Blow your mind
The heat is on at a garden centre as bosses prepare for what’s thought to be County Durham’s first Tomato and Chilli Festival.
Green Lane Nurseries, just off the A181 at Trimdon Station, was to have around 20 exhibitors at the event on Saturday, August 18.
It will feature varieties of chilli plants, tomatoes, sauces and chutneys as well as chilli beer, chilli sausages and chilli chocolates.
Other highlights were to include a chilli eating contest and even a bar selling chilli vodka Mojitos.
Frank Trainor runs the nurseries, garden centre and coffee shop with his wife Denise, son Andrew, daughter-in-law Kimberley and nephew Danny.
He said: “Tomatoes have always been a popular plant to grow – I started myself 12 years ago. Chillis are becoming increasingly popular and the variety of plants available is growing all the time.”
Frank was to have for sale 500 large chilli plants of 15 different varieties, plus seed. Tomato varieties range from the old fashioned Heirloom to the modern hybrids.
Also planned was an authentic American Smokehouse BBQ, spicy snacks, face painting and a bouncy castle. Live music was to be provided by two bands, The Vieux Carre Jazzmen and Fat Man and the Gastric Band. Café Verdi was to offer a choice of food for the “non chilli heads”.
The highlight of the event was expected to be the chilli eating contest at 3.00 pm.
Frank said: “We believe this is the first festival of its kind to be held in County Durham and if all goes well it will become an annual event.”
There is free entry to the festival, which is open to all, and free parking for 500 cars. Opening times are 10am-5pm.
Frank added that the centre was also holding a craft fair on Sunday, August 19, from 10am-3pm and between the two events there should be something of interest for everyone.
Green Lane is a member of Taste North East, the not-for-profit membership company which inspires everyone to discover, source and share North East food and drink.
Frank says he couldn’t have organised the festival without the help of Taste North East.
He added: “I just joined recently and I have had huge help both in recruiting stall holders and promoting the event to tomato and chilli fans – it wouldn’t have been this scale of event without their support.”
For more details, visit www.greenlanenurseries.com or www.chillifest.net.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Peterlee
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 9 C
Wind Speed: 26 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 6 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North