Our spring sowing schedule gets underway this week with lettuce, rocket, spring onions, peppers and aubergines. This is earlier than ever before and, because there might be some very cold weather to come, a bit risky. But we are always trying to develop techniques to extend the growing season and sowing in module trays allows us to germinate seeds in a warm propagator before moving them to a heated greenhouse bench. We’ll keep you posted on progress.
The Spanish vegetable shortage continues. Although it doesn’t really affect our standard veg boxes which feature mainly our own produce supplemented with British seasonal supplies, 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.
There is still 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, white and green cabbages, red and white onions, carrots, potatoes, beetroot 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, cavolo nero and a variety of Oriental leaves. Our own apples are now finished except for Bonus Juicing Apples – still a bargain at £1 per kg.
BONUS CHERVIL: A small bag of fresh leaves for 50p.
BONUS MINER’S LETTUCE: 75p per bag.
BONUS JUICING APPLES: £1 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.