Is this more mumbo-jumbo following our wartime themed newsletter last week? Uhm no. We mean the Hunger Gap is nearly here.
In cultivation of vegetables in a British-type climate, the hungry gap is the gardeners’ name for the period in spring when there is little or no fresh produce is available to harvest. It usually starts when overwintered brassica vegetables such as sprouts, cauliflower and Jan King cabbages “bolt” (i.e. run up to flower) as the days get warmer and longer, and ends when the new season’s first broad beans are ready.
So Perry Court and other local producers are experiencing the usual reduction in harvest for this time of year as wintering crops recede and the array of wildlife can’t resist taking a share as resources dwindle. It just means more of what goes into our veg boxes will be coming from further afield, and going to the Continent more than we might usually do.
But on Perry Court farm-side there has been a fair amount of planting occurring since starting just over two weeks ago, and in the photos below you’re getting a view of the ‘summer’ crops to come. You can see the start of chards, kales and peppers, which have sprouted with good speed! A few other crops than can benefit from early planting have also been sown, and we all eagerly watch as nature wakes up.
So whilst we wait we’ll be writing about our (Spanish) chard which we written about for a long time. Here are some options:
- Tried and tested recipe for sauteed swiss chard with parmesan but with the butter, garlic, lemon and white wine underpinning the recipe, it’s the perfect pairing for chicken or fish.
- Quinoa dinner with chilli swiss chard and garlic mushrooms
- Swiss chard and mushroom galette with ricotta and topped off with various herbs – use ready pizza base or puff pastry if lazy
- Swiss chard fritters with feta and again lots of herbs, adapted from who else but Ottolenghi, goes well with smoked salmon
- Great recipe for chard, chickpea and mushroom curry and potatoes would be a most natural addition
- Udon soup with swiss chard and mushroom – recipe has tofu but works with chicken
- Croatian-styled garlicky sautéed Swiss chard with potatoes also known as blitva, which the locals often eat with eggs
- Layer it onto that lasagne you are making or add it to that mac n’cheese for the kids
For the rest of the vegetables in this week’s box, try searching on our webpage for past blogs!
This Week’s Bounty
* Valour Potatoes, UK
* Onions, Norfolk
* Carrots, Lancs
* Swiss Chard, Spain
* Celeriac, Lincs
Spring Greens, Lancs
White Mushrooms, Suffolk
Items starred (*) above
Confection Squash, Cambs
Oranges, Spain (small)
Blood Oranges, Spain (standard)
Apples, Kent (standard)