Riverford Wicked Leeks

poor little things...

It has really been quite an incredible few months of weather. I was only knee high to a grasshopper in 1976, but Stan assures me that we haven't had a growing season like this, since that renowned heat wave 30 years ago.

Until the thunder storms we had on Saturday, the growers closest to us had only received 8mm of rain in 8 weeks. The relentless heat and dry weather has had a variable effect on the crops. The lettuces Stan planted last week need to be regularly irrigated to give them the water they need to establish. In the midday heat, the poor little things are losing so much moisture from their tiny leaves, that they need their thirst quenching twice a day just to keep them going.

For other crops like the celery, sweetcorn and the more established lettuce, the intense heat has the opposite effect to what you might imagine. It tends to stop leafy growth as the plants conserve their energy until moisture becomes more abundant again. It has the same impact each winter, when crops go into a sort of over-winter hibernation until the days lengthen and the soils warm.

In contrast, the fruiting crops like the courgettes, seem to be revelling in the heat. As soon as one courgette is picked another one seems to take its place, but picking in this intense heat seems to cause the fruit all sorts of problems. It has been really difficult for me to balance the need to make use of all the crops from the growers but not compromise the quality of the boxes. I got this balance wrong last week with courgettes going into the boxes that would have been better left in the field. Sorry to all of you who were affected.

Extras for August

We have added lots of new, exciting products to the extras list for August. Have a look on the website or on the updated list to see the latest additions; from Romero pepper packs to basil and coriander.

Rob Haward