Every season has its own fruit & veg heroes that take center stage, and we’ve put together a handy little guide on what to look out for throughout the year. There’s foodie tips to go along with it all too, so you get the most out of all Mother Nature has to offer.
What’s in season through the year?
We start with the wet, cold wintry months. It’s not all doom and gloom though. Far from it. You’ve got Organic Dan’s organic Brussels sprouts, who’s all about slow and steady, rather than forcing his crops. “A much more sustainable way to grow things,” in his words. The sprouts love a bit of pan-frying. Partnering them with either marmalade and pancetta or chestnuts and sage works a treat. Then there’s Nick Walton’s organic parsnips, all plucked – or ‘hoovered’, as Nick likes to say – by hand from the soil. They love a good roasting, with some honey and mustard. From December to January the green marvel that is organic kale enters the scene, courtesy of Ben and Colin Andrews in Herefordshire. Turn it into Crispy Kale Seaweed, and you’ve an absolutely moreish – and healthy – snack.
In February, organic purple sprouting broccoli returns, from brassica boff Jeremy Helme and farm manager Monika, in Herefordshire. They’re organic farming pioneers, having installed a swish polytunnel on their Pool Hullock Farm. In it, an amazing array of veg can grow all year round that you wouldn’t usually find on these shores, under completely natural conditions. But back to the purple sprouting broccoli. It’s one of our favourites, and you can’t go wrong stir-frying it, or coupling it with seafood, like scallops or haddock.
On the fruit side of things, the main highlight of the winter are Giangiacomo’s gorgeous blushing organic blood oranges, full of Sicilian warmth. They don’t stick around for long, but while they’re with us you can whirr up taste bud tingling magic with our Wakey, Wakey Tahini Shakey and Blood Orange & Beetroot smoothie recipes.
Now on to spring, the season when life begins to return all round us. Organic med veg and more exotic fruit like organic pineapple and mango tide us over in the early spring months. They’re from further afield but find their way to us by ship (none of our fruit & veg is ever air-freighted). May then heralds the start of British veg season, and an exciting duo of characters are back on the menu: organic asparagus, from our chum Jeremy Helme once again, and organic Jersey Royals from Philip le Maistre. The two marry beautifully in this Jersey Royal & Asparagus Omelette. It’s no secret how much fish loves being partnered with asparagus, and that’s where our Pesto & Parma Ham Wrapped Coley recipe comes in.
Brilliant British organic berries are back too, in the delicious shape of strawberries, from Martin Soble’s enchantingly named Whitethorn Farm in Herefordshire. We’re quite partial to some Macerated Strawberries, especially when dolloped over our weekend waffles or pancakes.
Enter everyone’s favourite season (right?). It’s summer, and nature has really burst into life. Organic broad beans have come in from Jono Smales and his New Forest farm. You’ll want to try our Broad Bean & Feta Bruschetta – al fresco fare doesn’t get any better. Over on James Foskett’s farm in Suffolk, there’s plenty being plucked from the soil, like organic bunched carrots. One glance and you suspect they’d make Peter Rabbit very jealous. In fact, to ward off any uninvited nibblers, an extract of garlic and chrysanthemum is used as a natural insecticide on the farm. A clever, organic solution. Did you know you can make a cracking pesto out of the carrot tops? Then there’s James’ beautifully golden organic sweetcorn which you can turn into some lovely light snacking, with this Sweetcorn Fritters recipe. And last but certainly not least, his wonderfully sweet and snappy organic French beans. They make the perfect side to Cajun Pork Escalopes or some Griddled Lamb.
For the fruit bowl? Well, there’s lovely, sweet and crisp organic white grapes from Antonio over in Spain, as well as beautifully tangy organic raspberries from the folks at Haygrove in Herefordshire.
And so, we get to autumn. The season where days start getting a little nippier, and there’s more leaves on the ground than there are on the trees. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still get your fill of great organic fruit & veg. Squash, in particular, is what autumn’s all about, in all its various shapes, sizes and colours. Thanks to working with so many different farmers, we get our hands on a lovely mix of these shapeshifters. Clive Martin’s Cambridgeshire farm is home to gorgeous gold organic spaghetti squashes and regal crown prince squashes. Jeremy Helme has yet more for us from his Herefordshire farm, in the guise of his ravishing organic red onion squashes. Over in the New Forest, Jono Smales’ shares more of his crop, with his pleasingly round organic gem squashes. You can’t go wrong blitzing any of these into a warming soup, like this Roast Squash & Rosemary Soup or this somewhat more exotic Thai Curried Squash & Coconut Soup. After some autumnal pasta? Then it’s this Spaghetti with Squash, Perl Las Cheese & Oregano that you’ll want to rustle up.
To satisfy any fruit cravings you might have, there’s irresistibly crunchy organic apples and plump pears from Martin Soble, and from Paul Ward at Mole End Farm. Organic plums that have soaked up the Spanish sun are on hand too.
Find what Mother Nature has in store for us throughout the year in our fruit & veg selection.