The lack of sunshine and colder nights of recent days are not ideal conditions for summer veg such as courgettes, which have quickly turned from thriving numbers to a limited supply from our UK growers. Sweetcorn is the exception – with good availability and seemingly unending customer appetite we are going for gold and buying an overwhelmingly large number of Lincolnshire cobs from Vine House Farm and Strawberry Fields this week, so fill your boots!
The best thing about plunging into autumn has to be our top shelf filling up with a colourful variety of squash. Our full range includes orange and green pumpkin, blue-skinned crown prince, colourful harlequin, Turk’s turban, golden nugget, crookneck, custard and spaghetti, alongside ever-present butternuts. Most of our early supply is coming in from Strawberry Fields and Bedlam Farm in Cambridgeshire. Other growers won’t be far behind, although rumour has it this isn’t going to be a great squash year…
It’s a good time to highlight our excellent brassica range – broccoli and cauliflowers are now in full swing with our main supply from Wass in Yorkshire and Gielty in Ormskirk. We’ve got heaps of hardy kale, known for its highly nutritious content. Take your pick from crinkly leaved red & green curly, dark cavolo nero or sweet Russian, all available in loose or bagged options.
Lots of new apple varieties are in – Lord Lambourne & James Grieve from Carey Organics, Scrumptious & Laxton’s Epicure from Oakwood Farm, and Katy, Fuji, and Worcester from Mole End Farm. The first UK conference pears have arrived from Baxter’s, and lesser-known but lovely Merton Pride pears from Carey.
Finally, it’s official – stone fruit season is over, signalling the move to more autumnal fruits such as Spanish pomegranates, French figs, osteen mangoes and Muscat de Hamburg red grapes which are plentiful and absolutely delicious.