The Gloucestershire Chilli Farm Story
Growing is in our blood, the soil is fertile and the chillies love being grown under glass in Gloucestershire...
My name is Adam. I'm a third generation grower at my family's small holding near Newent in Gloucestershire. The holding has been in my family since 1955, it was originally used by my grandparents to grow salad crops like carrots, celery and lettuce for supermarkets up and down the country.
I spent pretty much all my time at the farm as a kid, enjoying old-fashioned freedoms and the great outdoors. My grandad taught me eco friendly agriculture and organic farming, information I eagerly digested as a young boy with a passion for nature. My grandma (98 and counting!) still lives on the small holding farm to this very day along with my Uncle Geoff.
How it stemmed..
The story starts at a small country pub on the A40 in 2015; one mouthful of chilli jam changed everything for myself and my family. The unique taste of this incredible flavour had me thinking;
‘Can I make my own?’
With a huge amount of knowledge gained from completing a degree on the environment along with my family horticultural farm and my family’s growing roots and experience, I was able to mix this with my passion for food and chillies to create Gloucestershire Chilli Farm.
My Uncle Geoff has kindly given me the support and advice on the best strategies of growing (he continues to share his wisdom to this day!) and looks after the crops when everyone’s busy with festivals or creating products.
I started by growing my own crop of 400 chilli plants with the help and support of Geoff, my brothers and my daughters. Chloe and Lucy still help on the farm today, along with creating orders and keeping on top of our social medias. Instead of looking at it like a job, it’s a chance to spend time with the family and share a passion for farming and food together!
As a fan of spicy food I'm no stranger to eating chillies, but I had a lot to learn about growing. It took a year of trial and error before settling with the best system. We grow the chillies in the most sustainable and eco-friendly way possible - as that is something I'm very passionate about!
The chillies are grown in a ¼ acre glasshouse with another ¼ acre glasshouse next to it which is available for expansion!
The watering system - rain water is harvested from all the guttering of the glasshouses which fills up large plastic containers. These are reused from orange transportation into the UK. The water containers are all connected to a drip feed system that uses gravity to supply the plants with water. In time of prolonged rain water shortages we can connect the drip feed to the water mains.
Chilli plant feeds - we condition the soil with clover, blood fish and bone and let it lay over winter. We do not need to feed the chillies during the growing season!
Pest and weed control: We do not use any pesticides or herbicides at any stage of preparing or growing the chilli plants. We suppress weeds with a covering where the chilli plants are growing and we manually weed once a week.
We find ladybirds to help us control pests and we also outgrow any pest invasions. We find that keeping nature in balance helps us achieve a successful crop without pesticides.
Pollination: We have encouraged the growth of many different types of flowering plants near the glasshouses that provide food for all types of pollinators. We also provide many homes for solitary bees and we have removed enough panes of glass to allow for easy access for flying insects to our crop.
This has ensured our chilli crop gets pollinated and it also encourages biodiversity, something we are passionate about!!
Chillies are an amazing fruit, they are thought to be rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly in vitamins A, C, E and complex B’s plus potassium, iron, and magnesium. Chillies are also incredibly versatile; they can be frozen, dried, used fresh – cooked, eaten raw – preserved in jams, jellies, marmalades, chutneys and pickles – infused into oils and vinegars – and even melted into chocolate! This started...
Adams Original was born. The concept behind my own chilli based product range was, and is, flavour first - heat second; bringing exquisite flavours into your kitchen everyday. I only use natural ingredients to craft my products and to this day they are still made by hand in Gloucestershire. I came up with original flavours that were unique, fun and explosive with taste. There is an amount of care and love in each single jar/bottle that you wouldn't get in any other chilli product company. We are one of a kind 100%!
I have a lot of respect and love for very spicy chillies as well as your typical jalapeno or Joe's long... so I created my Devil's Pleasure range! Ghost & scorpion chillies are the hottest chillies we grow at Gloucestershire Chilli Farm - these make a pickled chilli and our hot sauce. They will blow your head off but in the tastiest way!
Recipes are created every week and put up on our social media pages and on here, our website - they're great ways to try out our products!
I love what I do and I always will... it is in my roots! Please have a look at my products & give us a follow on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!