Real redneck art is now available online

Yes, it’s true. Rare Redneck Art is now available online!

I’m excited to announce that Rampant TechPress has acquired rights to an an exclusive engagement with renowned redneck artist Travis Carter.

See my notes here on how to make your own authentic redneck art.

Yes, it’s Travis Carter himself, one of Rocky Ford’s premier redneck artists, available to create investment quality 21st century folk art.

The Travis Carter Fine Art Center
Franklinton, North Carolina, USA

Redneck Art – The 21st century American Folk Art Movement

Anything made by a poor country person has intrinsic art value, with prices reaching over a million dollars for the rarest Colonial blue-collar Americana. But this was all due to savvy marketing. Calling it “Old poor folks stuff” did not sell well, so the sellers re-named it rare American folk art, and the market exploded.

Tell me honestly, what do you think about the intrinsic artistic talent of this 1817 redneck?

See, redneck art is the next incarnation of the folk art movement, the 21st century equivalent of samplers and hard-carved ivory powder horns.

For investment redneck folk art, the trick is to identify the redneck art that will become tomorrow’s valuable antique art. But where can you find a worthy redneck artist? Fear not, I’ve done the work for you.

Travis is a redneck’s redneck, with all of the charm and good taste that you expect from a top-shelf redneck artist.

Travis Carter

It’s the redneck doorbell (“Doe bell“™), re-worked and modernized for the 21st century red neck estate:

Original Redneck Art “Doe Bell”

But it’s not like other investment art that you put in your safe deposit box for safe keeping; you can proudly display your investment in redneck art. Having a distinctly redneck doorbell send a message to the whole world about your taste and good breeding.

We are also exploring the market for redneck bobblehead, and redneck gift baskets, a taste of home, shipped anywhere across the globe. I like the design of the redneck bobblehead, and I hope that people don’t think of me as being a “poser”, and unworthy of the coveted title of Redneck:

The Don Burleson redneck bobblehead – coming soon

This is a real offer

American Butt art does not get any better than this. Upon your order, Travis will select the butt that meets your needs and customize your “doe bell” with the orifices of your choice.

I suspect that many of you are thinking “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. Well, THIS IS NOT A GAG. Just click the “Buy It Now” button, and you will get a custom deer doorbell, designed by Travis Carter himself!

* Please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery. (The deer don’t give up their butts without a fight.)

Grow your own truffles!

You don’t have to send cash to unfriendly foreign countries to enjoy black truffles anymore; this pungent and precious fungi is now being grown right here in good ole’ redneck North Carolina.

WARNING! Despite the grandiose claims by Garland Truffles that it’s reasonable to make $25,000 per acre growing truffles, there are many well-documented failures. Our bottom line was that while there is a promise of $25k/acre yield, and daily hand-weeding and care for the years preceding the harvest can easily eat-up the profits . . .

The State of North Carolina department of Agriculture did a $250,000 truffle grant in 2003 and the results for the foirst truffle harvest will be available in 2009.

See my updated truffle notes here, and DO NOT pay for a visit to Garland Truffles (they charged me over $1,000 for my group) until you have checked the NC State data from their truffle grants.

Garland Truffles of Hillsborough NC offers trees, tips and techniques, and Franklin Garland has been talking about the potential for North Carolina to become one of the finest truffle growing regions of the world. By golly, this sounds way better than growing soybeans:

“The optimal site for a truffle orchard is an open area with good southern exposure. It should be free of trees and roots for preferably a year or more prior to planting but with a minimum of six months. Up to a 15 degree slope is acceptable.

A buffer strip between the edge of the orchard and adjacent trees is necessary to avoid contamination from other tree roots.”

But it’s not a fast crop, and you must wait 5 years for the first harvest:

“The first few truffles in an one acre or larger orchard usually appear in the fifth year after planting.

On rare occasions orchards have come into full production after four years, but in general it is not until the eighth year that production levels are reached, about 50 to 75 pounds per year.

Food snobs pay big bucks for these black fungus, and Mr. Garland suggests that the revenue can be easily $25k per acre, far better than tobacco:

“Prices have climbed steadily for the last 10 years due to rising demand and limited production. The low has been $350 per pound, with current season commanding over $2000 per pound in some markets.

