I always feel like my growing year is really starting when I plant my chilli seeds which are normally the first thing to be planted in my house after the long winter break. They need a really long season if you want a good harvest so I always want to get them in by the end of February at the very latest.
This year I will be growing fourteen varieties (please don't ask about how this happened as I promised myself last year that I wouldn't go over the top with planting this time! - how wrong I was!) Chillies need a good degree of warmth to get going so I will be planting them up in pre-warmed soil in my propagtor. That's where they stay until they're big enough to be potted on and moved to a warm windowsill, then finally into my greenhouse when the summer is well underway. I suppose you could say this is quite a lot of messing around to grow a few chillies but I really love spicy food so I'm willing to make the effort. Especially as the varieties you can grow yourself are so much more exciting than the ones you can buy in the supermarket.
The variety I'm most excited about this year is the Padron Pepper. This is a famous pepper grown in Padron in Galicia, Spain. They are small green peppers that are served fried with olive oil and coarse salt. Most taste sweet and mild though some are particularly hot and spicy, which makes eating them kind of like a spicy Russian Roulette. Great fun! I'm really looking forward to preparing my own at home later in the year.