Trees can’t dance…but chillies can move

August 20th, 2007 Fay

Chillies for the FEAST filming session were donated by Trees Can’t Dance as they began to gather this year’s harvest from their two acre site in Northumberland.


Of all places! Against expectations chillies from some of the hottest places on the planet are thriving on a windy hillside in the North Pennines. Between July and December crops with names like Thai Dragon, Korean Hot and Prairie Fire emerge from heated polytunnels to be turned into sauces, oils and ketchups for an increasingly discerning food market.

“This most unlikely business”, as the Trees Can’t Dance website calls it, was started two years ago by Dan May, a professional photographer who acquired a taste for chillies when he was travelling across the world. “When I came home I discovered it was hard to make the same kind of foods in the UK,” he says, “So I decided to start growing chillies myself.”

Now around 60 different varieties of chillies from all over the world are used to make a rapidly growing range of foods. The environmentally entrepreneurial Trees Can’t Dance (there are plans for a wind turbine to heat the polytunnels) also spot opportunities to export sauces to Mexico.

Luckily Dan May didn’t listen to a word of advice when he first thought of growing chillies. Any time he asked he got the same answer: “You can’t do it, it won’t work”.

But he could, it did and a hobby has turned into a full time job. See much more on the Trees Can’t Dance website – including the story behind the name. Oh, come on, you’ve got time to click on the link. It’s a good story.

Entry Filed under: Food for the FEAST


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