After studying grasslands and moving to the USA for a while – Joy came back to the UK to start growing her very own produce. The famous Dorset Naga chilli was grown on her land, in a cold little town in Dorset much to everyone surprise. Now she not only sells the Dorset Naga seeds but produces lots of chilli and vegetable varieties – including her 8-feet tall chilli plant Nigel.
00:00:00 Marks introduction to the episode
00:02:14 Meeting Joy and setting the scene – looking out to the sea
00:04:35 Joy’s first memories of growing seeds
00:05:01 Going to the USA, meeting her husband at a grassland conference & living out in the USA for a while
00:06:46 Joy’s research & PHD in grasslands
00:07:51 Did what Joy learned impact the farming industry?
- 00:08:08 “It’s a lot of grind, with a little bit of knowledge that everybody builds on. So, at one point, I was the only person in the world who knew what I knew – I wrote a paper, I wrote a thesis – and hopefully other people have built on that knowledge further.”
0:08:50 Talking chillies in the British diet
- 00:08:55 “There’s a general belief that the British have only just discovered chillies, but that’s not true at all.”
00:09:45 What triggered Joy to come back to the UK after living in the US?
00:11:00 Starting ‘Peppers by post’ in 1994
00:13:43 The story of the Dorset Naga – how did it come about, were Joy & Michael out to create one of the hottest chillies?
- 00:17:50 “He had never tested a chilli that hot in his whole life, his whole career. It turned out that it was almost double the Guinness world record holder at the time.”
00:20:29 How you develop seeds, protect them – and perfecting the environment for the chilli’s
- 00:21:25 Crossing seeds with pollen
00:23:51 The chilli industry – imported chilli’s and local chilli’s. “Supermarkets label things wrong.”
00:25:34 Where do you go to get hold of good chillies?
- 00:25:44 “It’s not easy to get good chilli’s. That’s why if you’re really into your chillies, you should grow them.”
00:26:20 Why don’t we grow good chillies on a commercial level?
00:27:20 How long did “Peppers by Post” go for & why did it stop?
00:28:10 Starting “Sea Spring Seeds” – not just growing chillies and seeds but veggies too.
00:30:28 How do you send a plant by post?
00:31:24 The consumers changing attitude & broadening knowledge – has what we are using changed?
- 00:32:11 “With Dorset Naga – I thought it was going to be a one hit wonder.”
- 00:32:45 “People are eating chillies a lot more now.”
00:32:47 Particular chefs, or restaurants that use the Dorset Naga (Jamie Oliver, and it was mentioned on Big Brother!)
00:34:00 Did it irritate the competition that Dorset Naga was produced in a little cold Dorset town?
- 00:34:12 “There’s a big competition between Australia, The States and Britain now to see who can get the hottest chilli”
00:35:08 Are Joy & Michael still developing new products and variations?
00:36:11 Joy & Michaels favourite chillies and chilli recipes
00:38:17 How are we going to continue to feed the planet? Joy’s thoughts on the industrialisation of food
00:39:41 The secrets of growing your own plants at home!
00:42:27 Nigel – Joy and Michaels GIANT famous chilli plant with 2,500 chillies
00:44:43 What’s the best species to go for if you want to start growing your own chillies?
00:48:00 Where to go to find out more about Joy and Sea Spring Seeds
00:50:34 Marks signoff, final thoughts
If you’re looking to learn a bit more about Joy, her husband Michael and their amazingly spicy story – listen to the full Podcast here, or check out their website and social channels:
Facebook: Sea Spring Seeds