The Midwest Chileheads Story
Driving to work one day in March 2010, a brilliant idea struck me. I was watching Alton Brown's chile (ok, Chili, if you want to be correct) episode the night before for the unteempth time, and it struck me when he said that making your own chile powder was far superior to the stuff you get in the store. In fact, I think he said homemade powder had superior flavor,and the stuff you get in the store had less flavor than the glue on the label of the chile pepper bottle. I took it to heart. I've heard several barbeque people (including Paul Kirk, the Baron of BBQ) say the same thing.
I relocated to the Midwest from New Mexico in 1987. I missed the flavor of New Mexico green chile, and couldn't find plants at my local home centers that measured up. Sure, they had "Anaheim Chiles" and "Super Chiles" but they never had the flavor or pungency of NM green chile. So I started "importing" seed from New Mexico and growing my own.
I grow chiles in the Kansas clay, with a shorter growing season and higher humidity than normal chile growing places like Hatch New Mexico. So, my chiles cannot be called "Hatch Chile," or "Espanola" chile or "Chimayo" chile. However, my home-grown varieties are still a damn sight better than the fruits you get off the plants you can get from the local home store. I figured there must be other NM transplants or passersby out there who know good chile when they taste it -- and are willing to take the time to search out suppliers and grow their own.
So the idea was a internet chile seed company. I've been paying folks (NMSU, Tough-Love Chile Company and ThePepperGal) for seed for years, and decided to start my own seed business.
Right now the focus is on seed - primarily New Mexico type chiles along with a few superhots and other varieties. We rolled out our first powder, Calvin's 2.0, in July 2010, and it has been a big seller. More powders featuring New Mexico chiles are in the works, as well as a few superhot ones.
The disclaimer: My seeds are open pollenated. I take steps to prevent cross-pollenation, but do not generally bag pods or plants. Midwest Chileheads does not offer "certified" seed and does not guarantee that your product will grow. There are way too many variables for that to happen. I do not have enough land to grow certified seed, and there are too many variables for me to guarantee any specific results. Your seeds will sprout at about an 80% rate if you treat them right. I do, however, offer a money-back guarantee. If for any reason you are not satisfied with any product you purchase here, return the unused portion and I will refund the purchase price. If you want certified seed, I recommend that you buy it from the New Mexico Chile Pepper Institute.