bridging the hungry gap

The warm and dry spell that we have enjoyed over the past week has given us a great window to catch up with sowings on the farm. Parsnips, leeks, peas, beans, onions and garlic are all safely in the ground. The rest of our crops will follow soon when the threat of a late frost has passed. Meanwhile we approach a short but challenging time of the year for the box as our own crops are starting to dwindle in supply. The carrots and potatoes should see us through until the end of the month before we have to use imported crops to bridge the hungry gap weeks before the first UK harvest. At this time of year you may also find that some of the potatoes and onions sprout unusually quickly as they make a final bid to grow and set seed. They will still taste great but may just need a few extra swipes with the knife or peeler.

I must also apologise for the quality of some of the potatoes in the boxes over the last week. By and large we get fantastic reports back from you on the taste of the potatoes. But, recently there have been a few complaints about blackening under the skin. When the potatoes are lifted they can become a little bit bruised. For the most part this would be unnoticeable but towards the end of the season the bruising can develop to become the blackening under the skin that some of you have seen. We want to make sure that the potatoes in the box are from our growers for as long as possible so we will do our best to remove any problem potatoes in the coming weeks.

For all box schemes and farm shops the level of imports creeps up a little in the coming month. During the hungry gap we bolster our own supplies by working with growers in Italy, Spain and as far a field as Argentina for our fruit. We try to work with the same growers from week to week to build up a good relationship and to make sure we get the best quality crops for the box. It