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Kent farmers' markets

PUBLISHED: 09:44 05 February 2016 | UPDATED: 09:44 05 February 2016

Chilli Affair

Chilli Affair

Archant

Farmers' markets are the perfect place for seasonal produce to make delicious dishes or just to have an explore

February is a time for warming dinners, and many of Kent’s Farmers’ Markets offer locally grown chillies along with sauces and jams.

Pandora Martin from Chilli Affair grows more than 50 varieties from seed in her greenhouse in Dover. She sells them as fresh or dried, as well as combining them with nuts and dark chocolate and has recently introduced a fruity Caribbean-style chilli sauce, and a hot one made from the Ghost variety. All her chillies are grown organically, without pesticides or insecticides.

In West Kent, the Chilli and Herb Farm grow their own chillies and turn them into a range of dips, sauces, jams, oils and vinegars. “Chillies are very good for you,” says Steve Wood, who started the farm in 2006. “They contain up to twice the vitamin C of a fresh orange; just one fresh chilli has more vitamin C than a person’s daily recommended amount, so they’re ideal at this time of year when we need extra protection against coughs and colds.”

So what is the difference between green and red chillies? “Green chillies mostly go red; it is a state of ripeness, and green are normally not as hot as red. I personally think that if you want the taste of a chilli, eat it green; red have a stronger flavour but the heat distracts your taste buds.”

Steve adds: “All our paper and plastic bags are made from recycled products, and customers who bring our empty bottles back get 10p off their next purchase, and then we reuse them. We run our vans and heat the polytunnel from biodiesel made from used cooking oil, so it’s carbon neutral.”

Sevenoaks Town Council is hosting a new monthly Farmers’ Market on the Vine Gardens from 24 April, 9.30am-12.30pm.

To find out more, contact Bonnie Tarling on 01732 459 953 or osl@sevenoakstown.gov.uk

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