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June Is Busting Out All Over – With Great British Produce That Is!

British produce starts to get exciting in May, but really comes into its own in June.  The veg patch grows by the day and needs to be thinned out before things become too tangled.

British strawberries are synonymous with June and Wimbledon of course.  They, along with raspberries, rhubarb (garden, not forced) and gooseberries herald the start of the great British fruit season.  It will soon be time to take advantage of the abundance of fruit around & get jam making!

We do, of course, see British fruit in the supermarkets much sooner these days.  That’s due to them being grown in industrial polytunnels and under glass.  Personally, I much prefer to wait until their ‘true’ season.  The more things are available, the less special they become.

Gooseberries are only around for a short time (you don’t see them in supermarkets very often), but if you can get hold of them in farm shops & markets, they are wonderful in jams and tart tasting desserts.  Gooseberry fool anyone?

British vegetables are now in abundance.  Lots of British asparagus still around, but we are now spoilt for choice with salad vegetables like radish, lettuce, watercress & spring onions making their appearance in the garden, along with things like broad beans, new potatoes, peas, French beans and many others.pots

I love all the lovely veggies we can get hold of now & look forward to opening my organic veg box each week  with so much choice.

Don’t forget – check those labels, and make sure you buy British!

 

  • Asparagus
  • Aubergines
  • Beetroot
  • Broad beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Cherries
  • Courgettes
  • French beans
  • Globe artichokes
  • Gooseberries
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • Nettles
  • New potatoes
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Raspberries
  • Rhubarb (outdoor)
  • Samphire
  • Spring onions
  • Strawberries
  • Sugar snaps
  • Watercress

 


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July’s Bounty – Great British Produce!

July really is a fantastic month for British produce.  Fruits & vegetables abound & if you are lucky enough to have a veg patch or allotment, it’s about all you can do to keep up with harvesting.

strawberriesPersonally, I think waiting for the gorgeous fruit & veg we have now is worth it.  Eating in season just makes it all the more special – and tasty too!  Strawberries warmed by the summer sun (if we get any) taste so much better than those grown in polytunnels & kept in cold storage out of season.

I have a go at growing my own, but unfortunately, don’t really have the time it warrants to keep on top of everything.  Already this year, the birds have beaten me to the blackcurrants, cherries & gooseberries (although they seem to leave the white currants alone for some reason).  I shall have to keep my eye on them with my blueberries.

Blueberries are a great fruit to grow as they crop over a staggered period of time – you can pick a bowlful around every other day, rather than having a glut.

Due to a holiday in June, being very busy & the rainy weather, things have run away with themselves – literally.  I’ve just spent a very frustrating hour and a half trying to untangle my beans & peas, as I failed to get sticks in place in time.  I also have a lot of veg thinning to do – bit late really, but better late than never!runner beans

There’s so much in season at the moment, we really are spoilt for choice.  The cherry season is quite short, but they are definitely my favourite fruit & I wait in eagerness for the British cherries to arrive.cherries

Whether you’re growing your own, visiting farmer’s markets & farm shops, or just picking some up from the shops, make the most of the gorgeous British produce while you can – I feel some jam making coming on :).

 

  • Apricots
  • Aubergines
  • Beetroot
  • Blackcurrants
  • Blueberries
  • Broad beans
  • Carrots
  • Cherries
  • Courgettes
  • Cucumbers
  • Currants (red & white)
  • Fennel
  • French beans
  • Globe artichokes
  • Gooseberries
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • New potatoes
  • Onions
  • Radishes
  • Raspberries
  • Rhubarb (outdoor)
  • Runner beans
  • Samphire
  • Strawberries
  • Swiss chard
  • Tomatoes

 


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British Produce Gets Exciting in May!

Well I totally missed blogging about April produce, but here we are already in May and things start to get exciting on the British produce scene.

elderflowerThings are still pretty lean with regards British fruit in season, although you could be fooled into that isn’t the case due to the British fruits such as strawberries, already on sale in the supermarkets.  It’s amazing what can be achieved in polytunnels – but these early crops aren’t really in the true season.  The only British fruits truly in season are elderflowers & rhubarb (although rhubarb is technically a vegetable).