Certainly $500 per pound is completely realistic, and at a minimum of 50 lbs per acre, this amounts to $25,000 (gross) per year/per acre. We are selling truffles this season for $800 per pound.”

Garlands offers both Filbert and Oak trees infused with truffle’s fungus for as little as $25 each. We love oak trees, so we are going to try a few acres this spring, and hopefully in 5 years we can harvest.

They also recommend a truffle pig, but I’m sure that I can train a truffle pony to sniff out these pungent edibles.

Always keep your ass out of the refrigerator

The problem will be keeping the ponies away from the crop, so that we can use the land for grazing. These little guys have a voracious appetite:

Scout, the hungry pony

Twinkie, one of our guide horse dwarfs loves wild onions, and we will surely need fencing around the truffle trees:

Twinkie loves wild onions

We plan to plant this spring, so stay tuned. . . .

North Carolina is the only place outside of Europe to successfully cultivate truffles, and it has the potential to become a multi-billion dollar a year crop.

The North Carolina Agriculture department did a truffle grant of a quarter million dollars six years ago, and the truffle farms should be mature next spring.

I have notes here on the state of truffles in North Carolina, and while I’m under a strict NDA, this could be the start of something HUGE!

A visit to the secret truffle farm

No joke, if truffle cultivation is shown to be feasible, it could mean billions in revenue to North Carolina, and the farmers are being very secretive, especially since the truffle trees take at least five years to mature. It’s a long term investment with high risk, and high rewards!

Planting Carolina Truffles can be tricky. The optimal site for a truffle orchard is an open area with good southern exposure, free of trees and roots for preferably a year or more prior to planting but with a minimum of six months. Up to a 15 degree slope is acceptable. European truffle farming history has shown that the middle ground between the trees, beneath the drip lines of the canopy, is where the roots meet, the ground is highly acidic and truffles grow aplenty.

You need a truffle dog/pig to sniff out your treasures

On rare occasions orchards have come into full production after four years, but in general it is not until the eighth year that production levels are reached.

But the good news is that production levels are about 50 to 75 pounds per year/ per acre and a mature, well-maintained; 1-acre orchard can produce up to 100 pounds per year for at least 30 years.

Left to right: Jennifer Burleson, Talmidge Burgess, Jimmie Gray, Richard Garland, Ben Kittleson

When evaluating this potential investment, I chose my team for their talents:

Jennifer – A degree in Marketing and a taste for the finer things in life
Tallmidge – A working NC farmer who manages thousands of acres
Jimmie – A superb culinary master chef
Ben – A college student, chosen because college students know it all

So here we are, at the moment of truth. If the NC Agricultural grants works out, North Carolina may shift from being the tobacco capital of the world to the truffle capital! Best of all, we will be taking market share from American enemies in France!

Coyote trapping tips – Trapping the wild Coyote

Trapping the wild Coyote

Coyotes are proliferating everywhere, and we are now seeing then stalking their prey on the golf courses:

A wild Coyote in California

Jen3’s finance’ David is a knowledgeable fellow, the old man hunter from Huntsville. Check out this close-up view of a wild coyote:

A captured Coyote in Rocky Ford NC

Coyote Ugly

The slang term “Coyote Ugly” refers to this phenomenon whereby a gal is so butt-ugly that a guy would be will willing to chew-off his own leg just to get away from her:

Coyote Ugly

Even with the new “humane” leg traps, many trapped animals will choose to chew-off their legs to avoid capture.

According to David (an experienced trapper), trapped animals will not bold, fend, mindle or sputilate themselves until after sunrise, when they feel “exposed” and become fearful enough to bite off their own legs to avoid capture.

David with his live Coyote

David was even nice enough to bring-alone a dead squirrel for Noel. As you can see, she was quite enamored with the carcass.

Domesticating the wild Coyote

Dogs have the most flexible DNA of any mammal, and with a breeding generation of only 3 years, breeders can “domesticate” any wild species of dog with ease. This study is Russia did selective breeding on foxes, and found that after only a few generations, the foxes started to change their physical appearance, becoming “pet like”, and they even changed color!

Foxes become dog-like with selective breeding

According to this web site, Coyote pups are trainable like a dog, and cute too:

A baby Coyote

See my notes here on trapping wild Coyotes in North Carolina.

