Riverford Wicked Leeks

The Wait Is Almost Over

Summer has finally shown up and your boxes will soon be bountiful and varied…but not yet; the stuff has to grow first. By June we should be seeing the start of many new season crops like strawberries, beans, carrots, and summer cabbage, but as most are running two weeks late, our carefully laid plans have been blown apart. The sun is out but we are now paying for a wet April when we were unable to sow or plant.

Some crops will be late but quite a few just gave up in the cold darkness of the deluge. Those grown from seed (rather than from plants raised in the protection of a greenhouse) fared the worst. Without the fungicidal and insecticidal chemical seed dressings which are standard in conventional (non-organic) agriculture, poor conditions lead to slow germination and emergence, making seeds very susceptible to attack from pathogens that could be fought off under better conditions. ‘Damping off’ is the catch all term; a bit like pneumonia, it afflicts those already made susceptible.

It is not all doom. The strawberries look fair (if late), and the new potatoes are tasting good. We will have old season spuds on the extras list to the end of the month; they sprout fast at this time and can be a little soft after so long out of the ground, but their sweetness makes them great for roasting and frying. Meanwhile the early sown carrots have enjoyed the rain; this will be that last week of bunches from our farm in France (where we grow crops to plug the gap between our homegrown winter and spring/summer veg) before we finally start UK carrots next week – hooray! So stay with us. We are almost there. There is so much great veg just around the corner.

Guy Watson

help your vegman keep things cool

With the warmer weather about, chilled items in your delivery are vulnerable to spoiling if you are not home. To prevent this, try to leave a coolbag or coolbox out, perhaps with some icepacks if you have any, so your vegman can make sure any dairy, milk or picnic items stay fresh until you return.