As our entry in to this years hunger gap accelerates this week we are seeing big changes in our veg boxes and on what is on offer in the shop. If you’ve not been with us for a year or more you might be unfamiliar with the hunger gap, so let me explain what’s going on…
Since Autumn we’ve had an abundance of root vegetables, cabbages and kale which have either sat in the field through winter or been in store to preserve them. Over the last month some (and by that I mean most) of these crops have been running out including cabbages, kohl rabi, turnips, kale, all but one variety of potato, and now onions.
Onions were actually the first crops to become scarce a few months back when Scottish stocks were exhausted. Since then we have tracked down farms around the UK for their onions to keep things going this far. This week there aren’t any onions, and there won’t be till small green onions with herbaceous tops are ready in a few months. We’re growing lots of these ourself.
On top of store crops just running out comes the urge for some vegetable which have held out all winter to bolt (go to seed) at this time of year as it is getting warm. These crops include kale and cabbages and from this week purple sprouting broccoli which has just sprouted too much… It was supposed to be in this weeks standard veg boxes but bolted and has been replaced by lettuce.
Now that change from purple sprouting broccoli to lettuce is quite symbolic…. With spring now in full flow (and early summer in our poly tunnels) we now have salads, chard and other leafy greens ready. Another great thing about this time of year is asparagus, which is in the standard, large and extra large veg boxes. These new crops should hopefully come as a welcome fresh change to the root heavy boxes which we’ve had through the winter but they are also lighter which can make it seem like less for your money after a winter of cheap heavier roots and cabbages.
Over the next month or two the hunger gap will widen till potatoes and carrots run out till more expensive baby carrots and new potatoes come on the scene. This is the absolutely most difficult time of the year for us as we work to get our crops planted while having less to harvest and regular changes to veg availability from our other growers.
Despite this, this is all part of the fun of local seasonal food to us as we keep working to make the local food network more sustainable and resilient.
Personally I’m also pleased to see the roots recede to let me eat like it is spring. With this weeks veg boxes including asparagus, chard, lettuce and wild garlic I’m looking forward to making healthy salads, garlic pesto and having that asparagus with poached egg and hollandaise sauce for breakfast this weekend.
I’m also looking forward to the season progressing and all the veg we are currently planting being ready and reaching the plates of everyone who shops with us or gets a veg box delivery. In the not too distance future I spy lots of tomatoes from Rouken Glen as well as beans, courgettes, cucumbers, sweetcorn and an array of greens and herbs from Left Field and The Croft.
Thanks once again for all your support in buying produce from us. It’s your custom which lets us grow and improve the local food network, creating jobs and reducing the impact of food on the environment through local organic horticulture.
Happy hunger gap!
In the veg boxes this week:
small: potatoes, carrots, leeks, chard, rocket
standard: potatoes, carrots, leeks, asparagus, lettuce, spring greens, wild garlic
large: potatoes, carrots, leeks, cucumber, asparagus, spring greens, chard, wild garlic, sorrel
extra large: potatoes, carrots, leeks, cucumber, asparagus, spring greens, chard, wild garlic, sorrel, purple sprouting broccoli, kale sprouts
fruit #1: Spartan apples
fruit #2: rhubarb or pineapple
fruit #3: Ortanique clementines or lemons
fruit #4: bananas
small additional foreign veg: red onions, sweet potatoes, tomatoes
standard additional foreign veg: red onions, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, mangetout
This week we’re delivering treat boxes as it’s the fourth Friday of the month. If you’d like to add one to your order, there’s the option of savoury or sweet, both £20.
The Open Food Network is now open for orders to be delivered with your veg box next week, and closes as usual on Wednesday at 11pm.
You’ve got a couple more days to enter this month’s Munch of the Month competition to be in for a chance of winning a hamper filled with delicious ethical goods from our shop. Simply share a photo of what you’ve made with your veg box veg on social media, with the tags #locavorevegbox and #locavoremm.
The Locavore Team