Professional Career and Personal Life

Professional Career

Franklin has explored a range of professions. In 1974 he started Garland Greenhouses in Efland NC, which specialized in growing terrific tomatoes and a wide range of flowering plants. Franklin discovered a passion for agriculture, which he has explored throughout his life. In 1979, Franklin traveled to France with his father to explore the potentially lucrative French black winter truffle, Tuber melanosporum. Franklin returned home and started an experimental truffle orchard in Hillsborough, NC. Knowing that it usually took at least ten years after planting to produce truffles, Franklin turned his interim interest to a second love of electronics. In 1992 Franklin founded the fully vertically integrated Garland Gourmet Mushrooms and Truffles, Inc. (GGM), which specialized in producing Japanese shiitake mushrooms, as well as several other edible species from test tube to mushroom. This combined his love for agriculture with hi-technology. The same year, after years of trial and error, Franklin, with the accompaniment of students from Duke University's mycology department, discovered the first truffle in his orchard. GGM refocused all of its efforts toward truffle cultivation. Franklin continued to gain insight for cultivation and production of truffles over the next several years until he decided to spread his knowledge by teaching others to grow this profitable crop. Based on his findings, Franklin has managed to decrease the wait time on producing truffles from over ten years to as little as three years from out planting. He has received a grant from the SBIR to innovative research in truffle growing and a grant from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund to help farmers replace tobacco farming with truffle cultivation. To this date GGM has sold over 300,000 trees and currently there are numerous producing orchards from their trees. GGM now does business as Garland Truffles, Inc.

Franklin is the former President of NATGA (North American Truffle Growers Association), and currently serves as the head truffle growing consultant for the major truffle farms in America. Franklin is also currently serving as an advisor for the Central Carolina Community College (located in Pittsboro, NC) Culinary Advisory Committee.


Personal Life

Franklin is married to Betty Garland, his business partner and love of his life. They live and operate out of Hillsborough, NC. Franklin has two sons, Gavan and Jared Garland. Franklin's hobbies include travel, vegetable and flower gardening , gourmet cooking, and astronomy. A teacher at heart, Franklin continues to distribute the gift of truffles to North America.