So, time to make that elderflower cordial and make the most of that lovely tart rhubarb.

But, when it comes to veggies it’s a different story as spring produce really comes into its own – asparagus, broad beans, peas, new potatoes, radish, watercress, wild garlic to name but a few.

I love asparagus – asparagusthe other half isn’t so keen, but I sneak it in whenever I can.  Be careful in the supermarkets though, as much of it is still the imported stuff from Peru – make sure it’s British.

I didn’t get around to sowing broad beans & peas in the garden last autumn, so no home grown for me this year (it was a spring sowing instead), but they should now be appearing in the shops, fresh in their pods.  Podding peas & broad beans certainly heralds spring and the approaching summer for me.  broad beansDon’t forget to use the pods to make stock!

Wild garlic is abundant on grass verges, but be careful where you pick from – not in common dog walking areas that’s for sure :).

May is definitely a time to embrace gorgeous British produce.

 

  • Asparagus
  • Broad beans
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Elderflower
  • Jersey Royals & new potatoes
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Rhubarb
  • Rocket
  • Salad onions
  • Samphire
  • Sorrel
  • Watercress
  • Wild garlic

 


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What seasonal produce does March bring?

March is an odd month – it brings the promise of longer, warmer days ahead and we may be lucky to experience some lovely Spring days.  But, it can also be extremely cold and miserable.  Due to the moveable nature of Easter, we can experience both Easter & Mother’s Day in March – but sometimes not.  But, what we always get are lighter, longer evenings – naturally the evenings get steadily lighter, but March brings the Spring solstice with the clocks going forward on the last Sunday of the month – deep joy :).  lamb

Personally, I like March – not only does it bring my birthday (and my youngest son’s), but we have lambs, daffodils and numerous other Spring bulbs to cheer us up.

Food wise, it’s a bit of a mixed bag – I’ve heard chefs call it the lean month – somewhere between the earthy veg of Winter and the new Spring produce about to burst on the scene next month.  Some people start to get fed up of the root veg we’ve been eating all Winter – I don’t.

There are some new kids on the block – caulicauliflower, endive, spinach, spring greens, spring onions and young carrots make an appearance.  spring greensNot everyone gets excited about these (many are waiting for the sexy asparagus), but nothing wrong with them in my book.

We can still enjoy purple sprouting and Jerusalem artichokes, so certainly no need to complain there (I still haven’t got around to making that Jerusalem artichoke soup you know).

Fruit in season for March is still quite thin on the ground with citrus still ruling the roost – lemons, oranges and blood oranges.  But, British produce makes an appearance in the form of gorgeous pink forced rhubarb (from the Yorkshire rhubarb triangle of course).  I just love the gorgeous, vibrant pink colour.rhubarb

So, make the most of that gorgeous British pink rhubarb and get making those crumbles, pies and fools before the disappear until the summer rhubarb comes along.

 

 

  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbages
  • Celeriac
  • Endive
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Leeks
  • Lemons
  • Oranges & blood oranges
  • Parsnips
  • Passion fruit
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  • Rhubarb
  • Spinach
  • Spring greens
  • Swede
  • Young carrots

 


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It’s January – what produce is in season?

Are you someone that likes or dislikes January?  Some people see it as a new beginning, making resolutions and changes for the year ahead.

I’m afraid I’m not a January person – in my eyes it doesn’t have a lot going for it.  Dark, damp, dank and cold – Christmas has gone, the decorations and lights are down.  I also don’t understand why people deprive themselves, going on diets, giving up the things they love in the worst month of the year.  osso buccoFor me it’s all about comfort, warming food – food that gives you a cuddle and warms you up on those damp, cold days.

So, what produce is in season to cheer up on these dark, cold days?

I think the seasonal produce also screams comfort food – those root vegetables used for lovely stews, casseroles and soups – carrots, swede, parsnips, leeks.  parsnipsAlthough they can all be used for that January detox too, if that’s what takes your fancy.

We still  have some leafy vegetables to ring the changes too – cabbages, sprouts and kale.  cabbage

Purple sprouting broccoli (or ‘posh broccoli’ as some people call it) makes an appearance.  It’s almost like a teaser for asparagus coming in the Spring with it’s delicate stalks and purple heads.purple sprouting

Those knobbly Jerusalem artichokes are also still around – I must remember to make some soup.

