August 2015

Here is my August update of my Channingswood Prison grow of 2000 chilli plants using the Autopot Watering System.The plants are using a staggering amount of water/nutrients now. I’m using a specially formulated two part feed from Growth Technology that has been made to suit the water supply in the prison. We have to make sure that all seven of the 1000L Flexitanks are constantly topped up, to give you an idea of the usage come Friday lunchtime all of them are full to the brim & when I return to the prison on Monday morning all 7 are near enough empty,so that’s 7000L (7 ton) gone over the weekend!

Plinths at Channingswood Prison

It is rewarding working with the offenders & seeing them enjoying and learning from this unique “Chilli” project,although it has been frustrating & challenging working in this environment with regards to Health & Safety/Security issues. One thing that has amused me is that “Chillies” are the new currency on the wings!

mesh doors at Plinths at Channingswood Prison

Other things that have been done this month are the Polytunnel doors have had the polythene sheeting removed and replaced with a fine mesh to allow more airflow.Also a couple of the offenders have started making permanent concrete plinths to support the Flexitanks instead of pallets as security deemed these to be a risk.

All 2000 plants are now fully supported by canes/string and this has mostly been done by one offender that has past experience of working on a tomato farm in Greece for over 7 years, his skills have been a huge help on our team. The plants are looking awesome now but where has summer gone? We really do need an Indian summer to help ripen the pods now.

These will be available through my website

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Do you make and sell a chilli product that could win an award?

The Chilli Jam Man - Winner at the National Chilli Awards

Why not enter it in the National Chilli Awards the categories are as follows:-

  • Best Chilli Jam
  • Best Chilli Pickle or Mustard
  • Best Chilli Drink (Non Alcoholic & Alcoholic)
  • Best Chilli Chocolate or Confectionery
  • Best Chilli BBQ Sauce / Wing Sauce / Marinade
  • Best Chilli Snack
  • Best Chilli Oil
  • Best Chilli Rub or Spice Blend
  • Best Chilli Dip / Mayonnaise / Salsa
  • Best Mild Hot Sauce (Non Extract)
  • Best Medium Hot Sauce (Non Extract)
  • Best Super Hot Sauce (Non Extract)
  • Best Extreme Hot Sauce (With Extract)
  • Best New Chilli Product of 2015
  • Best UK Chilli Shop (Retail & Online)
  • Best UK Chilli Grower / UK Chilli Farm

The main rules are simple:-

  1. You can only enter 1 product per category. To enter each category there is a charge of £15.00 and the supply of 2 sauces to be used as tasters. Please make sure that your product is entered in the right category. The organisers can move the entry to a different category at their own discretion if required. Entries with samples must be sent by 11th September 2015 to: Fiery Foods UK Ltd. 17, Lodge Close, Portslade, Brighton. BN41 2PZ.
  2. Each product will be tasted blind by a panel of judges who will taste separately and make their own decision before coming to a decision as a group. The judges’ decision is, of course, final.
  3. BEST UK CHILLI SHOP and GROWER categories may receive entries by the named company or by nomination from another company. The entry must be accompanied by supporting written evidence (website, photos, affidavits, etc)
  4. The announcement of the winners in each category will take place at the award ‘ceremony’ at 2pm on Saturday 20th Sept.
  5. Winners will receive a trophy and certificate plus prominent display and promotion on the Fiery Foods web site, any media exposure that may result, plus artwork to put onto product labels.

For more detail and to download an entry form please visit

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Galloway Chillies Needs a Van and is seeking funding via an Indiegogo campaign. They are trying to raise £7500 and for your pledge of funds there are some significantly hot chilli perks to be had.

Galloway Chillies

But who is Galloway Chillies and Why do they need a Van

Galloway Chillies is a small business based in South West Scotland (not far from Wigtown – Scotland’s National Book Town). They grow chilli plants, from the mild through to the super hot, and produce a range of chilli based preserve products for sale to trade and direct to customers.

They are passionate about seasonal and local produce. The ingredient sourcing policy has a strong emphasis on seasonal and locally grown produce. They are so passionate about local produce that we are growing over 100 varieties of chillies this year, they even have lemons growing in there poly tunnel in Scotland! Now who says that Scotland is too cold?

