure some will go to friends and family, but many, we hope, will be leaving us at farmers markets and other such garden bazaars.

When we started we had no idea this would become such a passion, let alone a possible business, but here we are, in 2017, poised for our best year yet.

This year, we started earlier.  We used better materials.  We built a second indoor plant rack.  We tackled all our previous years issues of pests, disease, rot, anything, before they even happened.  This year, we are ready.

I challenge anyone in the Bloomington/Normal area to compare our superhots to anything you'll find at the A and B's or the Niephagens of the world.  You'll see that our plants are healthy, luscious, beautiful...

Because we love them, and we take super hots seriously.  I mean, these are the plants that will be used in this year's BobbyGitr sauces, so they HAVE to be good.

Don't believe me?  Here' s a couple of pictures to show just how great everything is looking.

We will definitely be better at blogging this year, as there is so much on the docket.  For now, that's all, a quick post from Bobby G himself.

As always, thanks for all the support, and remember to keep life....

Mmmmm, Spicy!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Lordy, LORD--2017 ALREADY?!

My, oh my, how time does fly!

I can't believe it has been nearly 6 months since the last post! Once the peppers start coming on heavy, though, it's a full time job to plan, pick, and process everything.

So many PEPPERS!
August-October we suffered an 'embarrassment of riches,' one might say--up to our elbows in fruits, which forced a little expansion in pepper products. While nailing down our hot sauce recipe and process for 'legalization,' we also successfully experimented with dehydration and powder-making. (A shout goes out to my friend Erin for loaning us her awesome food dehydrator.  I promise I will get it back to you soon!) We also made our vendor debut at the Downs Village Market in September.
Our first dollar!

As a result of all the extra work, our 'winter break' (which amounts to about a month from Nov-Dec), was spent making solid plans to kick 2017 up a notch on both ends of the business.

PLANTS: We decided to start seeds a full month earlier than we did last year, so around 600 went into soil between January 2-4th.  More will be in the ground soon, but this is all we had room for in the beginning!  Fewer plants will go into the BBG Garden this year overall (which means more for sale in May-June), but we will be varying the pepper types even more.

First "true" leaves are in!

Reach, babies, reeeeeach!
We said goodbye to a few strains--the Naga Viper, Jamaican Gold, Cumari--and decided to add an heirloom strain of Yellow Fatalii, a BBG 7 Pot, and some seeds we received from group trading (Mustard Habanero, Locato, Bulgarian Carrot, and Cherry Bomb, to name a few) to include in the Super Hots.  We also planted seeds from one of our more interesting cross strains from last year (White Giant Habanero x Trinidad Scorpion) and are eager to see how they come out.  We toyed with the idea of experimenting with some hydroponics this year, too, but the idea has been tabled for now.

SAUCE: We are still in the process of getting our hot sauce 'legalized' for sale at local farmer's markets.  The fees and hurdles in Illinois are high, but so are our hopes that 2017 will be THE year we finally go legit.  We have a recipe, we have our HACCP plan almost ready for submission... and hopefully will have the fee for certification raised by the time we need it.

(Not-So-Interesting Side note: Hot sauce is a funny little thing... it's not a "food" per government regulations, it's considered a condiment, and even as a condiment, it doesn't qualify for home production under the Cottage Foods Act, but rather falls under the area of a canned good.  That, in turn, puts in under and entirely different set of guidelines from 'regular' processed goods.  On top of that, our state government has been in a budget battle that has limited the number of experienced people available to help answer questions and guide us through the processes, sooo... we had to do a lot of helping ourselves in 2016.)  

BobbyGitr heading up disc sales at our DG club's fall event
DISCS:  This might be the MOST EXCITING  part yet!  We have become an approved vendor for a couple of disc golf supply companies, and will be investing a lot more time and effort on this end of the business in 2017.  We are working on our first order from Dynamic Discs (Who carry DD, Trilogy, WestSide, and Latitude 64), and have at least one tournament in the works for the year.  That means more local choices for plastic, and more chances to grow the sport!