So, lots of vegetables still around, but not much in the way of fruit this time of year, with citrus fruit reigning supreme.  We see those gorgeous blood oranges coming along and Seville oranges.  Every year, I tell myself I’m not going to make Seville orange marmalade as I have loads of it here – but then I see them and just can’t resist buying some. seville orange It’s probably got something to do with their short season – if I don’t buy them when I see them, they will be gone.

So, it may be gloomy January, but the lovely produce certainly lights up the month for me

 

  • Beetroot
  • Blood oranges
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbages
  • Carrots
  • Celeriac
  • Chicory
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Lemons
  • Parsnips
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  • Seville oranges
  • Swede
  • Turnips

 


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Still Lots of Vegetables in Season – November

It may be November, but there are still loads of lovely British vegetables in season.  The amount of fruit has decreased with the colder months, but not so, as yet, for the veggies.

sproutsWe’re now benefitting from the lovely veggies that have been growing through the spring/summer to reach their gorgeous peak as the colder months arrive.

You can tell Christmas is approaching as those Marmite vegetables, Brussels sprouts are now in season.  Are you a lover or a hater?  I love sprouts (always have done) and would quite honestly, simply sulk, if they were not included on my Christmas dinner.

turnipRoot vegetables are very prominent now with swede, turnips and parsnips coming onto the scene.  These will sustain us through to spring.  Gardeners have lots of clever ways of storing them over winter (including keeping them in the ground) – they don’t have to go into temperature controlled supermarket warehouses.

We also have some of the hardier leaves in season now such as radicchio, lamb’s lettuce and pak choi.  There are also some veggies that were classed as a bit more unusual just a few years ago, but are becoming increasingly common – think kohl rabi & Swiss chard.

jerusalem artichokeAnd don’t forget Jerusalem artichokes – they really make the most divine soup.

In addition to British produce, sweet potatoes, which come from sunnier climes, are also now in season.  They may be in the supermarket year round, but they have a season just like everything else.

So, check where your produce is from and make the most of eating lovely vegetables at their best – when they’re in season :).

  • Beetroot
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Celeriac
  • Celery
  • Globe artichoke
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Kale
  • Kohl rabi
  • Lamb’s lettuce
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Pak Choi
  • Parsnips
  • Pumpkin
  • Radicchio
  • Salsify
  • Swede
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnips

 

leeksbeetroot cabbage celeriac celery curly kale globe artichoke onions parsnips pumpkin & squash salsify swede swiss chard

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Fruit in Season – November?

The clocks have gone back, Halloween & Bonfire Night have been and gone.  We’re now on the countdown to Christmas – although the weather doesn’t feel that way at the moment, with the incessant rain.

appleThe British fruit in season is reducing as the months grow colder and the days shorter.  But, we do still have some British fruit to celebrate, plus some fruit from other parts of the world.  At this point in the year, we can happily eat some of those imports to get the best from the produce at its peak.

British apples and pears are now in abundance, along with wonderful Bramley cooking apples.

clementinesChristmas feels like it’s approaching with the emergence of clementines, cranberries, pomegranates and exotic dates.  We also have lovely chestnuts, which can be enjoyed in both sweet and savoury dishes.

 

quinceOne of the more unusual British fruits in season is the quince – not something you’ll necessarily see in the supermarket, but should be able to spot in farmers markets.

So, embrace the changing seasons and enjoy the fabulous fruits around in chilly (I mean, wet!) November.

Apples

Bananas

Bramley apples

Chestnuts

Clementines

Cranberries

Dates

Pears

Pomegranates

Quince

pearschestnutscranberries dates pomegranate

 

bananas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s Late in the Month, but Vegetables in Season – October?

This is a late in the month post – I really don’t know where the time goes sometimes.  But, it’s not too late to look at the vegetables in season for October.  We’ve already seen that it’s an abundant month for fruit and nuts, but what’s the situation for the veggies?

butternutWell there is certainly an Autumnal feel to them all, with the pumpkins and squash you’d expect and earthy vegetables such as beetroot and leeks being prominent.

Wild mushrooms are very much in vogue too, whipping up images of woods covered in gorgeous Autumn leaves.