They now need a van to help them expand the business, a van will let them transport what they need to show and events. not just stock, but tables and even a popup canopy.

Crowdfunding and the perks

As of today (August 22nd) they have raised £1,460 from 40 different funders of the £7500 they need, but they still have 50day left to go to get to the target. If you contribute to their fund raising you don’t just doing for the love of chillies and that warm feeling you get helping a fellow human.. There are perks for helping.

Funding Perks include:-

  • £10 – Gets you a couple of jars of chilli preserves and a personal thank you card.
  • £25 – Bags you five jars of chilli preserves and a personal thank you card.
  • £50 – Ten jars of chilli preserves and a jar of Chilli Burns and that personal thank you card.
  • £100 – Lots more goodies
  • £250 – Even more chilli goodies

There is a lot more information on the funding page on Indiegogo page so why not support one of our UK artisan chilli growers/producers and pick up some excellent preserves for just being such a nice person.


Today, for a nice change, I have a sauce to review from Byron Bay Chilli Co, their Smokin’Mango Chilli Sauce. I have been fortunate to spend a year travelling round Australia including an extended stay in Byron Bay so I always welcome some good old Aussie influence in the hot sauce world.

Byron Bay Chilli Co Smokin’Mango Chilli SauceWhat began in the Byron Bay hinterland over twenty years ago is now a world famous range of chilli sauce, corn chips and salsas…brought to you by the Byron Bay Chilli Company.

“It all started with a chilli patch on a hill overlooking Byron Bay. With a little help from a friendly farmer and some good compost from the old Byron Piggery, there were soon more jalapeno chillies than we knew what to do with. So they set up a Mexican food stall at the Byron and Bangalow markets. Then to go with the burritos, tacos and nachos they started making their own chilli sauce, salsas and corn chips to go with them just the way they like them so they can pass them onto the good chilli loving public.”

Since then, Byron Bay Chilli Company has grown into a world famous brand, winning stacks of awards on three continents, including the Grand Prize Scovie Award from New Mexico, for best tasting chilli sauce.

Ingredients: tomato puree, mango, water, red jalapeno chilli, cider vinegar, brown sugar, onion, golden syrup, chipotle chilli powder, caynne chilli, garlic puree, habanero chilli, mustard powder, cinnamon, salt, cumin.

The label proudly displays five separate chilli and good taste awards spanning the UK, USA and Australia. The design is very cheesy in a good way, featuring Australian animals and what I assume is the Byron Bay lighthouse. For some reason though, the style of label compared to the British and American is a little uninspiring and looks like something you would find in the foreign food or ‘specialist’ aisle of the local supermarket. But then I remember this IS foreign food and it’s great that it looks different. It’s not always about the label.

This sauce’s main ingredient is mango, always a favourite of mine combined with a combined hit of four kinds of chillies, jalapeno, cayenne, habanero, and chipotle. Opening the bottle I expect a fruity aroma but am greeted with tomato and spices not of mango. The aroma is almost cheap if that makes sense, I try again but still cannot pick up the mango. The sauce is nice and thick as I would hope it to be for a BBQ sauce, there are even chunks of something I can’t quite make out to chew on if you like texture. My first taste I love, then the heat creeps in gently, catching me a little by surprise and a little hotter than expected. But the after-taste is not so welcoming and a little confusing to describe. Much like the aroma missing mango I can’t pick up the taste of mango either despite 25% of the sauce being mango. Perhaps the other long list of ingredients is masking this beautiful fruit. I pondered this over a few days trying the sauce with several dishes. The Byron Bay Chilli Co website describes this sauce as one that “will treat you to a new level of BBQ sophistication. For those who require zest in their tomato sauce” I would agree, this is a more sophisticated BBQ sauce but it is still a basic average sticky sauce with a bit of heat at the end of the day. Tasting on its own I just can’t decide if I like the combination of ingredients, adding to a burger or basic BBQ food however this sauce is a great accompaniment. Using this sauce to enhance a meal may leave you disappointed.

A hearty 250ml bottle is much larger than the average hot sauce perfect for lasting longer in your fridge. At £2.99/ 5 AUD per bottle that’s much cheaper than a 140ml or 150ml bottles we are used to in the UK too! It worth a taste to experience the sticky goodness but sometimes you get what you pay for.

Check them out here at

Value (8/10)

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