Open Fields- The Final Fields

I was not planning to go to this year’s event, but once I heard that the great Jim Campbell was getting out of the hot sauce business and this would be the last Open Fields, I had to go. I am once again being accompanying by my VA bud Eric who felt the same as me. Why regret not going, when I could be there? The answer was simple, I had to make it. Honestly though, reading about it has left me intimidated by the crappy weather and sleeping conditions. I have never camped my whole life, and my 2 months as a boy scout amounted to some kind of merit patch and a soapbox derby race car. Not to mention the wild imagination that I have of the Indiana pepper mosquito that will feast on every inch of my exposed flesh. :angryturnip:

I am coming so I will overcome my fears and stay at Jim’s house, so I can plug in my sleep apnea machine. Nice excuse, eh? 😉 No, really, I need to use a sleep apnea machine, so Jim was nice enough to spare me a sleeping area in his house. The Temptations said it best, “Ain’t too proud to beg”. I also have promised Jim to make some of my Buddahmole, but I will need someone to take me to the store to get the necessary supplies. Hopefully that will work itself out. Whatever Jim wants, I aim to please.

For those that do not know what Open Fields is about, well you can search for past threads on some of the other blogs like THZO. Passow went last year. Check out what he had to say about it: CLICK HERE If you scroll down the page, you will see his 4 part piece about his experience. In a nutshell, I have been told it is the chilehead version of Woodstock, but instead of pot it is spicy food that gets passed around. People camp out around the pepper field area, and wait to Saturday morning when they are officially allowed to enter the fields to pick peppers that Jim so graciously grows for everyone.

After my little bit of Trinidad Scorpion pepper picking at the Bowers Pepper Festival 2 weeks ago, I found it fun to search for peppers. I look more forward to seeing all the chileheads than to pick anything anyway. I am not planning to take anything with me, so why bother picking. Although there are some contests, including “fresh from the fields” which is as it says. Pick fresh peppers and make something there to add to the contest. I know Bill and Sandi each have won prozes and Tracy Campbell of TTF once won for his Cape Fear Chipotle Hot Sauce that was entered without him even being there. All entries have a small submission fee that goes to Jim’s “Step it Up Charity”. There is also a silent auction to raise money as well. Donations are accepted from afar. To learn a little about the charity and/or donate please go here: You can also buy the poster that is the picture above and that will also be helpful in the donations.

I hope to see some of you there, if not I hope to share with you some of the happenings afterward. Later!

19 thoughts on “Open Fields- The Final Fields

  • September 25, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Wish I could have made this event…have fun…looking forward to the videos!

  • September 26, 2010 at 2:10 am

    This looks like a great event. I’ll be sorry to see him go. He makes a great chipolte BBQ sauce. When I started collecting reserves I had to get one of his unbearable bottles and that’s when I discovered how good his stuff was. If you want to try something really hot then try his Semper Fry. Man it’s hot! :splode:

  • September 26, 2010 at 2:13 am

    I spoke to Buddah, Hudd, Jim C, Cajohn, Bill and Sandi earlier tonight. Sounded like a lot of good and good friends. (and some adult beverages) I heard talk of the “grape moonshine 3 times on my 1 hour plus call on Buddah’s phone. It was out shortest conversation ever!

    I wish I were there!!!

    I’m starting to plan for NOLA I think….If I do one show I’d like to do that one just so I can get some good gulf coast seafood. Hope it’s edible by then.

  • September 26, 2010 at 2:18 am

    He’s still making the 3 finishing (BBQ) sauces in the plastic bottles.

    When I spoke to him tonight he said everyone wanted to come back next year if they can work it. Jim just doesn’t have the time to devote to it.

  • September 26, 2010 at 10:25 am

    What you take away from this event is kind of like a class reunion or yearly family get together. Everyone shares everything, and there is a lot to share. Great food all the way around. My favorite was this awesome flaky crust rhubarb pie. So much “special” liquor, some enhanced by peppers. A tamari tequila was the biggest burn and surprisingly the biggest non burn was the ghost pepper vodka. Full flavor of the jolokia, but just a hhint of heat.

    Aside from the food and drink, just talking to some of the Open Field alumni, you get a feeling that this gathering is far from over. It could be that the reality has not hit anyone yet, but as you will see and hear on the video I will post this is more about the friendships than about the pepper field. It is a very fun gathering and I can see why people would want to come year in and year out.

