Duncan’s Latest Crop Report – February 2016

17th February 2016

Due to the recent incessant rain on the Isle of Wight all local brassicas and cabbages are coming to an early end. Unfortunately large fields of cauliflowers have had to be passed over to grazing for sheep to minimise losses for growers as the crops are not good enough to harvest.

The next crops arriving on the Isle of Wight will be the early tomato crop probably due late March followed by the asparagus due about a week before St Georges day, weather permitting.

Just about a week later our New Forest lettuce grower will be starting to supply us for the 6 months also our New Forest strawberry grower starts at around the same time.

Secretts Farm will also have a larger offering of produce as we then look to switch as much to the local growers and then the UK as a whole as the main UK veg season comes on stream.

Potato planting has begun in earnest in Cornwall but so far has not spread to the Island yet due to the waterlogged ground, hopefully planting will begin in the next couple of weeks. Do not be too surprised if the new season is a week or two later than usual the next 3 weeks will determine what happens.

Local

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 the cherry vine tomatoes grown in a heated greenhouse on the Isle of Wight, these do have exceptional flavour. 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, Chestnut and a Gourmet mix (Eryngi, yellow oyster, grey oyster and shiitake). Eryngi, Shiitake, Grey Oyster and Yellow Oyster are all available on a bought to order basis this ensures they are fresh to you straight from the grower though they are on a 24 hour lead time. We do still offer imported button mushrooms where provenance is not an over riding factor for customers.

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. Most of the herbs from him are Columbian or Middle Eastern currently.

Carrots
We now collect local yellow and purple baby carrot these are on a bought to order basis so please allow 48 hours to avoid disappointment. Normal carrots are all UK and will remain so until April or May.

General

Aubergines
These are of good consistent quality and reasonable volumes, prices have stabilised recently these are now Spanish 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 imported.

Broccoli
This is now Spanish and will be so until the English new season starts in late Spring.

Cucumbers
Coming in from Spain these are in full flow from our Spanish growers as supply is currently plentiful with excellent quality.

Onions
Red Onions from the UK crop are still good quality coming from storage which we are sticking to whilst quality is this good. We have switched to Spanish onions for normal brown onions as these are the best available, though a switch to Chilean will happen very soon.

Parsnips
We are supplying just UK parsnips 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
Spanish peppers are at their peak in terms of quality though a bout of poor waether in Spain has led to a price spike, this will ease once the weather has improved for a couple of weeks and supplies increase.

Swede
We are only stocking UK swede as we continue to support the domestic market where ever the chance permits.

Honeydew
No issues seen in the latest arrivals as we look to switch to the more rounded Southern Hemisphere fruit, initially volumes will be mainly Brazilian.

Galia
We are mainly using Brazilian fruit where product is in good supply and quality is good.

Cantaloupe
Brazilian fruit is now in peak season, product is of a good size.

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 Spanish lemons which are now in full swing, prices are competitive and quality is bang on.

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