Datil Peppers and the 13th Annual Fall Festival in St. Augustine

It’s summer time, and SJC has turned up the heat!
***Our event has been POSTPONED until 2022 due to health concerns***

Datil peppers are an iconic, heirloom tradition in St. Johns County. In 2013, St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners proclaimed the Datil Pepper as the official plant of St. Johns County, and the first Saturday in October as Datil Pepper Day. In the dog days of summer, our datil peppers are producing non-stop at small farms and home gardens across the tri-county area.

While the exact origin of the datil pepper is unknown, heritage is credited to our local Minorcans. Their rich culture in the St. Augustine area, includes many datil-inspired and infused cuisines, such as with hot sauces, jellies, relishes, barbeque sauces and mustards, honey and even beer! With peppers reaching 300,000 units on the Scoville scale, the datil provides a unique flavor and some intense heat.

UF/IFAS Extension of St. Johns County will host the 13th Annual Datil Pepper Fall Festival on October 2 – 3, 2021. Please join us at the St. Johns County Agricultural Center in St. Augustine.

Visitors will have a chance to learn about local agriculture by attending educational programs; enjoy datil-inspired food during the restaurant competition; and visit vendors with a wide selection of datil pepper products. Past vendor booths have sold datil products such as sauces and jellies, plants, tea, honey and more!

The festival includes our “Datil Pepper Restaurant Cook-Off” contest on Saturday. This event provides an opportunity for local restaurants to compete for the favorite datilinspired dish of the day. Visitors can sample these dishes by making a small donation and receiving food tickets. All local chefs are invited to request a space (limited to 12 spots) for the cook-off by reaching out to Wendy Lynch, FCS/Food Systems Extension Agent (wendyw74@ufl.edu). We are looking forward to seeing you this fall!

Datil pepper
Datil pepper
When: Saturday October 2nd, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday October 3rd, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Where: St. Johns County Agricultural Center, 3125 Agricultural Center Drive, St. Augustine, FL 32092. 

Admission and Parking:  Free – Handicap parking near main building 

Food tickets for Saturday’s Contest:  $2 donation per ticket recommended  

For more information call the UF/IFAS Extension, St. Johns County Office (904) 209-0430.

Posted: August 1, 2021

Category: Agriculture
Tags: Ag Awareness, Agritourism, Datil, St. Johns County



April 22, 2022

Harvest day is tomorrow, April 23rd at 9am.

Clive Ricketts
April 12, 2022

When is date and time of potatoes harvest? Thanks

April 10, 2022

I wish I would’ve known about this. I would’ve came but I found out after the fact.

Meradeth Springer
April 9, 2022

The information says the sale is only held twice per year. How can we get on a mailing list to be notified of the upcoming dates?

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February 15, 2022

My boss, Douglas Holmberg has water samples from two ponds, he would like to have these tested. Where do I send this to and where can I get fee information?

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October 29, 2021


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Marty Evans
October 13, 2021

Good morning, I am a St. Johns County homeowner with a formerly nice lawn. There is a large area where I have re-sodded twice...and now the lawn (to latest re-sod) is again dying. My Trutco person says it isn't fungus...rather he thinks it might be a pathogen in the soil. I would greatly appreciate any advice about how I might get a diagnosis. I have searched the UF extension pages, but the soil sample program seems to test only for nutrient levels and chemicals in the soil. Is there some other testing program I might be able to use? Thanks so much for any advice.

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October 9, 2021

I truly appreciate this post. I have been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it your blog.

October 8, 2021

Do the Master Gardeners sell their plants at any other times(s)? Unfortunately I was out of town last Saturday and could not make the scheduled sale. I have walked around the gardens several times and there seems to be tons of starter plants out there, and I would love to purchase some of them. Is it possible to make an appointment with someone that I can meet at the extension office gardens to buy plants? Thank you.

David Lyons
September 30, 2021

Glad I looked, saves me a trip to Marion

Prissy Fletcher

September 13, 2021

Unfortunately our event was postponed until 2021 due to the lack of vendor participation, and overall health concerns for such as large event. Sorry for the sad news! We'll have the hot sauce contest next year for sure.

Carla Cornelius
September 13, 2021

Will there be a hot sauce contest at the festival?

Jenny Aguillen
July 22, 2021

I would love to. take the course as soon as its available. Please inform me of any requirements I need for this course. Thank you!

Mark Knowlton
March 29, 2021

Are there going to be any classes for 2021?

Omar Garcia
March 4, 2021

Is there a course in 2021?

Les Hebert
February 21, 2021

Will there be a school this year 2021 if so what are the dates and price

Les Hebert
February 21, 2021

Will there be a school this year 2021 if so what are the dates and how much will it cost?

Nita Perry
December 1, 2020

Has there been another AI class schedule for 2021?

Terra Freeman

June 29, 2020

The program will still take place this year, however, the timeframe to apply for this year's program has passed. Please send me an e-mail next spring to get on next year's e-mail application list. Thanks! terraf@ufl.edu

June 28, 2020

Im interested. Is the program still open even with the covid situation?

Tim Wilson

January 30, 2020

https://extadmin.ifas.ufl.edu/cflag/ you should be able to find the flyer here sometime this summer. thanks,

Teena Simpson
January 29, 2020

Thank you Tim. Is there somewhere I can get on an email list for information?

Tim Wilson

January 9, 2020

Yes, this class is usually offered in August. I will post information as it becomes available.

Teena Simpson
January 9, 2020

will you be planning another one of these classes ?

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August 21, 2019

For further information on herbs, please contact the master gardener desk in St. Johns County at 904-209-0430 x4782.

Dr Fred Powell
August 2, 2019

I am interested in learning to grow medicinal herbs

May 9, 2019

What age group is this for? What is the cost of the class? I didn't see the link to sign up for this class.

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