Duncan’s Latest Crop Report – August 2015

30 July 2015
Local lettuce, gourmet baby leaf and Rocket are in in full swing which we collect daily on the mainland from the growers, along with New Forest strawberries and mushrooms. The new potato season is in full swing with early crops approaching their peak, sizes are a little small for chipping varieties but as each day passes the sizes are improving so we are almost there size wise. Brassicas have stuttered due to the weather changes and UK broccoli and cauliflowers will be tight in supply until the end of July, prices will therefore remain firm for this period.

Local

Strawberries New Forest strawberries started on 15th April they are as always very tasty you cannot beat English strawberries for flavour, our grower also offers lovely New Forest blueberries. Garlic We are still using high quality Garlic Farm assured garlic only, for our garlic bulbs, black garlic cloves and smoked garlic bulbs. Having Colin one of the foremost garlic experts on our doorstep is an opportunity to ensure we stock the best garlic available. Tomatoes We now stock new season Isle of Wight cherry tomatoes, mini plum, golden mini plum and classic loose and of course the Organic Heirloom mix. The quality and taste is far better than that of the imports as these are grown on the vine to maturity rather than picked under ripe. The Tomato Stall also specialise in the tastier varieties than just the highest yielding, this is what makes the difference. We will supply imported round tomatoes for those on a budget. We also supply Tomato Stall ketchup, oak smoked tomatoes and juices all top quality. Mushrooms New Forest mushrooms are in good supply and consistent quality the texture is much better than imported due to be a day fresher as we collect direct from the grower in the New Forest. These are: Flat, Portobello, Cup, Shiitake and Chestnut, other varieties will follow. We still offer cheaper imported mushrooms where providence is not an over riding factor for customers who are on a budget. Potatoes We are now getting all our Maris from our grower on the Isle of Wight, John's crop is excellent as always. The sizes were small in the first few weeks though sizes have been improving with each delivery and are now almost back to normal for size. Gourmet Baby Leaf Our Gourmet baby leaf offering is a superb mix of the most delicate of leaves and now comes in a re-sealable 500gm bag, from Secretts Farm. This is ever popular at fine dining establishments and has an ever increasing loyal following for those who want the best. Herbs All herbs are from our grower in the New Forest, during the periods that his herbs cannot grow here he imports quality herbs from abroad until his home grown are available again. Lettuce We have now switched to New Forest lettuce from our local grower for all lettuce heads, iceberg, little gem, lollo rosso, lollo biondo, oakleaf, cos and radicchio. We have negotiated a fixed price for these so prices will remain fixed until the end of September. Carrots We now collect local yellow and purple baby carrots though we do keep stocks fairly tight, best to pre order to avoid disappointment. Courgettes The courgettes are now Isle of Wight crop as are our yellow courgettes and courgette flowers. The flowers will remain bought to order so we will get them in fresh for your benefit.

General

Aubergines These are of good consistent quality and reasonable volumes, prices have stabilised recently these are now Dutch due to the quality. Baby Salad Mixes We do a genuine Baby Leaf mix which remains our best seller, this is a fairly robust product and certainly not as delicate as the Gourmet mix, the leaves are now UK and from the Vale of Evesham. Broccoli We are now using UK broccoli heads though we are having to top up with imported as and when to keep a constant supply due to the temporary shortage of UK. Cauliflower Summer Cauliflower varieties are now in full swing head sizes are reasonable though as with broccoli they are not as plentiful as they were, prices remain firm. Carrots The UK carrots are in full swing and prices have dropped from the highs of June, we anticipate prices falling over the next 2 months as more crops are dug. Cucumbers We have switched to a combination of UK and Dutch cucumbers prices are a little firm but this is expected to ease in 2 weeks. Mushrooms We now have an exotic mushroom mix stocked from the Vale of Evesham and on special offer for a 1.36kg tray, this has an excellent selection for wild mushroom dishes. Onions Red Onion supply from Egypt is now in season, quality is fantastic and supply plentiful. We have switched to new crop Spanish onions as these are the best available. Parsnips We have now started on new season UK parsnips as they have just started, once again Medina is leading the way in support of the UK farmers when quality and price are similar we will source as locally as possible. Peppers These are now all Dutch and UK and will remain so until the Autumn switch to Mediterranean supplies once the first frosts occur. Quality looks good and prices have eased over the last week from highs in mid July. Swede We are now on new season UK swede, the quality is far better and product much cleaner than the old crop. Honeydew No issues seen in the latest arrivals these Spanish melons are more elongated than the Southern Hemisphere ones. Galia The Spanish Galia varieties are back in season and prices have fallen back from earlier highs when we were on Southern hemisphere fruit. Cantaloupe Spanish orange melons are coming in with lovely dark orange flesh and very juicy just right for that summer fruit salad. Watermelon Good quality upon arrivals this week - Product is not showing any major quality issues. Good flavour .Slightly lower brix in the small sizes. Lemons The Spanish are really a bit past their best, we have therefore switched mostly to Southern Hemisphere citrus both from South Africa and South America. This Southern hemisphere fruit has a much darker yellow skin than the Spanish and better quality. Limes Good products coming in. Firm and juicy flesh, supplies are mainly Mexican and Brazilian.