As Danny Lindahl says, "Slow is smooth, and smooth is far..."  Hopefully our slow but smooth start into the disc business will help us grow and take us far.

Until next time... keep things... "Mmm... SPICY!"

-The HaPeppaMama

For the most up-to-date news about products and events, follow us on Facebook, or visit the BBG Store! 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

So… First off, apologies to our fan(s) for the extended period of ‘radio silence’.  Our goal was to make a blog update once a month, but… y’all know how it goes with the plans of mice and men?  So, too, goes it with peppers and blogs! 

To say it has been a BUSY summer here at BobbyGitr is an understatement.  SO much work owning a small business, but... labor of love and all that jazz. 

Not quite the whole garden - view from upstairs
PEPPERS:  There was a rough cold snap that hit us about two weeks after our first planting, and we lost several of those we were attempting to harden off for sale.  Fortunately, all the peppers that lived came back stronger and more beautiful than we could have hoped!

Though we sent a chunk of plants to good homes, there were too many left at the ‘end’ of planting season to simply trash… so we just said ‘whatevs’ and planted more.  A LOT more.  All told, we put over 120 pepper plants in the ground in our limited space, with another 30 or so in containers on the porch. 

One big downside to putting so many plants in the ground is that some nutrients have been depleted quicker than expected.  We noticed some leaf retardation in July due to calcium deficiency and began periodically collecting and grinding egg shells into a fine powder and letting the kids put them around the base of the plants.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough; dropped fruits with end rot appeared this week (lack of calcium).  Issues like this can easily be corrected with a Calcium-Magnesium spray, but it can’t save those brave soldiers that have already fallen—God speed, li'l buddies!  Hopefully we can do enough to prevent more fruit loss.

We’ve basically left them alone since—only periodic checking, weeding, and letting nature take its course.  (Things go best, we think, when Ma Nature is left to her work.)  Just because it's nearly harvest time doesn't mean we can sit on our laurels, though; we still have to keep an eye out for destructive forces.  Even at this stage, a well-established crop can be ruined with lack of attention.    

Another issue rearing its ugly head this time of year is that of pests.  In one night, the entire top of a reaper plant—leaves, peppers, and all—were eaten down to the STEMS.  At first we thought it might be some kind of animal, but the dogs usually scare off four-footed bandits, so we were left a bit stumped.  There was, however, a lot of unfamiliar critter scat on the ground around the mauled plants.  For quick answers, we took to "the Internets" and, after a quick pic and post to our pepper group, we were pretty sure that the culprit was a tomato hornworm. Looked it up and...


Did not know they could do so much damage so quickly!  Since we could not find the buggers by hand for fish food, we made the decision to hose ‘em down with Triazicide.  Prior to our little skirmish with the Corn Earworms last year, we were basically organic gardeners out of laziness, but we have taken to pesticides when the peppers are threatened and we can't get things under control ourselves.  We haven’t seen any further damage, and are hoping it stays that way through harvest so we don't have to put anything else on them, but we are thankful to have them in a pinch.

It’s that time of year where things are just getting beautiful. The power of nature is evident in it boldest and brightest these days... and this is where it's at, for me. 

Most of the plants are setting fruit (except the ones we planted late), and about a quarter are changing into their late summer colors.

We allow the plants to pollinate without interference from us, resulting in some visually stunning pods and crosses—bright orange “peach” bhut jolokias, red fataliis, chocolate UBSCs, to name a few. 

You'll catch more #pepperporn as pics of the aforementioned (and more) go up throughout the season.

SAUCE: The first harvest and hot sauce makin’ will be THIS WEEKEND, and probably every week through September/October, depending on the weather.  Unfortunately, we could not partner with a commercial kitchen in time to get sauce into the Farmer’s Market, but we look VERY forward to getting our HACCP plan down and ‘official’ go-ahead for local retail sales next year.  In the meantime, we will continue with BobbyGitr’s Bottle Sale—purchase a BobbyGitr Hot Sauce Bottle, and you’ll get a sample of the sauce of your choosing for free!