We still get a feel for the Med though with peppers still being very much in season.

In my own garden, the late cropping runner beans I mentioned last month are now cropping in abundance.  Very late, but very welcome to say the least.  Just goes to show you don’t have to miss the boat by sowing a bit later.

swiss chardSomething that’s now a bit more common and at season now is Swiss chard.  Just a few years ago, it was classed as one of the more unusual vegetables, but I see it being used in cookery magazines more and more.  It’s certainly an easy crop to grow and can be very eye catching with the brightly coloured stems.

So, with all this lovely produce available, make sure you don’t pick up those imports and make the most of the variety before winter comes along with a little less variety on offer.

  • Beetroot
  • Carrots
  • Leeks
  • Potatoes
  • Marrows
  • Peppers
  • Pumpkins & squash
  • Shallots
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Wild mushrooms

 

beetroot carrots  new pots marrows

shallots

spinachleeks peppersmushrooms

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Fruit and Nuts in Season – October?

The nights are drawing in, the leaves are falling and the temperature is dropping.  As I’ve gotten older, Autumn has become my favourite season – I just love the light and the fantastic tree and leaf colour.  Absolutely stunning!

appleThe fruit and nuts in season is changing and it feels autumnal – we may have waved goodbye to the gorgeous summer berries, but there is certainly no shortage of British fruit in season.  It’s also a great time for nuts.

blackberriesThe summer berries may have gone, but we still have gorgeous autumn raspberries and, of course, blackberries.  I used to spend hours as a kid picking blackberries from the old railway line that ran behind our house.  I don’t think my mother was too pleased with all the pies & crumbles she had to make but spending my time picking blackberries certainly wasn’t hurting anyone.  There was always that really big, juicy one, just out of reach.

New season apples and pears are now with us and glorious figs.  I have a few fig plants growing in pots in my garden – I don’t get many (had around 8 this year), but boy do they taste good.  No comparison to shop-bought.

cobnutsThe nuts in season at the moment really herald autumn for me and hint at the Christmas celebrations that will be here before we know it.

So, with all this lovely British produce available make sure you check those labels to avoid imports.  Eating seasonally is not only better for you, it tastes better too.

Apples

Autumn raspberries

Blackberries

Chestnuts

Cobnuts

Figs

Grapes

Hazelnuts

Pears

Quince

Walnuts

raspberriespears hazelnuts grapes figschestnutswalnutsquince

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vegetables in Season – September?

We’re already over half-way through September.  We’ve already looked at the fantastic British fruit in season, but what about the vegetables in season in September?  There is so much to enjoy before the root veg of winter kick in.

cucumberWe can still enjoy lots of salad items, such as cucumber, watercress and tomatoes, to make the most of any sunny weather that may come our way – remember autumn doesn’t officially start until 21st September.

 

peppersMediterranean style veggies like peppers and aubergines, are still prominent reminding us of sunnier climes with the memories of our summer holidays already fading rapidly.  Chillies are also now in season, so snap them up and dry or freeze to use throughout the year.

In my own garden, my courgettes are still cropping even though they’re not an official September veg and I’m looking forward to a late harvest of runner beans – I was late sowing, hence the late cropping.  Looking ahead, I’ve just bought garlic & onion sets to sow for next year.

The real autumn veggies like pumpkin and squash make an appearance making us think of dark nights approaching – in fact marrows are just large courgettes, so I guess my September courgettes aren’t unusual.

My favourite veg at the moment is corn-on-the-cob – there really is nothing nicer than a fresh, hot cob dripping with butter.sweetcorn

Next month autumn really kicks off so enjoy this lovely British produce while you can – and remember to check those labels as there really is no need to be buying imports from other climes.

Aubergines

Beetroot

Carrots

chilliesChillies

Cucumber

Fennel

Main Crop Potatoes

Marrows

Peppers

pumpkin & squashPumpkins

Shallots

Spinach

Squash

Sweetcorn

watercress

Swiss Chard

Tomatoes

Watercress

Wild mushrooms

aubergine beetroot carrots fennel new pots marrows

 

shallotsspinachswiss chardtomaotesmushrooms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fruit & Nuts in Season – September?

cobnutsThe children are back in school, what we had of summer seems to be disappearing, but we can hold onto the last threads with the gorgeous British fruit & nuts in season in September.  After all, autumn doesn’t officially start until 21st September and we are now reaping the rewards of the long summer days with the fruit available.

