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Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 27th April 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 27th April 2018

English Asparagus is now in full swing and our Norfolk grower ‘Portwood Farm’ has said the quality is excellent. English Asparagus on has a short season so make sure there’s room on your menu for some. Somewhat more expensive and harder to source is Wild Asparagus, it’s barley type look is quite different and it’s just come into season and sporadic supplies are coming through. Another great UK grower is Nutbourne Nursery, their Heirloom Tomatoes are second to none! They are more expensive than most other English growers but their flavour and quality is well worth it, they’re now packing in loose 3kg boxes (Please request NUTBOURNE when ordering). Jersey Royal Potatoes are expected to go down sometime next week as they move  over to the main outdoor crop.  English Cauliflowers, Spanish Courgettes & Belgium Leeks remain reasonable but Broccoli has jumped in price and is expected to get much dearer in the next couple of weeks as supplies tighten.

Portuguese Savoy Cabbage is in short supply and up in price. Mange-toute & Sugar Snaps look to go up in price as rain is affecting the crop. English Onions are still dear and has quality issues. Spanish & Chilean Onions are available but nearly double the price. Tomatoes are much the same with the exception of Beef Tomatoes that are dearer this week.  Much later than usual but we should be starting on some English Lettuces next week, first will be the Little Gem & Pousse Baby spinach with the other lettuces coming soon after. The lateness of the English crop has had an impact on the price of Iceberg Lettuce and due to short supply issues, it is much more expensive at present.

English Outdoor Rhubarb is much better now and great value for money. Dutch Strawberries have eased after the spike in prices last week. Apples remain expensive and continue to go up in price. All Melons are dear but Water MelonsCantaloupe especially so.  Nardicotts are coming to an end and have quality issues too so we should be moving to Ortaniques next week, only problem is that they can be more of a hard Peeler as opposed to an easy peeler! We’re still stuck with just Conference Pears as the main stream pear of choice, hopefully some Comice will arrive soon. Lemons are creeping up in price and Limes are dearer as we switch from Brazil to Mexican. No Cherries or Apricots available at present.

 

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 17th April 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 17th April 2018

There is some fine English produce starting to trickle through to us now as the weather warms up. The English Asparagus in Green & Purple is lovely but still fetching high prices. English Cauliflowers are a good size now and much better value for money. Italian/Spanish Peas & Broad Beans are very good, as are the French Jerusalem Chokes. Belgium Leeks remain a good buy so too is the Spanish Broccoli. The taste of the Sicilian Cherry Tomatoes on Vine this week are fantastic, they are so sweet but remain firm, I just can’t stop eating them. Aubergines are creeping back up in price and English Carrots look likely to go the same way as we near the end of the crop. Good English Main Crop Potatoes like AGRIA are just going to go up in price week by week as we head towards the end of the crop. Good English Onions remain dear and it’s a challenge to find a good one. Padron Peppers are very reasonable this week.

We’re now on Dutch Strawberries and the quality is so much better and not a great deal more expensive neither. Indoor & Outdoor Rhubarb available, big difference in price and grading though. For some reason Paw Paws are expensive at the moment. Pineapples remain reasonable but Lemons & Limes are looking to go up in the next week or so. The South African Red Plums ‘Ruby Star’ eat very well and are very juicy. The choice of Pears is still very limited but we’re hoping for some Comice to start this week. Bananas have eased in price a little but they are still above the seasonal norm. Not much change in the price of Melons, Water Melons are still expensive. There are some Chilean Peaches & Nectarines available but we don’t recommend them at all.

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 10th April 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 10th April 2018

Still a lack of English Produce coming through, it is reported that the ourdoor Jersey Royal Potato Crop is three weeks late this year due to the wet cold weather and all the salads are late already. Cucumbers are plentiful so prices are reasonable. Plum Tomatoes & Rocket are a little easier too. Avocado’s remain expensive but the Peppers look to ease in price.

Wye Valley White Sprouting Broccoli looks lovely and is very seasonal, Purple is available too. Cauliflowers are coming down this week and the size is getting bigger too. Broccoli & Leeks are also very reasonable this week. English Asparagus has started but prices are dear. Our preferred Grower, Portwood Farm believes prices will stay quite high until May as volumes are very low at present. YUKON Baby Leeks have been hard to get and they are very pale when we do get them, so best avoided. Most Wild Mushrooms are available but some are poorer quality especially the Girolles. Wild Garlic Leaf (Ransoms) is still available, but not in flower yet. The best Sweet Potatoes are from the USA at the moment but they are a little dearer.

We’ve moved over to Belgium/Dutch Strawberries as the quality/shelf life of the Spanish was very poor. Redcurrants remain expensive and the rest of the Berries are not particularly cheap. Still no Apricots but there are a few pockets of Cherries starting. Pineapples prices are fair and Bananas are slowly coming back down in price. Easy Peelers are very difficult as Nardicotts are still showing some waste and there is no better alternative.

 

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 28th April 2017

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report –  28th April 2017

Another Bank Holiday so soon….!

