The joys of growing chillies AND May Sweet Heat Chilli Challenge!

Homegrown chilliesLast year was a bit of a mixed bag in terms of grow-your-own success for me: we had chillies in abundance but due to a failure in labelling the seedlings we ended up with 2 varieties growing prolifically, whilst all the rarer and more temperamental (hubby wanted me to say ‘horticulturally challenging’!!) lineages were unwittingly abandoned as being too small to be worth planting out. I shouldn’t complain though, our freezer is still chock-full of the remains from the 2011 crop, and thanks to the mild autumn even in January we were still getting harvests like this:

Homegrown chilliesThis year I’m growing 7 varieties: Poblano, orange Habanero, Hungarian hot wax, paper lantern, cherry bomb and the seemingly impossible hot chocolate Habanero.* They’re currently incubating next to a sun-soaked window by day and in a hot airing cupboard at night – a method I hit on when I realised that really, I should have started them off in erm….March, and I knew they were going to need a serious kick-start. Mind you, last year I was a chilli newbie and didn’t start my seedlings off until June and I still got a great crop, so it’s honestly not too late to start yours if you haven’t already, just pick low-maintenence types like cherry bomb and aji limone!

Sweet Heat Chilli ChallengeThis month I am excited to play host to Lyndsey’s Sweet Heat Chilli Challenge which, in case you are not aware, is a monthly bloggers challenge that anyone can participate in where the star of the show is of course, the chilli. As 5th May is Cinco de Mayo, this month’s theme is Mexican so start rustling up your tamales, ceviches, tacos, salsas and xocatl!

The Rules:
  • You must mention Sweet Heat in your post with a link back to this post and to the parent site Vanilla Clouds & Lemondrops. Please feel free to include the Sweet Heat logo, however it’s not mandatory.
  • Send your post url and a photo (or preferably a link to the image) of your creation to me by 25th May, and please CC in Lyndsey at vanillacloudsandlemondrops @hotmail.co.uk
  • You can create your own recipe or make your favourite recipe but please credit the original source if using someone else’s.
  • The round up will be done at the end of every month. The new challenge will be announced on the 1st of every month.
  • Most crucially: you must include chillies/chili/chile peppers of some type in your dish!

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*I’m not affiliated with the South Devon Chilli Farm by the way, they’re just where I get all my chilli seeds from and I can honestly say they rock!

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7 thoughts on “The joys of growing chillies AND May Sweet Heat Chilli Challenge!

  1. I am more than a little jealous of your chilli collection!! I can’t believe you got those in January! I must try harder this year although I still have hundreds of dried chillies from last years crop. Do they freeze well? Thanks again for hosting this month : )

    1. I couldn’t believe it either – chilli plants are hardier than they appear. Those we harvested after the first frost were a LOT hotter as well. They freeze fantastically – that batch pictured was about to go in the freezer. Open freeze on trays then transfer to bags. You have to cut/chop/prep them from frozen, as they collapse on defrost but the flavour stays true even after several months freezing.

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