You may have seen in the press lately that a combination of flooding, cold weather and low light levels in Spain’s main vegetable-producing area has resulted in a severe shortage of courgettes, aubergines and peppers – including organic ones. This doesn’t really affect our standard veg boxes which feature mainly our own produce supplemented with British seasonal supplies. However, the Small Mediterranean is one of our most popular boxes and at this time of the year we rely on the bounty normally made possible by Spanish sunshine. The upshot is that we need to increase the price of our Mediterranean boxes: from £12.50 to £13.50 for the Small and from £18 to £19 for the Medium. We should add that impending departure from the European Union is likely to increase further the price of imported fruit and vegetables.
These developments make it even more important that we continue our (so-far) fourteen-year project to develop fruit and vegetable production right here in north Cumbria. That’s why we have built two enormous new polytunnels which will be planted with their first crops very soon.
Meanwhile, it’s time to make marmalade – preferably with superb organic oranges from Ave Maria farm in Seville: £3 per kg. If you would like some, let us know. As far as we know the poor growing conditions in southern Spain haven’t damaged orange production – at Ave Maria at least.
We also have British mushrooms, swedes, turnips, leeks, parsnips, celeriac, red, white and green cabbages, red and white onions, carrots, potatoes, beetroot, kohl rabi and butternut squash. The potatoes are Ambo from west Cumbria.
And there is still some harvesting to be done in our polytunnels, even in the depths of winter. We are picking pak choi, chervil, miner’s lettuce, flat leaf parsley, rocket, cavolo nero and a variety of Oriental leaves. The apples this week are Red Topaz. Bonus Apples £2 per kg and Bonus Juicing Apples are a bargain at £1 per kg. This is our last variety of the season and they are nearly all gone.
BONUS CHERVIL: A small bag of fresh leaves for 50p.
BONUS MINER’S LETTUCE: 75p per bag.
BONUS APPLES: £2 per kg
GENERAL BONUS BAG: Choose any item we supply (fruit or veg) and as long as supplies allow, we’ll bring you a bag of it weighing more than you would normally get for the price. £2 a bag. As long as we have the produce, you can have as many General Bonus Bags as you like.