Sussex Chilli Farm
Our ground-breaking social enterprise was originally a business based in the village of Southease near Lewes. Commercial chilli grower, the late Ian Barugh sold us his chilli growing business when he was unable to continue the project himself and admired our grass-roots project.
Our first grow began in January 2015 at Worthing Leisure Centre – 750 chilli plants, from the relatively mild jalapeno to the world record holding Carolina Reaper – all tended by our mixed needs groups.
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Some of the Sustainable Sussex team displaying a small selection of our first season’s chillies outside the gate to our compound at Worthing Leisure Centre.
A social enterprise creating fun opportunities in horticulture, food production and sales – and all in the heart of our community.
Sussex Chilli farm began at Worthing Leisure Centre and represents the essence of local, social, sustainable grass-roots projects. Participants gain real-work experience in mixed needs groups and together, own the whole process, from making the compost and sowing the seeds, tending plants and even building the infrastructure for the project! Our groups make chilli jams and garlic and chilli oil, bottle it and then sell it direct to the public. This is the highlight of the volunteers’ year – selling at events like Lewes Chilli Fayre (facebook) and Green Dreams Community Food and Green Space Festival (Facebook).
The dynamics of these diverse groups benefits everyone by creating a sustainable and caring workplace where we are all able to help each other grow.