In addition to the lovely fruit, it’s also time for nuts!  I love nuts and when I’m really busy with not much time to eat, I reach for my jar of organic mixed nuts to keep me going.  They are full of goodness as well as tasting fabulous.

With so much on offer, we can look at the September veggies on another day.

blackberriesOne of the lovely fruits in season are blackberries, which of course, are available for free all through the countryside.  Just make sure you don’t pick them from where the dogs have likely to have been relieving themselves.  We also have damsons and plums available all over the countryside.

My favourite fruit at the moment are figs – I grown some in pots in my garden.  I only get around half a dozen per year, but they are like nectar, absolutely divine!

We also have the early apples and pears, which are just the beginning with so many varieties coming into season between now and the end of November.

So, with so much fruit in season at the moment, there is really no excuse to buy imports – so check those labels and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you can’t find British produce in your local shops.

Fruit

appleApples

Autumn raspberries

Blackberries

Cobnuts

Damsons

Figs

Grapes

Hazelnuts

Pears

Plums

Walnuts

raspberries

damson

figsgrapeshazelnuts

 

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Vegetables in Season – August?

As we talked about last week, August is a fantastic month for great British produce, so it’s time to look at the vegetables in season in August.  Not only is it the time for drowning in the glorious berries and other fruit ripening, our vegetables are coming to a crescendo too.

courgettesYou can almost be fooled into thinking we are living in Mediterranean climes with veggies like tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines, peppers etc.

We also have all the lovely salad vegetables such as salad leaves, cucumber, celery.  In addition there are the more unusual veggies such as samphire & Swiss chard.

Real summer produce for us to enjoy before the good old British root vegetables of autumn come along.lettuce

They can be enjoyed raw in salads, cold and hot soups, Mediterranean dishes, hot off the barbie – the list is endless.  I truly love the produce on offer at this time of year and we really should make the most of gorgeous British produce while it’s around.  Sometimes supermarkets will still import from other climes, so check those labels and make sure you buy lovely British, seasonal produce – better for you, better for the producers and better for the environment :).

Aubergines

Beetroot

Broad Beans

Carrots

Courgettes

cucumberCucumber

Fennel

French Beans

Globe Artichokes

Kohlrabi

Lettuce

New Potatoes

radishOnions

Radishes

Runner Beans

samphireSamphire

Swiss Chard

Tomatoes

aubergine beetroot broad beans carrots fennel french beans globe artichoke new pots onions runner beans

 

 

 

swiss chard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fruit in Season – August?

blueberriesI’m passionate about using British produce when in season and get extremely frustrated if I go into a supermarket when it’s peak season for an item to find there are no British products being stocked.

I remember going into Tesco a few years ago in August, which is peak time for British tomatoes and there were no British tomatoes available at all.  I did ask a member of staff why this was – in fairness, she went to find out, but came back with a standard response relating to the buyer not thinking the quality was up to scratch (what rubbish – the buyer could simply get them cheaper elsewhere).  tomaotesI came out of there with no tomatoes and feeling slightly depressed (depressed you cry – over no British tomatoes – bit of an overreaction!).   An overreaction it may be, but I feel it’s important to support British producers and buy British produce when in season – it’s better for us, the economy and the environment.

So, it’s August.  What fantastic British produce is around now?  It’s an abundant time of year that’s for sure with so much wonderful produce available it’s worth just concentrating on fruit for now – we can look at veggies, fish, seafood and meat a bit later in the month.

cherries

I love all the fruit in season at the moment – cherries are my absolute favourite and it’s imperative we buy British as the number of British cherry orchards have decreased dramatically in recent years.

So, with so much fruit in season at the moment, there is really no excuse to buy imports – so check those labels and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you can’t find British produce in your local shops.

Fruit

apricotsApricots

Blueberries

Cherries

Black, white & red currants

Gooseberries

Raspberries

Rhubarb

Strawberries

raspberries

strawberriesgooseberriescurrants