August 2015

This weekend we have two Chilli Festivals

The Oxfordshire Chilli Festival Saturday 15th August in the Market place, Abingdon on Thames

Last year this event was awarded the “Best New UK Chilli Festival 2014 by the Clifton Chilli Club in their People’s Choice Awards.

Barnet Chilli Festival Saturday 15th August in Barnet London.

The Barnet event is free to enter and takes place at The Spires, 111 High Street, Barnet. EN5 5XY. Gates open at 10am and close at 5pm.

Please follow the links in the headlines to find more information about these events, for more events during 2015 why not visit our events directory.

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You may have read in the national press about the Komodo Dragon that is being commercially grown in Bedfordshire by Salvatore Genovese who is one of the UK largest suppliers of fresh chillies to the supermarkets.

Salvatore Genovese and the Komodo Dragon (Image © Tesco) Salvatore Genovese and the Komodo Dragon (Image © Tesco)

The Komodo Dragon is reported to come in at 1.4M SHU (Scoville Heat Units) and is expected to retail at £1 for a 45g pack, and will be on the shelves in 500 Tesco branches until November.

Originally a specialist cucumber grower Salvatore Genovese took over his parents business and started growing chillies 15 years ago, the business has now grown to the point at which they harvest about 1 million pods per week (that is about 15 tonnes) just for the UK.

The Hottest chilli tested in the UK was the Katie grown by Matt Simpson of seed company Simpson Seeds that provisional tests results puts at 1,590,000 SHU

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This years Great Taste Awards have produced a large crop of winners for products based on or flavoured with chilli. Sadly only one as far as we could find was a 3 start winner, but some exceptional products have won 2 and 1 start awards (18 two Star Awards and over 100 one star awards). I believe Mr Vikki’s now has now over the years won awards for all his products

Maybe it is time we had a UK awards scheme just for the UK chilli producers, that worked in a similar way.

*** Star Winners

** Star Winners

* Star Winners

You can see a complete list of winder this year at Why not enter your products next year?


July has come & gone where did that month go ?, I know… was spent in Channingswood Prison where I now have 2000 plants across 7 completely set up polytunnels using the Autopot Watering System, phew with the help of the offenders we got there in the end, it’s taken a lot longer than I would have liked but I see this first year as a working learning curve & next year I will have a big head start on this as the majority of the work this year was to get the tunnels fit to use & to install the Autopot watering system.

Channingswood Prison Chillies

All 2000 plants are now caned and tied as they need support and yes I don’t half get some funny looks turning up at the prison gates with armfuls of canes day after day after day !!. The tunnel doors are slowly being replaced with mesh to allow a better airflow to help the plants in the really hot days.

Outside each tunnel we are constructing permanent concrete plinths for the 1000 Litre Flexi Tanks to sit on as they weigh 1 ton each.Now onto the pods…they are slowly but surely starting to form and the odd one ripen, I sent a ripe “King Naga” to Adam Marks of Mr Vikki’s the other day to see if he approved & he gave me a BIG thumbs up & says he wants his first shipment of 50 kilos ASAP.

Trinidad Dog

My friend Henry Font from Italy has supplied me with some wonderful seeds this year and one of the Varieties is called a “Trinidad Dog” its a cross between a Red Moruga & a 7 Pot Barrackpore and the first tasting of one was by my friend Rickard Haglund from Sweden and his thoughts were & I quote ..

“Quite powerful, rather similar to a Trinidad Moruga Scorpion (TMS),fruity but with a powerful (and pretty instant) kick”

Anyway back into prison I go bye for now.


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