    The raffle/auction was terrific, and I was just happy to donate to the worthy cause. I didn’t about what I won just as long as I participated. I got a quesidilla maker, some made jellies and mustard in a chile basket, some homemade eggs that I gave to our chileheads group(Bill, Sandi, David, Betty, Joe L, Flaming Joe, Nate, CaJohn, Ethan, Mia and Eric). I also got an inflatable pepper which I gave to CaJohn so he had something to cuddle with when he sleeps. 🙂

    They announced the winners in all the categories, but I am still waiting to get the list. In the Fresh From the Fields category, Horrible Haggis won 3rd place with his pepper field made Divorce Sauce. In 2nd place Flaming Joe won with a walleye cerviche which was so fresh tasting you had to love it. I am surprised that I won 1st place with my Buddahmole, and I humbled by it. Thanks to the judges who accepted my White Castle coupon bribes. The judges did a great job with sampling so many entries, and Jeff S.(not sure the spelling) did a fantastic job organizing everything and I am sure he had some help too, so I want to give to all those involved in credit. Plus Jim and Janet, who did an exceptional jo

  • September 26, 2010 at 11:42 am

    :_greenpepper: I gotta get some more of that sauce!

  • September 26, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    I wish I could have been there, it was the first one I missed in 6 years, (Got a new granddaughter this week!) but if a cooking/camping thing can be arranged for next year I’ll load up the pepper palace with some fresh Gulf seafood and head on up! :_toastbeer:

  • September 26, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Butch, there was hope you would show, and definite disappointment that you did not. Everyone there missed you definitely, and understands the predicament you were in to come last minute. I will try to put up a video in the next few days that will capsulize the event. I have a lot to get to, but it is a little to get started tonight, so after work I will get to it.

    By the way Butch, your sauces were pretty tasty. If you ever want to put together a review with us, just let me know.

  • September 27, 2010 at 9:51 am

    wishi could of made it, things are starting to slow down and we should be moved into the new house by next weakend.

  • September 27, 2010 at 10:35 am

    To further recap the events from Sunday we must first rewind the clock to Saturday. I left the fields a little before mdnite to return to the Campbell castle. I was feeling ill most of the day, dealing with an oncoming cold and headache. Maybe a combo with some allergies and I was so stuffed I couldnt wear my sleep apnea mask to breath with. First time this has happened. The reason I was sleeping at the house was so I could use the machine. That plus I have no desire to make my camping debut at Open Fields. Anyway, since I was at the house and without a car I was at the mercy of others to get me back. I didn’t return until 10:30 am and by then many people had left. I am sorry I missed the Hudds and Claphams. What I really missed was the all night hanging out and the events biggest calamity…a ruckus of sorts between a very drunk and obnoxious fellow and the herioc Flaming Joe who defended the honor of a besmerched lady. Although the besmerchee took some liberties with the fallen villian. Sorry to be vague, but I don’t want to get anyone in trouble. Plus I missed it all and it would be better if someone else relived the event for us.

    Aside from the feeling ill, I had a good time and I think I made some new friends. I do think there is a real good chance that this event will return even if it isn’t at the present secret location. I will have some pics and video to share in the coming days. Thanks to Jim, Abby and everyone else who had a hand in making the magic happen at Open Fields this year. Even Ranger, the Open Fields unofficial mascot who gave me the biggest laugh of the weekend after leaving a dump or vomit mystery package in the back seat of Leslie’s rental car. I do have pics of that and of Ranger recycling it back into his doggie maw.

  • September 27, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    How do they announce the winners of the competitions?? :_retarded:

  • September 27, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    John Ijust got the list and I will post it when I get home in a few hours.

  • September 27, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Here are the Open Fields contest results:

    Hot sauce

    3. Hudd’s Fury- David Huddleston

    2. Jalisco Hot Blueberry- Buen Apetito Mexican Grill

    1. Jalisco Hot Plum- Buen Apetito Mexican Grill


    3. Cumari Salsa- Bernard Mueller

    2. Habanero Cranberry- Gunther’s Gourmet

    1. Mango Surprise- Bill Jernigan


    3. Ghost Pickles- Mickle’s Pickles

    2. Limey Kraut- Robert Coveney

    1. Thai Chicken Satay Sauce- Ted Wagner

    Fresh From The Fields

    3. Haggis Sauce- Haggis

    2. Walleye Ceviche – Flaming Joe

    1. Buddahmole – Al “Buddah” Goldenberg

  • September 27, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Go Buddah!! Buddahmole rocks – just had a woman stop by my office asking questions on how to bottle Guac – I told her to get the Buddahmole recipe off ILIS and if hers wasn’t better she should bottle something else. Congrats to all – looks like the weekend was a blast.

  • September 27, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    I’ll get with you about a review soon, I have been working on increasing my output with the addition of a few new “toy’s” and
    building the new commercial kitchen.

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