General Information

October has thankfully been a great month in my Chilli grow after a very disappointing so called summer. Ive been so busy that I’ve completely forgotten about getting round to doing this blog, so I’m sorry it’s late for those of you who are kindly following me. The Autopot Watering System along with nutrients from Growth Technology has proved a very successful partnership and I can’t thank all involved in this first year of growing on this scale enough !!

The UK chilli community is certainly a great one indeed as I’ve also had great encouragement from them also of which I’m extremely grateful. Ive got some really exciting plans for next year which I’m bursting to announce but I am awaiting confirmation right now.

Here are some pictures of the chillies in all their glory.

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A lot of you will already know Neil Smith and his company The Hippy Seed Company from his YouTube channel (it has had well over 3 million views). He has a chilli nursery at Umina Beach on the Central Coast in NSW, Australia where he grows over 70 different chilli varieties and Neil was one of the first (if not the first) to record video reviews of different chilli varieties he was growing.

Well we came across this old video about Neil made by Berk Bolluk that we think you will enjoy, it show you how chillies has changed a mans life.

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Challock Chilli Festival is a small local chilli festival which takes place annually at Victoriana Nursery Gardens in the Kent village of Challock. The nursery grows over 100 different varieties of chilli from mild varieties to the Carolina Reaper. The festival had the usual food stalls you expect from a chilli festival, alongside a number of craft stalls. However, what drew me to the festival was the opportunity to look at all the different chillies they had growing in their poly tunnels and the opportunity to try them.

The number of different varieties they grow is incredible and for a £1 charitable donation we were able to try as many fresh chillies as we wanted. I literally had to pinch myself to check I wasn’t dreaming.

Challock Chilli Festival

Naturally they had many different varieties of Jalapeños, Habaneros, Cayenne etc. but also had many rare chillies that, not only had I never heard of, but had never had the opportunity to try. This include Holy Mole (a Mexican chilli), Purple Tiger and Tokyo Hot to name but a few. We tried quite a few different chilli’s including some I’d like to grow next year.

Challock Chilli Festival

In terms of food stalls, we got to sample sauces from Karimix UK who, not only had their own sauces and preserves to try, but also had some products from Byron Bay Chilli Company and Kankun.

We also brought some fresh Pakora’s made using Aji Lemon chillies for lunch which were simply delicious.

There were a number of craft stalls which all appeared to have at least one chilli related product including chilli fridge magnets, chilli glassware, chilli tea towels and chilli balloons, and for those with a competitive streak, a chilli tossing competition.

Challock Chilli Festival Polytunnel

I’d never heard of Victoriana Nursery Gardens before and I was really impressed by the sheer number of chilli plants they grew. They sell seed for many of the plants they grow and sell seedlings in the Spring. As a very local business, I will certainly be looking to support them by purchasing some seeds for next years grow.

Whilst only a small chilli festival the focus on the actual fresh chillies made this a unique experience and I look forward to attending next years festival to tick a few more chilli varieties off my list.

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September has been pretty much “as we were” in previous months in Channingswood Prison & just making sure the 2000 plants on the Autopot system are ok. The Great British weather really has made this year a challenging one for growing chillies what with the cold nights and lack of sunlight during July & August.

Devon Chilliman Sweet Apple My most prolific plants this year are the new kid on the block “Sugar Rush Peach” this is a rare Peach colored Capsicum bacattum variety from Peru that is very sweet.

It might be the only Peach colored Aji type seen. Similar to Aji Amarillo but much sweeter and that’s why it’s called Sugar Rush! & they have an abundance of fruit on them and have been a challenge to cane and support with one plant even toppling right over under all the weight ! (if anybody wants Sugar Rush by the kilo please contact me)

I’m now looking forward to using this years produce and bringing out some new lines to add to the Devonchilliman range of products.

After trialing various different substrates this year it’s clear which one I will use next year & that is Alpha Gold,this has out performed all the others by a country mile.

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