Nearly there – New Season Veg coming in….

Been as while since my last post, but as happens to us, all too often, we lost a driver and then have had to do the deliveries for the past few months whilst we recruited…. I am pleased to say that we are now fully recruited and hence I’m back on this side of the business.

Firstly I’d say hello and welcome to all of our new customers. A customer once said to me that we are like some small secret club that benefit from great local veg and new members sometimes think ‘If only I knew about you before!’.  I’m not sure that doesn’t make my business head throb, but it is pleasing to hear nonetheless. So welcome aboard!

As you are probably all aware we are coming towards the end of our ‘Hungry Gap’ (see my previous post) and we are starting to see one or two new veg appear. Traditionally at this time we pat ourselves on the back for having survived the Hungry Gap and its reliance on root veg and brassicas… As I said before I love a bit of kale but by the end of March my enthusiasm is waning… the one downside of local veg in this country.

wild-garlicSo…. in to Spring and all the new veg to look forward to… As you know we have recently added some new green leaf to take over from the much maligned kale.

Firstly we managed to get some wild garlic leaves. This is a fantastic green coloured leaf that adds a subtle garlic taste to any dish. Don’t over cook though, just like spinach I add them to a dish when it is finished and stir through, allowing the residual heat to cook them through. They are great raw added to a salad as well; something different along side a peppery green like mustard leaves.

They are not in season for long and are very popular. This makes them expensive and in fact they cost us more per KG than asparagus. Good job you don’t need to use much to get an effect.

Next in the line was the good old tomato. These start cropping from mid March and come from heated greenhouses on the southtomato_vineh Kent coast.

As a first crop I have to say they are not the tastiest – it seems to me those grown with heat from the sun taste better – but the are nonetheless welcome at this time. I’m pretty sure the longer sun hours produce more flavour that raw heat can’t; perhaps someone out there can confirm this?

I find you get a much better, sweeter taste from them if you cook with them. I just chop roughly and heat through to get a great sweet tomato sauce. No need for added sugar. Jamie would be saying “pukka”. I also like them thinly sliced with onion and a bit of salt & Worcester Sauce….

Again coming from heated greenhouses they are expensive, and the price does go down as the season goes on, but hopefully by them we will have moves onto the supply that are grown in natural heat.

PAK CHOIFinal new crop for us is pak choi – a new one. Again grown in a heated greenhouse, we have not used these before but they look great. I do like them so it is nice, even after 10 years, to be added a new veg to our scheme. As a type of Chinese cabbage it is pretty much added to stir fried dishes. It is equally at home though raw in salads, offering the green leaves and crunchy stems as two different textures. I’ve used the stems in a coleslaw with the leaves chopped as a green topping.

As I’m sure you realise they are expensive, as also coming from a heated greenhouse but still a welcome change from the huge amounts of kale you can get for the same money.

So that really sums up the new veg that has come in the past few weeks. All good but what’s next I hear you cry?

I’ve been scouring the county  and getting all my contacts updated and have the following lined up:

  • Rhubarb – Mid April
  • Broad Beans – Late May
  • Asparagus – Mid May (maybe)
  • Lettuce & other leaves – Early May
  • Spinach/Chard – Early May

My email has literally just beeped at me with news that Spanish salads are finishing and Dutch will start soon. Rest assured we will not go overseas for our veg. We have had to go a bit further north in the past few months to get decent roots but we won’t expand the seasons by importing from overseas.

Rest assured your dealer will keep you updated.

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