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So Jim, how did you start gardening anyway?

Thatís a tough question asked of me every once in a while, and itís difficult to answer, but two "events" had a major impact on my starting gardening.It all really started in the "good ole days" of when Chi Chiís (remember themÖ) had $1.50 margarita specials and complimentary salsa and chips.I developed a strong liking for salsa then.Yet the most important event was when I was in graduate school.One day as I went to the English Department at Illinois State University, I noticed someone had brought in all these peppers and other assorted goodies from his or her garden (to this day Iím not sure who it was) with a sign that said:"Please Take"I thought that was cool and I promised myself that someday I would be the person who brings in the bounty from the garden to share.

So one summer I planted a couple of pepper varieties and tomato varieties in my dadís backyard and enjoyed it.Eventually, in researching seed varieties, I stumbled across the Seed Savers Exchange organization and started reading their excellent essay collections related to the importance of maintaining heirloom varieties.These essays were nothing less than Divine Inspiration and soon I found out that I was no longer merely gardening, but on a mission from God to promote gardening and to promote the cause of growing heirloom varieties in particular.

At some point several years back I started selling seeds and a few products here and there.First I started making some salsa jars and then I started making more bottles of hot sauce.Now, as you can see from other pages on this website, Jimmyís Chiles has expanded to various other products.

When I first started I called my hobby/pipedream/entrepreneurial endeavor Jimmyís Tinley Chiles as my parents lived in Tinley Park, Illinois.In the late 1990ís I started partnering with some people in the country out in Iroquois County, Illinois.Gardening in Iroquois County is a true joy.For a few years while living in Rosemont, Illinois, we also gardened outside our apartment in containers (on a much smaller scale, obviously).In October 2001 my wife and I moved back home to Tinley Park.


How did you start gardening?And if you havenít yet, when do you intend to start taking greater control of the food you eat?


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Last Updated:19-May-15