A Rocky Ford Redneck Christmas!

The Christmas season is a time for families to come together and share activities that people will remember fondly for the rest of their lives. As aspiring rednecks, we chose to have a good old fashioned redneck Christmas and shoot guns!

We cannot claim to have achieved a true state of redneck yet, but we keep trying. It’s a lofty goal, and we are working hard to be worthy. At least my picture comes-up when you Google for red neck:

It’s funny how people have their own personal preferences for guns. Janet and the kids are partial to handguns, Andy likes the 9mm Glock, while the girls like their ladies designer handguns:

Jen Burleson at the pistol range

I got a chance to try out the latest assault rifles, two civilian models of the AR-15, a popular military weapon:

Assault rifles are the ultimate home protection weapon

They were very nice, but I was surprised that the AR-15 is just a glorified .22 caliber rifle, the bullets only .223 cal. but with a whopping muzzle velocity:

The .223 compared to a .38 handgun bullet

The military model also has a feature where you rock-forward the safety, and a single trigger squeeze will blast-off a 3-round burp.

One of the problems today is getting redneck kids to develop a love of guns, but I was surprised to see some great new models in the children’s section of the gun shop. Man, I wish they made these when Jen was a little girl.

The Hello Kitty Assault Rifle for Children

Of course, we wrapped-up our wonderful day with a traditional redneck Christmas meal, like this redneck gourmet platter:

A traditional redneck Christmas Meal

Golfing tips for Las Vegas!

We are moving forward with our plans for a private pitch and putt, and Brad Clayton recommended that we visit Las Vegas to see some of their famous courses, especially their premier par-3 courses. Brad recommends Rick Robbins, an experienced golf course designer.

I like the high-energy of Las Vegas, great shows, the thrill of gambling, and best of all, it’s one of the few places where you can smoke a Churchillian stogie indoors without being harassed.

But there are some things that you cannot get in Vegas, and I was surprised that we had to drive to Arizona (twice) to buy our Powerball tickets.

We got in some great golf, including some of the most unique golf courses anywhere in the world:
Royal Links – An authentic reproduction of St. Andrews in the USA!

Royal fun at the royal links!

Death Valley Furnace Creek – The world’s lowest golf course

Play 218 feet below sea level with wild Coyotes

Angel Park Cloud Nine – The world’s best par 3

Angel Park is heavenly!

While there are many superb hotels in the strip, there are only a few dog friendly resorts that allow our dog daughter, Noel (Tip: try the Four Seasons for a dog friendly stay). On business trips we like to stay at the MGM Grand because they are very nice folks and we repay their generous donations of free rooms for our blind people and their ponies.

The MGM Grand is truly a city of entertainment, and they have a amazing variety of dine dining. We always like Craftsteak and Emeril’s but the MGM also offers a world-class trattoria, the Fiamma. They offer the very best and have fresh white truffles imported from Italy. For only $55 you can get these wonderful fungi shaved on your pasta.

Of course, there is the buzz about “Robuchon”, being touted as the best restaurant in America (and, or course, the whole world). In the traditional French style, Robuchon offers an amazing 10+ course tasting menu, and for the modest price of about $360 (expect to pay $1,200 for two, including wine and tip), you and your loved one can enjoy a 2-3 hour eating marathon. We had to check it out:

Joel Robuchon – A flash in Le Pan?

Robicuhon’s “Le Burger”
Only $24, but it includes Freedom Fries!

Our original plan was to stay for a week, relax and play golf, but our Las Vegas clients come first, so we had to extend our stay for two weeks. That gave us time to check-out the spectacular Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley:

Death Valley Tour Tips

Furnace Creek Inn


Spamalot is one of the hottest shows in Las Vegas, offered in the gleaming new Wynn resort hotel (owned by Starwood Resorts and running Oracle RAC under the watchful eye of RAC guru Arup Nanda).

We were attracted to Spamalot because the director Mike Nichols (real name Michael Peschkowsky) shares our love of Polish Arabian Performance Power.

A filly by *Kwestura, Mike Nichols Polish Stallion

If you go: Buy the extra-cost IP tickets which include a cheesy plastic “holy Grail” cup, seats in the first 4 rows and a backstage tour with a cast member.