“…and virtue is a good thing,” is what my partner Geetie tells her 5 year old daughter at least three times a week. That never worked on a Sainsbury buyer I once worked with, but I will try it on you and throw in a plea to accept a little compromise (that never worked either). Summer is taking its time to arrive and most crop covers are staying on while we wait for the temperature to rise, but with no late frosts and enough windows of dry weather to get the planting done, we are not complaining. Keeping the boxes both full and varied over the next few weeks is a struggle, even after using more imported produce than we would like, but I think we are just about managing it.
Meanwhile down on our farm in France we are manically busy harvesting greens, turnips, chard, kohl rabi and lettuce as fast as our team can get them in the crates. Elsewhere, the first Charlotte new potatoes will be dug in Jersey this week though they will only be on the extras list until we start digging in Cornwall and have enough to go in the boxes. By now we could easily be digging quick-growing new potato varieties like Swift and Rocket; they look the part but are at best watery and tasteless. We will wait for the slower growing, tasty varieties like Charlotte that give some cause to celebrate a new season, and hope that you will be patient with us. In the meantime our stored Valor spuds are still tasting good, though do keep them in a paper bag in the fridge as they are now waking up and will quickly sprout at room temperature. So long as you keep them in the dark and there is no greening, a few sprouts (chits) can be knocked off without loss of eating quality.
After a lifetime in marketing, my sister Rachel always insists on a positive end so here goes; the new season is tantalisingly close and your boxes will soon be brimming with homegrown broad beans, salads, flavoursome potatoes, bunched carrots, beets, basil and much more. Best of all I soon won’t have to be patient or apologise for any compromise.