The chillies destined for the chilli con carne, chilli bread and chilli chocolate cookies to be devoured during the week of celebrations were grown in hydro systems, which the company design and manufacture.
Hydro systems are automatic growing kits for growing plants without soil, this method of growing gives plants exactly what they need meaning that chillies and other plants grow extremely quickly. Staff have already harvested 1,000 chillies this year and the plants will continue to produce fruit into February.
The chilli feast could ensure that the Greenhouse Sensation team are amongst the happiest and healthiest in the country as chillies are a ‘super food’. They are one of the best sources of vitamin C and are packed with antioxidants, vitamin A, potassium and folic acid. They are also renowned for triggering the release of ‘feel-good’ endorphins, which lift the spirit, and they have been used to treat arthritis, asthma, constipation, poor appetite, indigestion, lethargy, tonsillitis and toothache.
Visitors are welcome at the Greenhouse Sensation demonstration greenhouse all year round and everyone is invited to pick their own chillies. Marketing Manager Emma Lowther-Wright said: “Although we invite visitors to take chillies away with them we still produce so many that we have had to find inventive ways to use up these zingy little fruits. We all have our personal favourites including adding chillies to olive oils and ice cream, making chilli jam, drying chillies and making curry sauces to be stored in the freezer.”
The company has a loyal following amongst chilli-lovers. Seed merchant Simpson’s Seeds raise their chillies for seed using the company’s hydro systems and each year many of the 10,000 visitors to the annual Chilli Fiesta in Chichester descend on the Greenhouse Sensation stall to pluck chillies from the plants the company takes to the show.
A trip to the Greenhouse Sensation demonstration greenhouse is fun and informative as well as good for your health. Greenhouse Technicians are always on hand to explain why the plants grow so quickly in hydro systems, one of the chilli plants on display grew 7feet in 6 weeks. Visitors can also enjoy tea or coffee while they browse in the information centre next door to the greenhouse.
Visit the Greenhouse Sensation website to view recipes contributed by staff and customers and to see photos of chillies grown by Greenhouse Sensation and their customers.