It’s not often that we get to sing the praises of broccoli in the veg news. Broccoli is a notoriously tricky crop to grow. It’s very sensitive to heat, so over the summer months yields and quality can be hit and miss. At this time, when the temperature drops, but frosts have not yet arrived, broccoli thrives. We’re particularly impressed with Will Edwards’ crop. His farm (New Farm) in Lincolnshire specialises in brassicas. They’re a small family run business passionate about organic veg that is traceable right back to the field it’s grown in. Also in the brassica section look out for a beautiful new kale variety with pink stalks called Emerald Ice from Strawberry Fields, also Lincolnshire.
Another highlight is fennel. The bulbs are now nicely filled out and the finish is clean. Although we’re used to seeing only fennel bulbs on supermarket shelves, all parts of the plant can be used; bulb, stalk and fronds (herby tops). The bulbs taste great roasted and combine well with cherry tomatoes. The tops can be used like dill and make a great addition to salads; they’ll add just the faintest hint of licorice to each bite. Right now we offer bulbs and fennel herbs separately from Strawberry Fields or get the whole plant with tops from Wass in Yorkshire – glorious!
Over on the fruit side, autumnal fruits make the display pop with colour. This week we’re expecting direct pallets from three different apple and pear orchards, each with their own appeal. Traditional English apple varieties such as Cox and Russet join the line up from Oakwood (Sussex). Those who prefer red apples with juice and crunch will be happy with Blaze and Gala from Ward (Kent). And a few unique varieties are coming in from Carey in Herefordshire: Pitmaston Pineapple (with pineapple flavour!) and Red Devil.