Not a lot of changes from last week. Spanish Broccoli has come down in price, Green & Yellow Courgettes remain good value. Hispi & Savoy Cabbage are both dearer this week as supplies are short. The glut of English Cauliflower seems to be over and prices have risen sharply. Mange-Tout & Sugar Snaps continue to rise in price and Butternut Squash is dearer this week. English & Belgium Leeks are very good quality and reasonably priced. This time of Year we normally see Parsnips rise in price as the season ends and we go onto Spanish but there seems to be plenty around and prices have actually eased. English Asparagus is great at the moment and there is plenty around in all sizes, Purple and white are also available.

Cucumbers remain plentiful and prices are good, Beef Tomatoes are now much better priced after their recent high prices and the rest of the Tomatoes are all a bit easier. We’ve had the first of the English Round & Little Gem Lettuces, quality is excellent and we expect more varieties over the next week or so to join them. We’ve been reliably informed that Avocado’s will be coming down next week as they’ve been quite expensive of late.

English Outdoor Rhubarb is outstanding at the moment and good value. Conference Pears are looking a bit scruffy now so we’re switching to Argentinian Williams next week. Pineapples are more plentiful and this is reflected in the better prices now. Good Plums are hard to find and priced at a premium. AVOID REDCURRANTS, they’re extortionate at present, you have been warned! Limes are dropping in price but Lemons are on the way up. More Peaches & Nectarines are arriving from the Continent and size will improve and prices will ease as they’re a bit pricey at present. Spanish Cherries have started, but again they’re not cheap.

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 21st April 2017

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report –  21st April 2017

There are some beauties coming into season in April and none less than Wild Asparagus, currently it’s coming from France but there will some available from the UK later. The barley like stems reach about 16-24 mm long. The flowers are small and green and produce bright red berries later. The UK has 28 sites on the coasts of southern and south-west England and Wales. Elsewhere, the species occurs on the coasts of many European countries. Other seasonal gems available include Green & White English Asparagus, Jersey Royal Potatoes and Indoor/Outdoor Rhubarb. Spanish Green Courgettes are good value and the Yellow Courgettes are a good price too. Spanish Aubergines are now scrappy looking so we’re onto the better Dutch/Belgium as they’re not that much dearer. Spanish Broccoli is also tumbling to an acceptable price. English Cauliflowers still remain good value. Loose Moroccan Corn-on-Cob is very good in quality and price. Spanish Globe Artichokes are really good and not as expensive as you might think. With St. Georges Day this weekend and it coincides with the start of the St. George Wild Mushrooms.

So whats gone up this week…? Sugar Snaps & Mange-Toute have jumped up, so too has Portuguese Savoy Cabbage as there is little or none in English available.

All the Peppers seem to be easing in price, so too are Tomatoes. Cucumbers are still plentiful and prices are on the low side. Little Gem is now English but all the other lettuces are still from the Continent. All Avocadoes remain expensive, especially the Hass variety. We’re struggling to find good Celery as it is not the best at the moment and a bit pale looking.

New Zealand Cox’s Apples are now appearing on the market. The Braeburn Apples continue to eat well and are the best value red apples, even though it isn’t a true Red Apple. Melons are dear and Galia are exceptionally expensive. There is little or none of the following: Cherries, Apricots & Litchis. Spanish Strawberries are still very reasonable, so too are Blueberries. Nardicotts are still very expensive as they’re the only easy peeler worth buying at present. There are a few Red Forelle Pears available, but they too are dear.

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 7th April 2017

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report –  7th April 2017

It looks like we’re in for a hot weekend and that can only mean good news for the start of the English Asparagus Season. We love the Asparagus from J.W. Allen & Sons in Attleborough, Norfolk. They have been growing Asparagus there since 1985. Andy has 180 acres and around a third of that is grown under polythene to encourage early growth. We’ve taken Chefs there on farm visits before and can highly recommend his Asparagus. We’re already selling it and although it is early in the season, prices are coming down and the quality is excellent.

English Cauliflower is also growing faster than it can be sold and despite traders trying to talk the price up, prices remain low. We’re buying ours from C.J. Bean in Deal, Kent and they are huge! The same cannot be said for Savoy Cabbage as supplies are short and we’re having to buy French. There’s no letting up on the price of Broccoli as it remains expensive with no sign of change. Sugar snaps & Mange Toute have been good value but have now jumped up in price. Dutch Chillies are very good but expensive, but while we can buy the cheaper Spanish ones, we will. Another good home grown crop at the moment is green Bok Choy grown in Worcestershire.

Avocado’s are very expensive at the moment, especially the ‘HASS’ variety. English & Dutch Cucumbers remain good value. Round Tomatoes are still fetching higher than expected prices and hopefully this will change over the next week or so as the Dutch become more plentiful. Cherry Tomatoes are reasonable, but Beef & Plum Tomatoes are more expensive. We’ve got a few more weeks before English Lettuces start but the Spanish is still good and reasonably priced.

Costa Rican Water Melons & Honeydew Melons are still on the pricey side,  Brazilian Limes & Spanish Lemons are still expensive too. After a hiccup in the quality, Spanish Strawberries are much better and good value. There’s no Apricots available on only small pockets of Cherries coming through that are ridiculously over priced for the quality. Nardicotts have been the choice of Easy Peeler of late but the Clementines that are coming through do eat well, but are on the small side and neither are particularly cheap.