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Fennel in from Newfields, Yorkshire last week & short cucumbers from Trinity Farm in Nottingham.

From Spain there’s Bioalgarrobo‘s cherries and Haciendas peaches. These cherries in particular have been beautifully dark and plump, the staff might have even ordered more than you customers 🙂

Hi everyone and though they’re no match for our sunny dispositions, the rain still bloody pours!

Needless to say, it remains very soggy almost everywhere but on the back of word from the Met Office and the collated predictions from a number of our growers (more often than not very reliable), it appears that as of tmorra, temps are about to rise and the drizzle is gonna begin to finally thin out some – huzzah!

The lower light levels have meant some restrictions on the Isle of Wight tomato availability this year but our limits should now improve with the forecasted better weather. This is now six or 7yrs on the spin of very unpredictable weather and to keep all of you guys in veg, we’re having to scour every corner of our Isles in the hope of turning up a new grower that has surpluses, has an interest in working in partnership with us and critically, that between us the logistics can be worked out so that their produce will get to us in a timely way.

On top of the two new growers that we listed last week (who I’m glad to say each started well and deliveries went without issue), this week sees us list Nash Nurseries who help fill our shortage of available spuds with some Maris Bards this week. Based right down near Canterbury in Kent, these guys have been growing organically since the 80s and along supplying wholesale, run a box scheme and farm shop too. The grower there, Andrew Ward was chuffed that I was in touch as it gives him another solid route to market. To fill some of the gaps that remain on our weekly lists that our traditional list of growers are unable to supply us for, we’re chuffed to welcome these guys onto the list too.

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, our Cathryn has been busy chatting to the founding grower of Flourish Produce, Calixta down in South Cambridge and we’re excited to trial some deliveries of greens, herbs and flowers from these guys next week too (all in transition to certified organic status). For a brief insight into who this grower is, Calixta travelled to America in order to deepen her education in regenerative agriculture and in 2017, returned to the UK and set up small growing plot with her Amish machinery and two comitois horses and set about growing veg.

Over the years the farm has evolved and grown and Calixta has looked to improve the soil fertility, whilst expanding the range of veg she grows. As such, from here you’ll find varietals of crops you probably haven’t seen before such as badger flame beetroots and aji charapita chillies. Though her horses are now retired from farm work, they continue to be a crucial part of the farm’s fertility as are the visiting flock of sheep from a neighbouring farm. Flourish has now become a beacon of biodiversity and on top of 700 varieties of crops in cultivation, they’ve also an agroforestry field, are running a heritage grain project and to keep close ties with their local community, run a farm-shop on site. We’re buzzing to be given the chance to work with these guys and to hopefully source so many varieties of crops that we’ve never had access to before.

As a result of the above and despite the multitude of problems that both our domestic and European growers are having to wrestle with these days, this autumn I think that the weekly offering should look more comprehensive than it ever has and that’s something to really be proud of. As I mentioned last week, adding new growers is a slow process as we’re only able to increase our roster of growers as our customer base expands so as not to understandably put our existing growers’ noses out of joint. With your continued and loyal support we’re continuing to do that and for that, we can only thank you and keep trying to do a better job this end. In the not-too-distant, we aim to put a survey out to you guys to see if you’ve any ideas on how we could improve what we do. I’ll be sure to give you fair warning when I do email that out.

 

Fruit & Veg Headlines:

 

  • On top of another 2 new UK growers added to the list this week, we are also welcoming celery and fennel herb from Strawberry Fields this week alongside lettuce, spring onions and cabbages from Newfields.
  • In addition to these Farrington’s have a few courgettes, Foskett’s have some bunched baby carrots, Middle Ground have added red chicory and bunched flowers and Oakwood’s king acre pippin juice returns too.
  • Momentarily rushing ahead to a supplier that will be living amongst our other dried goods towards the bottom of the list, we’re chuffed to relist Side Oven Bakery this week. It’s been ages since these guys were on (we couldn’t work out the logistics previously) but they return this week with a huge offering of granolas, mueslis and bread mixes. Orders from this supplier will work on a ‘follow on’ basis as Laverstoke used to be, meaning that you’ll receive delivery of these items effectively 2 weeks after ordering rather than 1 week.
  • Worthy of note this week, is that we have both Gala and Braeburn apples available from Be Organic.
  • From France this week, the highlights from Dynamis are the blue autumn radish, sweetcorn, and 3 new varieties of grapes. Uni-Vert also have some Guyot pears for us to go at.
  • From some gloating Spanish growers this week, we have galia melons from Campo, golden plums, nectarines and plums from Haciendas and some juicing oranges from Biovergel. Hortichuelas also returns to the list with their usual array of salad lines but this time including some ‘wonky’, irregularly-shaped options.
  • From the bottom of the list this week, Little Valley returns to the list after being bought out by Great Newsome brewery who I had the pleasure of hosting a meeting with a couple of months ago. Seem a really good outfit and they’re very excited to be able to keep the good name of Little Valley going after the head brewer’s retirement there. The Arcadia EVOO also returns this week too.

I’ll sign off with another bit of good news, as the Pound continues to strengthen against the Euro post-election, which means across the board, our imported lines will be slightly cheaper than they have been lately.

Hope this generally cheery newsletter goes someway to countering the depression you might have about us getting pumped at the footy again.

Speak to you all again soon,

Sean

Biona Grains

We’ve got some lovely little paper bags of organic rice and such in from Biona. 100% plastic free since they cleverly swapped out the window for an image of the grains 🙂

Cous cous, risotto, Camargue red rice and pudding here. Not photographed we also have the brown & white of their; risotto, long grain, jasmine and Himalayan basmati.

Plus, if you’re really hungry there’s kilo bags on many lines too.

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