Avid chilli growing fans may have read about the Wahaca head office chilli growing competition that we launched last week. Well gang, there’s news, we’ve got ourselves some progress. Look at this little blighter:
This tiny shoot is just the beginning of our horticultural journey and as one adventure begins, so another ends. Much like a great circle of life. Some people have recently enquired whatever happened to last Summer’s My Destination chilli off. It was so hyped, it even had its own twitter hashtag, but unfortunately hashtags and twitter followers count for very little when it comes to the nitty gritty of keeping a chilli plant alive. Team captain Alex “Plimiento” Plim explains what went wrong (Please be warned, this post contains images and descriptions of mistreated chilli plants):
“The chilli war is very much alive, and Team Inferno is the team to beat…” These were the final words of the last My Destination blog post, which was published almost exactly eight months ago. Since then, there has been not a hint of an echo of a murmur of a whisper from the offices of My Destination; the chilli war that was very much alive very much died. So what happened? How did the competition end? Did Team Inferno blaze to victory, or were their dreams extinguished by the Vindaloo Vixens?
“We were riding a heat wave of success after our first chilli appeared”, Captain Plimento recalls, “it started with one and then came another, and before we knew it, Hector and The Don were rife with fruit, like little green dreadlocks weighing against their limbs.” And how big was that first chilli? “Oh, it was big alright, but I didn’t get chance to measure it. Team member Will plucked it from The Don’s grasp and gobbled it when I wasn’t looking.”
Annabell Pepper couldn’t even contemplate such cavalier behaviour, for she had to wait another month before seeing the first fruits of her undeniably lax labour. “I just couldn’t understand why Team Inferno beat us to that first chilli”, she looks perplexed. “I mean, I did everything I could; I put biscuits in the soil so they had enough food, I gave them a desk lamp so they had light, and I even watered them once too.”
Soon, the boys registered their first measurement: 57mm. They were understandably proud, and spent the ensuing week making puns about ammunition and guns that only they found funny. This alone would have been enough to eclipse the Vixens’ only entry into the competition, a flaccid fruit measuring 54mm, but their next chilli came out at a whopping 65mm. The contest was destroyed. Team Inferno didn’t even need their final three fruits to confirm their place as My Destination Chilli Growing Competition Champions.
But then the Vindaloo Vixens’ apathetic attitude, barely concealed since Day One, began to infect the entire office. Team Inferno had spectacularly clinched victory, but the thrill that had been the chase turned into a burden that had to be watered every once in a while, occasionally coming in handy as a window stopper. In essence, it became a battle to the death.
Ironically, this battle suited the Vindaloo Vixens much better, and they applied themselves to neglect with vigour. For months the chilli plants withered, until Plimento buckled: “I just couldn’t stand to see Hector and The Don like that, rotting away to nothing as if they were just shrubbery poking through a crack in the pavement.” He decided to pull the plug, which in gardening terms means tossing the plant pots into a wheelie bin.
And that was that, an inglorious end to a glorious competition. The safe money always had been on Team Inferno, of course, but at least the Vindaloo Vixens took part, and that’s the main thing. It’d be untrue to say they gave it their best shot, but without them the contest would’ve been no more than a group of guys growing a couple of plants, and the My Destination office would never have erupted into a fervour of green-fingered activity.
Despite this rather gruesome end to the competition, we’d like to thank Alex and Anna for their chilli growing updates. We hope that the Wahaca head office growers have a little more success. We’ll keep you posted with how we get on over the next months. If you’re growing your own chillies, don’t forget to share your photos with us on facebook.