Meet Scott! He’s growing chillies here in sunny Cornwall for you to enjoy, and we’re so proud to be able to support his business.
Chillies have some amazing health benefits. The compound that makes them so spicy is known as capsaicin, and research has shown that eating capsaicin can help to reduce blood pressure, ease aches, pains and inflammation, balance blood sugar, increase metabolic rate promoting healthy weight management, and fight cancer causing toxins. Chillies also have antibacterial properties, and when we eat them our brains release endorphins, feel good chemicals which help us to relax. With heat levels ranging from no heat at all to blisteringly hot, a variety can be found to suit all palettes.
The chillies we supply in our veg bags are grown for you by Scott and Rachel at Cornish Chillies Ltd, on a farm in Summercourt; just a handful of miles down the road from us.
Friends for over a decade, both worked in the public service sector and needed a change. As good friends do, they began to dream about possibilities. Rachel had always wanted to run a horticultural business, and Scott had an obsession with chillies.
In 2014, they made the very brave decision to follow their passion, and founded Cornish Chillies Ltd.
The young business is going from strength to strength. Starting out with just 80 plants, they now have over 2000, and grow 38 different species of Chilli pepper, including the current Guinness world record holder for the hottest rated chilli on the planet, the Carolina Reaper. The ‘Reaper’s’ average rating on the Scoville Scale is 1.6 million SHU, with a peak rating of 2.2!
Scott and Rachel don’t only grow chillies for their fire factor though, and one of Scott’s favourite species is the Apricot Chilli, a mild but very flavoursome habanero variety. He also likes the Aji Limon, which has a citrusy taste and a beautiful lemon yellow skin.
Growing under cover of poly tunnels, which allows consistent temperature control, the farm practices natural, organic and sustainable growing methods, watering the plants from a chemical free spring, and using compost from Cornwall Green Waste.
Seeds are sown in December, and the first chillies are ready in late May/early June.
The seeds used to sow the farms first plants were bought in from America and Australia. This year though, for the first time, Scott and Rachel have harvested seeds from their own plants to grow. Eventually, they hope all their plants will be grown from their own seed, meaning a truly Cornish Chilli through and through.
Currently, as well as supplying a few select retailers, such as ourselves, with pre packed fresh Chilli mixes (mild, medium, hot and extra hot), Cornish Chillies Ltd work with and supply a number of restaurants throughout Cornwall. Always happy to talk about Chillies, they love to advise chefs on the best variety to use to enhance a particular dish.
Scott’s vision for the future is to continue to expand the farm and be able to provide employment for local Cornish people.
He would also like to run cookery workshops, a masterclass in techniques for bringing out the best from your peppers, and also hopes to work within education, teaching children the amazing health benefits of eating chilli peppers, and cooking using fresh ingredients.
Scott and Rachel, thanks for spicing up our life!