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hot competition

Our Anthony is running the London Marathon in April to raise money for the National Autistic Society and to spice up his sponsorship a bit, he's given everyone who sponsors him a little chilli plant to nurture.

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The person who grows the biggest plant by the time he crosses the finish line will win a special prize and the coveted title of Champion Chilli Grower 2009.

To say the competition in Fruit Towers is hotting up is an understatement.

Rosie has not one but two plants on the go and has enlisted the green fingers of Atha and his special worm juice to grow the biggest chillies.

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'Worm juice' is not actually liquidised worms but the nutrient packed digestive liquid that worms produce when you use them in your compost heap.

Atha made a special trip to Kings Cross just to get a bottle. Not like they're taking this too seriously or anything.

Over in Unit 5, IT Sam is keeping his chilli plant under a light at all times and coaxing it to grow big and strong through growth affirming mantras and positive visualisation ( chilli plant screensavers on loop).

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Mr. Ed is simply 'leaving it to Nature' (although he's been seen cradling and softly singing to his plant, a la the Athena ad).

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Becca's chilli plant (a.k.a Fairuza) is doing very well in reception. Becca takes her outside everyday to get a bit of fresh air but is having to keep a close eye on her progress, due to repeated sabotage attempts from IT Sam.

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Meanwhile, Jan's chilli plant is not actually on his desk. That's because where he sits is not 'the optimum spot for growing prize winning chillis.' Having surveyed the whole office for photosynthesis potential, he has chosen Helen's east facing desk for it's positioning and proximity to a window (without being in direct sunlight).

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And no one is really sure what Reece is doing to grow the biggest chillis in the building but so far it seems to involve a pulley system, special gloves and night time watering in a black polo neck.

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We'll keep you updated on the plants' progress as it happens.

Meantime, if you've got any chilli growing tips for our growers or anti-chafing inspirational power ballads for Anthony, please post them below.