Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands
Writing on the first day of December, colours and textures catching my eye are smooth and deep-cleft Pumpkins in greens, flame-reds and burnished browns; crinkly-leaved emerald, black/green and purple hued Brassicas; yellow and pale green and orange Citrus, including the first Tarocco oranges; deep red Pomegranates; and frills of Radicchio in yellows, pinks and burgundies. And then there is our London Fermentary fridge, filled with jars and bottles of vibrant Fermented vegetables, sauces and Water Kefirs. Scent comes from the boxes of Quince to my left. Right now we have:
British Brassicas including Savoy Cabbage, spectacular green and purple hued January King, deeply crinkled Black Cabbage (Cavolo Nero), green and purple Kale, Brussels Sprouts and Brussels Tops which have benefited from a kiss of frost.
Beautiful English Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Cauliflower and swirling lime-green Romanesco, with the creaminess of cauliflower and the taste of broccoli.
Root vegetables including Celeriac, Jerusalem Artichoke, Swede, and Beetroot are all British grown this week, as are the Leeks and Fenland Celery. There is French Scorzonera and also organic Heritage Carrots.
English Chard growth is slowing so leaves are also coming in from kinder European climes as temperatures fall here. There is Watercress still from our Sussex Farmer, Kingfisher.
Pale green Kohlrabi is here from Italy.
Roscoff Onions from France and large, sweet White Onions from Italy.
The cold-weather bitter greens from Italy include Puntarelle (Catalogna) and Cime di Rapa.
Bitter leaves in the form of Radicchio Treviso (Prococe and Tardivo types now), yellow, red-flecked Castelfranco, round Chioggia, rose-like Pink Radicchio, and large-leaved green Escarole. Joining the party this week is the beautiful frilly white/yellow Riccetta. The mild inner leaves of both Escarole and Riccetta are fantastic in salads while the coarser outer leaves can be cooked.
Winter Squash and Pumpkins - Red Kuri (Onion Squash), French Spaghetti Squash and burnished Musquee de Provence Pumpkins and Delica Pumpkins from Italy.
Potato varieties this week are Cyprus and Desiree and both of our waxy-fleshed favourites: English Pink Fir Apple and La Ratte from France.
Dessert Apple varieties from our Kent farmer this week are Cox, Crown Gold, Kent, and Russet. We have Bramley cooking apples from them too. The Pears have been particularly good this year and the farm has supplied us with Comice and Conference.
Pomegranates this week are from Spain. We also have ripe Cachi/Persimmons from Italy.
The first Tarocco Oranges from Sicily. Being early season, they lack blush to the skin and may not yet have developed much colour to the flesh but we welcome their arrival. There are Italian Navelina, Clementines and Leafy Lemons, and Bergamots too. We also have good quality Spanish Clementines.
Crunchy, salty winter Camone and Marinda Tomatoes.
Fresh organic Ginger Root and Turmeric Root.