Habaneros: a dream come true
In other Grow Stories we’ve spoken to people who turned their plant hobby into a business or who collected plants as a passion. Daniele is another man with a passion for plants. He runs Habanero’s Farm, where he produces fine peppers for his spicy restaurant kitchen. For him, it’s a dream come true.
So you run a pepper farm? Tell us how and why you started doing this?
Well, I’m a chef in the restaurant business. Since birth, I have lived in a small village close to the Euganean hills in the province of Padua in Italy. The idea of Habanero’s Farm came to my mind a few years ago during my first trip in Mexico, when I got in touch with Mexican culture and the spicy world as well. In the next years, I came back to Mexico several times with the aim to pay particular attention to the culinary aspect. Thus, I discovered a real passion that led me to make the first sowing of chillies. I started with a small pot on the balcony, then I created a vegetable garden and finally I realized a real plantation.
Why do chillies fascinate you so much?
The beauty, the colors and the flavors of this world are unfortunately little known. My ambitious and challenging goal is making the spicy culture more popular in the Euganean region and in the north-east of Italy. So the Habanero’s Farm plantation is a dream come true for me!
But I think it’s important to keep things green. The respect for the environment where we live leads me not to use pesticides or any other harming elements in all my crops. Moreover, the packaging materials I use for the storage and sale of my chillies are made in eco-sustainable and recyclable material.
Thanks to my experience in the culinary field, I began to produce jams and spicy sauces right from the start. The use of spicy elements even in "sweet" dishes results in an authentic and genuine product that can make the spicy world accessible to everybody.
For how long have you been doing this?
My first experiments began 5 years ago in pots on a balcony. The plantation Habanero’s Farm was born in February 2019.
So ‘plantation’ sounds pretty big! How much do you grow?
Last year I cultivated 95 varieties of chilli peppers for a total of 6000 plants. This year I am going to approach the world of large-scale distribution with 120 varieties and 18000 plants!
Wow! What are you going to do with all those habaneros?
My chillies are sold either fresh or dried and powdered. In addition, we produce chilli creams, chillies in oil and fresh fruit jams. Furthermore, we also produced a spicy salami made with meat provided by a certified producer from our area. Now I don't want to get ahead of things too far but let's look at the next idea: a line of sweet and spicy chocolate.
Which strains/species/ are you growing right now?
I have plants from the species Annum, Chinense and Baccatum on the plantation right now.
Why did you choose Plagron products?
Habanero's Farm and Plagron share the same idea of quality and care to the final product. After various trials of substrates and fertilizers, I chose Plagron for the great effectiveness and quality of the product. I only want to use the best materials for Habanero’s Farm.
And for how long have you been using Plagron?
I have been using Plagron’s products for three years now. I started using your products thanks to some advice I got from you and they are still the only ones I use for Habanero's crops.
Which products do you use right now?
I use lots of Plagron products, for every life phase of the plants. Seed booster for germination. As substrates I use Lightmix and Growmix, with added perlite. For nutrients I prefer Terra grow and Terra bloom combined with Power Roots and Green Sensation for strong flowering and fruit formation. I also want to start testing Sugar Royal, this year. Hopefully I can increase the Brix value of the chillies to boost flavor even more. Obviously it takes a lot of your stuff and I prefer large containers because that means fewer bottles, less waste and easier mixing.
Why have you chosen Lightmix and Growmix over other substrates?
I chose Plagron’s substrates because they are very clean, have a good structure and they’re very airy. Furthermore, they have excellent capacity to retain water and to assimilate nutrients. This is ideally suited for the peppers of Habanero’s Farm.
What are you hoping for the next time we will check out your grow?
For Habanero's Farm Plagron is a certainty for sure! I entrust the growth of our plants to Plagron, it’s that simple. In the next interview I expect to show you what I said with photos of the healthy and constant growth of my plantation.
Check out Daniele and his plantation on IG: @Habanerosfarm