A workers' cooperative growing food on London's edge in the Lea Valley

Chilli Celebration

Come for some ‘Fire Power’ as the dark hours overtake the daylight!

Join us on Sunday 29 September for our annual Hawkwood chilli fiesta and to get prep for your own winter salad bowl.

2pm: Celebrate the world of chillies – with tastings, stories, sauces and growing tips. The Hawkwood chilli collection is growing each year (from seeds that are collected and saved each season). We now have chilli-peppers from every continent on Earth except Antartica! Share in our enthusiasm for this crop and bring your own chilli plants and saved seeds… bring your stories and experiences into the workshop which will be led by Ru. Also meet MaMa V who make chilli sauce from our chillies for their Newham-based chilli sauces. They will be bringing tasters and making sauce on the spot with Organiclea chillies and cider vinegar. All together, a warming treat!!

All day, 12-4pm: Winter salad plants will be available for sale… to keep your food garden green, over the cold winter months. These plants have been potted on and are growing with vigour to get an Autumn head-start for the winter months. List of plants raised is below.

All day, 12-4pm: group horticultural activity throughout the day – which we love people to get involved in, even just for an hour or so – tools are out with task beginning at 12 midday!

Lunch is between 1 and 2pm. There will be soup prepared from seasonal fare (for a donation to cover cost).

Taster of the Hawkwood chilli collection: we have “Bolivian Rainbow”, a multicoloured specimen from Andalucia; “Serrano”, “Habanero” and “Jalapeno”, from the chilli cultural capital, Mexico; Scotch Bonnet “Safi” from the Caribbean, “Soverato” from farmers resisting land expropriation in the Susa Valley, Italy; Jim’s Long Cayenne from Australia; and the Yankee “Ring of Fire”. Then there’s the mild, large, orange-red torpedos of “Hungarian Hot Wax”, and “Birds Eye” and “Naga” represent the African and Asian land masses respectively.”

The plants for sale at the site on Sunday 29th September will range from:
– Mustard – ‘Green in Snow’: Colmans in leaf format – and very hardy in freezing winter weather. Can be harvested through the winter.
– Rocket ‘rucola’: Grows well and will last throughout the cold season.
– Wild rocket: Smaller, finer and stronger than salad rocket – slower to bolt (i.e go to seed) so popular with Organiclea’s growers!
– Mizuna: Fast growing and will crop early in the winter. Harvest leaf by leaf as required.
– Chicory ‘Rossa di Treviso’, ‘Red Rib’ and ‘Grumolo Rossa’: A gorgeous red colour which deepens as the
weather gets colder.
– Rainbow Chard: Crop young as a colourful addition to salad, older for cooking. Essential ‘leafy green’ for winter nutrition.
– Perpetual Spinach: Offers you that essential leafy green and used young in salads. Also provides welcome cooking crop in the early Spring when there’s not much else around.
– Endive ‘Nouance’: Escarole type endive, mild and crunchy.
– Kale ‘Red Russian’: Bringing style and deep green colour and nutrients to your garden’s landscape and your winter flu-beating health plan. When it’s young, provides a lovely, nutritious raw leaf for those winter salads.

Other plants available include: coriander, green manure mix, bulls blood beet, French sorrel, watercress, corn salad, broad beans, early peas, companion flowers being calendula and winter flowering pansy.

All the above are in limited supply and have been hand-raised at Hawkwood throughout August and September – ready to keep your winter garden growing and productive – come early to avoid disappointment!

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