We love to talk peppers and disc golf, so chat us up in the comments section, on Facebook, or @bobbygitr on Twitter!

The HaPeppaMama

“You can always tell when it’s me writing… the blog posts are longer and not funny.”  

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The big guy

Well, you might think there is nothing special about habanero. Even if it is a super fancy chocolate habanero. However, this particular plant holds a special place in my heart. This is possibly the largest plant we have grown so far. Nearly 4 feet tall, this thing is just loaded down with fruit. It stands 6 inches to a foot taller than any of our other plants, and that's with plenty of summer left to go!

I probably can't wait more than another week to pick this guy, so I think Habanero will be my first hot sauce of the year.  The way this thing is bearing, I think I will end up making habanero sauces almost every single week for a while. #GoodProblemToHave

Hots Breeds

Remember last year when I thought I had bred two types of peppers to create a crossbreed between chocolate fatalii and Trinidad scorpion?

While it was entirely accidental, I saved as many seeds as I could from the "crossbreed" plant and saved them for this year. I am growing quite a few of them in hopes that I can repeat, and that this plant bears the same types of fruit as last year.

Well guess what? So far, so good. Please take a gander at these pictures. In my opinion, these are looking even more dangerous, scary, frightening, and any other synonyms you can think of, as well as twice is crossbreedy as last year.

While it will take several years to keep grooming this plant, I am really starting to think I am on to something. I can't wait for a couple more weeks to pass for me to start making some hot sauce out of these babies. I can pretty much guarantee it gonna be hot.  


Wow, we have been slacking! It has been a while since we have put a worthwhile post, so, not counting this one, I'm going to put two up back to back! Wouldn't that be great? Please enjoy the following pepper blogs 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Theeeey're HEEEEEeeeere...

Sneaking in a mini-post today to let you (the proud, the few) followers know two VERY important things:


2. BobbyGitr is partnering with Legacy Discs for our VERY FIRST DISC GOLF TOURNAMENT!  

That's right--we're bringing the Battle of the Aces to Bloomington-Normal in July! Dates and deets can be found on our Facebook page, and registration is open at The BobbyGitr Tournaments page.  This is the first in what we hope will be an annual tradition for BobbyGitr Peppers and Discs.  

Boy, oh boy... this is certainly shaping up to be an... "Mmmm... Spicy!" summer in Central Illinois!  :)

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Our goal for the season was to make at least one post per month... so we're sneaking this one in juuuuust under the wire!  HaHA!

Since these days are busy with life and peppers, let me make this short and HOT.  


PLANTS AVAILABLE!  If you didn't get seeds started a couple months ago and you're still craving Super Hot Goodness in your garden, BobbyGitr can help.  

The babies have come along way since February--and they are looking georgeous! Peach Bhut Jolokia, Devil's Tongue Red, Jamaican Hot Yellow, and Limo (not Aji Limon) just to name a few.  

Ready to find loving homes!

They grow so fast!  *sniffle*

Because this is our first year providing live plants, QUANTITIES WILL BE LIMITED--and they will go fast!  We're hardening them off right now; info on varieties/quantities will be up on our Facebook and BobbyGitr Storefront in the next week--hit that 'like' button and reserve your very own BobbyGitr Pepper today!

GARDEN: The weeds are plucked.  The compost is dumped.  The ground is tilled.  WE ARE READY TO PLANT!... but we must hardness the power of peppers and be patient.  

The last possibility of frost for our region (zone 5) looks to be about 2 weeks off--May 13th. While it can't come soon enough, IMO, Mr. Pepper is chomping at the bit to get our babies in the ground.  *sigh* I might give in and let him plant them on Mother's Day.  


