The ongoing drought conditions are likely to become a standard feature in this veg news over the coming months. As the heat and lack of rainfall continue different crops are becoming affected. UK staples such as peas and potatoes are the latest casualties being reported. This does not make for easy reading but we feel obliged to highlight the effects that climate change are having on our day to day lives.
The pea crop is way down on a national level (including conventional agriculture). Our organic supplier Wass in Yorkshire saw his whole crop struggle for water and unable to form pods. The few kilos we had on the shelves last week were the only harvest that they’ll produce this season.
Our potato suppliers are also experiencing low yields. Potatoes are shallow-rooted plants that are sensitive to even small deficiencies of water in the root zone, which reduces their growth rate and affects the size and quality. Duncan Gielty’s Maris Peer and Ulster Prince are coming out a lot smaller than other varieties, which does make them perfect for salads and roasting whole. New varieties are coming in from Bagthorpe (Norfolk): Alouette and Carolous, as well as Marfona from Wass.
Watermelons have been very popular in the last couple of months. Flavour and texture of the Spanish ones has been reasonable, but the recent batches we’ve had from Agrico-op are really hitting the spot: crunchy texture, firm and sweet! More on Friday.
Starting this week: UK plums form Joe Pardoe (‘Oval’) and sweetcorn from Watts (Lincolnshire).