Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 27th March 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 27th March 2018

So British Summertime has started….really!

This time last year we were talking about English Asparagus, English Lettuces, English Heritage Tomatoes, no such luck this year yet. OK, there is a very small amount that has been picked just to be the first but commercially, no chance. But, what we do have is some lovely English Purple Sprouting Broccoli  from Wye Valley.  English Cauliflowers are getting bigger so we’ll switch back soon and the price should ease off then as well. If you buy any of the Coloured Cauliflower varieties like purple or Yellow then be prepared for the price as they’re very expensive. Broccoli is reasonable, so too are Peppers, Courgettes are less plentiful so there is a little price rise there. English Cucumbers should start next week (we started a lot sooner last year!), Onions have spiked up in price and the English Main crop Potatoes are on the increase as we see current levels of last years crop diminish, this will affect the price of premium varieties like Agria and Jacket Potatoes the most. Most Wild Mushrooms are available but quality is poor and they’re very wet. Spanish Globe Artichokes are a good size and reasonably priced against the French. There is very little if any Baby Ukon Rainbow Carrots, there are limited amount of French ones too. Wild Garlic Leaf & Young Nettles are available again.

All Apples are going to be a bug bear this Summer. Prices are really starting to increase dramatically due to such limited available produce this year. There is no really good Easy Peeler fruit around at the moment, even the best Nardicots are showing a little waste. Strawberries are dearer this week and we’ll switch over to the Dutch very shortly as the quality of the Spanish is diminishing. All Berries are dear this week and the Redcurrants are best avoided as they’re extortionate. No Peaches, Nectarines or Apricots at present. We keep being told the Bananas are going to ease soon but I think they will after Easter. The Air Freight Mangoes are streets ahead of the others, so despite the dearer prices, we believe they’re worth it.

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 9th March 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 9th March 2018

I do love a Jersey Royal Potatoes and they’re available now. The earthiness and texture is just divine. Jersey Royals have been grown on Jersey for 140 years. Today there are approximately 20 island farmers who grow Jersey Royals. The Jersey soil is light and well drained and many farmers still use seaweed harvested from Jersey beaches as a natural fertilizer (it is known locally as Vraic). They’re not cheap, but I’m sure you can add them somewhere to a dish?

Cauliflowers remain expensive, but all the other Brassica’s are easing from the recent high prices due to the weather. Leeks continue to increase in price and we’ve seen a slight change upwards on the Onions too. If you’ve ordered any Baby Bunch Veg this week then it’s been changed to Yukon as the word ‘baby’ would be out of the question, more like ‘Micro’ as they have been picked far too early to meet demand. The Wild Mushroom selection is very poor and Girolles are almost non existent. Wild Garlic Leaf has been very hard to source this week, hopefully it will improve this week.

Water Melons remain expensive. We’re expecting the Banana price to start easing next week as more containers arrive. Pineapples are reasonable, so too are Spanish Strawberries and they’re not coming through as large as they was. Red Currants are ludicrously expensive, so best avoided. Plums are more plentiful, but this hasn’t impacted on the price yet and they’re still a bit pricey but they are good quality. Apples are quite expensive this year especially the Granny Smiths due to a much smaller European crop. Nardicotts are good but getting dearer.

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 2nd March 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 2nd March 2018

Needless to say the weather is affecting almost everything. Even if the Farmer manages to pick the crop he may not be able to get the transport to him to collect it. A good example is Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb, its grown in sheds inside and is not really affected by the weather but supplies have been very tight as they cannot get it collected during this snowy weather! As this is a European weather problem we cannot simply switch to mainland Europe to fill the gaps in our own shortages as their in the same boat and we rely heavily on Europe this time of year. Young Nettles & Wild Garlic are in short supply due to the weather.

So far Cauliflowers have been badly affected and are very expensive this week. All the English Cabbages are up in price and some have a quality issue too. Root crops, as in Carrots & Parsnips are currently coming from storage so are not directly impacted yet. There is big problems in Italy, so Continental Parsley, Fennel, Cavolo Nero and many other leafy crops are frozen in the ground. In the coming weeks we may see Potatoes start to creep up in price for the better ones, the larger crop last year has up until now keep prices lower than average.

Bananas remain expensive whilst supplies are tight. Spanish Strawberries are still reasonable and we’re expecting more Dutch fruit to arrive soon too. Good Apples of all sizes are proving very hard to source and will remain expensive for some time to come. English Braeburn have more or less finished but there are still some English Royal Gala Apples around. Water Melons are very expensive and we’ve switched over to some better larger Honeydew Melons that work out better value. There are a few Yellow Plums available.