October - Move Over Berries, Hello Pumpkins!
There is certainly that chill in the air, with the feeling that summer is over and we are in the middle of autumn with winter not far away! October reflects that change with the difference in seasonal availability of local and UK fruit and vegetables as we move to more imported lines to cover the winter. Here is our snapshot of what you can expect throughout the month:
The Garden of England is the heart of apple and pear growing country and we are right in the middle of picking. We vary the varieties to supply the finest fruit as and when the different types are at their best. Expect Robijn apples followed by Gala towards the end of October, as well as local Bramleys, with Conference being the main pear we are supplying. As per previous years we are working with our main two growers Fiona Boucher at Newlands Farm and Tom Hulme of Hoaden Court Farm.
We have had a great summer berry season but sadly that is now at an end as local strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries make way to be imported from Spain and South America. Prices will naturally increase on these lines as they start to be imported.
During October make the most of a wonderful array of beautiful brassicas grown by Trevor Bradley at Boundary Farm and Dickie Ovenden at Green Lane Farm. Between them we have broccoli, cauliflower, cavalo nero, curly kale, russian kale and savoy cabbages. All are well priced and growing strongly with moist warm soil and relatively mild temperatures.
October is, of course, the month to enjoy pumpkins. Most well known as a display item it is underused as a versatile addition to both savoury and sweet menus. Fernside Farm are growing different sized pumpkins for us as well as some nice Crown Prince squashes too.
Also good from now throughout autumn and winter are the broad range of new season roots – carrots, parsnips, swede, celeriac and beetroots.
All signs are that this year’s potato crop will be much improved on 2018. By the end of October all main crop will have been lifted and we hope to see prices easing a little once the full yield is known. As well as the main jacket and washed varieties our main grower Provenance Potatoes has put together a premium roasting and chipping potato. As with national brands, such as Chippies Choice and Lovers, the variety will change during the year to give you the best performing spud. The key difference is that it is local, grown just down the road, so not only are there far fewer miles but knowing the farmer means we can have real input in to the product.
We are hoping to remain on local Kentish salad leaves for most of October. Stephen Betts at Church Farm is confident that is we avoid any frost then the whole crop should last for a good few weeks. This includes all whole head lettuce, mixed leaf salad, landcress, baby spinach and rocket. After this we will be working with Stephen to import salad from their partners in Spain.
News from further afield
As you know Foodari like to champion local and British produce, but when this is not available, we aim to give you the same consistency and short supply chain working with growers throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Here is a taste of what is happening around the globe:
Sweet potatoes have been a real problem over the summer with well documented shortages leading to astronomical prices for product coming from the USA and Honduras. At this time of year production is moved closer to home so both the freshness and prices improve. Sweet potatoes will be Egyptian and then Spanish but expect an improving situation.
Citrus prices have stabilized and should not change now until the Spanish season start where again we will see prices slipping back. By contrast all of the main melon varieties (water, honeydew, galia, cantaloupe) have all now moved to Southern Hemisphere production. Whilst prices may increase slightly this is more that outweighed by the far superior produce quality.
The avocado price is due to remain high as there is a global shortage as producers endeavour to keep up with demand. As a side note, some of the ripeners are having problems with the skin colour, they cannot at the moment pinpoint the problem but they have been adjusting the heat, pressure and gas levels to adjust. So if you get an avocado that doesn’t look the right colour, please try it because it should sill be ripe and tasty!
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There will be plenty of other changes as produce comes in and goes out of season over the next few weeks so keep an eye out for the immediate updates on our social media channels. Please let us know if you would like anymore information - call us on 01233 721628 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.