Welcome to the Chilli Farm – that is both our address and a great description of what we have built here in the middle of Suffolk! In the summer of 2001 we made a decision to turn our hobby for growing chillies into a commercial venture. That summer we setup the Chilli Ranch in Norfolk and started to create a range of sauces.
In 2005 we travelled a lot. This included trips to Mexico, Texas and New Mexico – including a visit to the Chile Pepper Institute in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
By the end of 2005 we found an old nursery over the border into Suffolk and decided that was the place to expand our offering. We were delighted to find a 400 year old barn on the nursery that was ripe for conversion.
Channel 5 filmed our move and conversion of the thatched barn into a Mexican Restaurant as part of their “Build a New Life in the Country” series with George Clarke. We renovated the greenhouses and re-covered the polytunnels and set about growing another years huge crop of chillies. We also amassed the largest collection of chilli products in the UK and sold that from our farm shop too.
We are now a lot more casual here on the farm. The restaurant is no longer open in the evenings so our family life has benefited enormously! It is now run by Kate and her welcoming team, serving homely food in our fantastic barn with great countryside views. They also have a great deli with a wonderful range of products – including Chilli Sauces too!
The shop on the farm now has Aldous Plants – where you will be able to buy your Chilli Plants (during the growing season – between May and September).
As for the two of us… we have gone back to our roots (pardon the pun!) of experimenting with growing. We are now developing our Aquaponics system as part of our EURFE Aquaponics project.