In our April crop report we look ahead to a perfect storm of seasonal favourites gracing us with their presence in the seasonal larder.
And with temperatures rising and spring starting to gradually appear, a host of local and UK produce awaits us. The much-publicised salad shortages have been easing, although challenges still lay ahead as we head into the Dutch season.
With such a mixed bag in the coming weeks, the question is, which products to embrace and which to avoid?
Asparagus season has started, and nothing says Springtime more than this delicious vegetable on our plate.
This iconic veg will be available from Vale of Evesham, Wye Valley and New Forest early in the month.
With slightly warmer temperatures this year, wild garlic has made an early appearance which has been incredibly welcome – we have local and French in stock.
Considered nature’s gold, it can add a whole new dimension to so many dishes, and with volumes increasing, it’s another seasonal must-have.
Jersey Royals prices will remain high until volumes start to increase over the coming weeks with Cornish new potatoes following a few weeks later.
Spanish onions supply is nearly depleted meaning we’ll have to move over to Chilean and ware onions. This will continue to push the prices higher on a product which is already expensive.
Pea pods and broad beans will add a delightfully sweet touch to the plate, with products arriving from Italy daily.
Other products to look out for throughout the month are UK cauliflower and the stunning UK purple sprouting broccoli.
UK carrot season is coming to an end earlier this year, subsequently we’ll have to import from Europe and Israel which will drive up prices further.
The first of the UK strawberries start this month, so please keep an eye on our updates for availability.
Raspberries will follow but not until well into May, although the raspberries arriving from Spain will more than hold their own when filling the gap.
Spanish stone fruit will make an appearance by late month or early May. Peaches are first in the queue with nectarines and cherries following suit.
Early fruit can be a smaller in size though as growers are keen to get the product to the market.
Melons will continue to arrive from Costa Rica with Spanish product on the horizon, but it will be May before we see any arrive.
You may have seen our social post last week on new-season Packham’s pears, which are now available.
It has a wide-bottomed shape and a smooth green skin that ripens to yellow – these are great tasting, juicy pears and at their finest when starting to turn yellow.
Buy ahead and ripen it in your kitchen before use.
We will very soon move from Spanish to Dutch products, which is never without difficulties!
And with recent fragilities in the salad product supply chain, we will have a challenging start to the new season.
Supplies of tomatoes, cucumber & peppers are looking stable, but prices will remain firm with the cost of heating the greenhouses still being the main factor.
UK salads will start to appear late this month depending on the weather, with our local growers optimistic about the coming season.
Rocket and spinach volumes have recovered and this will continue throughout the month.
Why not try our Iced Watercress, cut by head every day just 30 miles from us! It’s always a great alternative that can add a subtle peppery crunch to the dish.
Other whole head lettuce such as Lollo Rosso, Oakleaf, Endive, Castelfranco and Tardive will remain imported until early May when we transition over to UK products.
Our monthly crop reports, like our April crop report, is sent by email every month – you can subscribe to our mailing list here.
You can also take a look at our recent blog posts here.
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