Speaking of, toss out the roses and make this Mother's Day... Mmmm... SPICY! with the gift that keeps on giving--PEPPER PLANTS!  Hershey is SOOO passe... forget the kissed and give Mom a Chocolate... Habanero?

C'mon.  She'll love it.  

We promise.

NEW : GoFundMe Campaign
Yes, we started a GoFundMe page.  
Click on the link to find out.   

HOT SAUCE: The HaPeppaMama will be attending a Food Safety Manager course (FSSMC) in May!  This gets us one step closer to putting BobbyGitr sauces on the streets of Central Illinois (literally--farmer's Market, I'm looking at you).  Pics from the training will be posted here and on our Facebook page, so keep your eyes peeled.

I don't normally talk about this since we are billed as a pepper blog, but BobbyGitr's full name is "BobbyGitr Peppers and DISCS".  As in disc golf.  BobbyGitr has a flair and talent for the sport (which you can learn about here) as well as the business of all things Super Hot, so we've twisted the two into a unique business: a new/used disc golf and hot pepper provider!  

While we get our ducks in a row with new disc distributors, you can browse the inventory of used discs in our Store.  Used discs are perfect for the beginner that just needs something to play with, and great for experienced players looking for a new (or old) favorite.  

BobbyGitr will start a disc golf blog soon to cover that portion of the passion; we'll put out the link when it's up and running!

April showers supposedly bring May flowers... we'll see how it fares for Super Hots and Disc Golf.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

In Like a... Super Hot?

You know the old adage about March coming 'in like a lion, out like a lamb'? At BobbyGitr, things are "in like a Super Hot," and we hope they'll go out just the same.

First, an update on BOBBYGITR BIZ!

SEEDS: Available for sale
HOT SAUCE: 5 oz Bottles available, $8 each or 2/$15
PLANTS: BobbyGitr LIVE PLANTS will be available for local purchase around April/May! Variety and pricing TBD--be first to know by following us on Twitter @bobbygitr and Facebook

AND NOW...  A recap of recent Hot Pepper Happenin's:

Seed sprouts now have their first set of true leaves and are doing very well! We had nearly a 100% germination rate from our 2015 seeds (check the Facebook Page and eBay for availability) so we had to start culling early this year.  
Sunny Side Up

Peach Bhutiful Babies

For me, thinning is THE hardest part of keeping the crop healthy.  I love all my li'l seed babies so it can be hard to choose who goes and stays, but a HaPeppaMama gotta do what a HaPeppaMama gotta do...  as you can see, those that remain are growing strong and healthy.  

Brain Strain Beauties
After losing a couple of plants to issues related to cramped quarters, we began the long process of moving solo plants to larger 3" pots ($1/12 at the Dollar Tree).   They are VERY happy to have the extra room!  We also added a small fan for ventilation, and within 24 hours, the plants were greener and the leaves more developed than ever.  

With larger containers, we needed to revamp for stability, so we added 1/2" wooden dowels for support and stiff cardboard to each rack.  The cardboard is blocking light, so may switch it out for smaller mesh metal, screen, or plexi/glass soon.

We still have 2-300 plants in the seed trays and are running out of room in the ol' greenhouse, so keep your eyes peeled for pics of the expansion.  

This week, we switched from watering with a MiracleGro Orchid mix + distilled water to a diluted fish fertilizer mix on the plants (1 T/gallon of distilled H20).  I started with half the recommended dose for vegetables as a tester--seedlings and young plants seem to be very sensitive to changes, and since this is the first time using it on seedlings, I tested on a batch of larger plants before putting it on all of them and had no problems.

Remember the plants we brought in from last year? Thanks to the efforts of a certain Jerk Cat (aren't they all) we are now down to the one USBC from last year... cross your fingers that it makes is to the garden this spring!

That's all from the BobbyGitr garden for now!  Remember we LOVE to talk peppers, so send your questions, comments, and curiosities to, or find us on Twitter @bobbygitr and Facebook!

-The HaPeppaMama