This seasonal favourite is typically harvested from January through to April, when homegrown produce is scarce. It can take some cold weather, and usually, in Devon we would expect 7 or 8 serious frosts every winter. This time, we’ve had 40 heavy frosts already and temperatures have dropped to as low as -16˚C, killing off some varieties of purple sprouting broccoli and stunting the growth of others. Because of that, we’re harvesting later than normal this year. The price won’t be affected as we pay a fixed price to our growers, so the good years cover the bad years. Our box prices are set too.
We usually have a glut of cauliflower around this time of year too, but the frost has killed off a lot of them as well. Their outer leaves can take a lot of cold weather, but not as much as we’ve had this winter. Cauliflower grows best on the mild coastal fringes of the country. We now have some starting to come through, from our SDOP grower Peter Wastenage in Budleigh Salteron on the South Devon coast.