Duncan’s Latest Crop Report – September 2015

26th August 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 the early crop soon to finish but the transition into main crop should be seamless.

Brassicas have stuttered due to the weather changes and UK the cauliflowers especially have stuttered as the weather has been so changeable.

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 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. Our grower is in the throes of changing his manure to organic this will make his product range even better. These are: Flat, Portobello, Cup, Shiitake and Chestnut, other varieties such as oyster and exotic mixes are planned to follow which we will keep you up to date with. We still offer cheaper imported button 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 early season but are now in full swing.

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.

Fine Beans
We are now collecting Isle of Wight fine beans, though a tiny bit larger than the Kenyan, there is a distinct taste difference and with prices similar these are a must for the summer menu.

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. The changeable weather has kept supply lower than normal hence the firmer prices.

Carrots
The UK carrots are in full swing and prices have continued to fall back to levels similar to last year.

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 fantastic quality and supply plentiful, we will switch fairly soon to new crop UK and or Dutch once the product is up to standard. We have switched to new crop Spanish onions for normal brown 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
We are now stocking Southern Hemisphere citrus as they are by far the best quality, though once Northern Hemisphere fruit arrives prices should ease as the supply increases.

Limes
Good products coming in. Firm and juicy flesh, supplies are mainly Mexican and Brazilian.