Here comes the Sun...

Date Added: 05/08/2020

The year 2020 will be for most, a very unusual year. With regard to the weather though, for farming it really couldn't be much better. During the last 6-8 weeks we have enjoyed just the right weather mix for perfect growing conditions, rain to order and cooler than usual summer average temperatures.

According to the Met Office, last month's average daily maximum temperature was 1ºc lower than previous July records. The coldest July on record was in 1888 with an average daily high of 16ºc. 
This colder than normal spell however ended in spectacular fashion as Friday 31st July was the 3rd hottest day on record, with Heathrow airport recording a sizzling 37.8ºc.
Unfortunately for the holidaymakers partaking in a 'staycation' in the UK the temperatures returned to the seasonal average for the weekend.

August's long-range forecast looks promising for the Summer holidays with warmer and drier days, but we would love a few rain showers to keep the crops nicely watered... last year's exceptionally dry August and the resultant Cauliflower shortage is still very clear in our memory! 

Perfect growing conditions have kept our harvesting teams busy with many crops in abundance, lovely fresh veg picked and shipped to the Supermarkets retailers. The cooler July temperatures has now slowed some of our crops down, but demand is still really strong. 


Demand for Lincolnshire-grown Brassicas during this Covid crisis has been higher than usual, and it remains strong even through Restaurants are open and offering deals - it seems people have got used to 'lockdown' cooking!

Do make sure you follow us on social media to discover new ways to cook your favourite vegetables or even experiment and try a new product - like Romanesco for instance. 
With it's intricate and fractal pattern, Romanesco is an unusual looking member of the Brassica family.
Dazzling lime green Romanesco is somewhere between Broccoli and Cauliflower in flavour and you can mostly substitute it for either. Rich in fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants, it is full of health benefits and definitely not one to miss out!

Cabbages are commonly known to accompany Roast Dinners or other hearty dishes however they are also great grilled on the BBQ.
Show off your culinary skills to your friends at your socially distanced get-togethers in the garden with some BBQ grilled cabbage. Simply cut into wedges, place on a doubled-up piece of foil, spread the cut slices with butter or drizzle with oil and sprinkle with some garlic salt and pepper (normal salt is also fine if you don't have garlic salt). Fold the foil around the cabbage and grill until tender. Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape.
For another twist, instead of salt, sprinkle some soy sauce over the cabbage wedges. Delicious and a perfect side dish to compliment pork ribs or a sausage sandwich. 

Broccoli cooks really well on the BBQ too, simply cut your broccoli into florets, toss it with some olive oil and any spice combination (garlic and chilli work well) and you are ready to go. Place a large piece of foil on the grill, fire up your grill to medium feat, toss the prepared broccoli on the heat, and eight minutes later and you have one killer side dish. 
Chargrilling sweet and earthy PSB (first tossed in olive oil and seasoning) produces a lovely caramelised finish and works well with bold flavours such as chilli and mango dressing, served alongside a grilled rich rump steak.
Thick slices of Cauliflower, resembling steaks grilled are a great vegetarian/vegan option for BBQ's too. 

Making most of the ideal planting conditions over the last four weeks, we've been busy bee's nurturing and tending to all our seedlings for crops to be harvested in Lincolnshire until Christmas.
Also all our cauliflower and spring greens crops have been planted in Cornwall, which will be ready to harvest from November to March. 

Corn is ripening well in the dry and sunny weather, and it won't be long before our combine harvesters start to transform the fields of Lincolnshire to stubble as we bring in this year's wheat crop. Harvesting normally commences in August and is used as part of our crop rotation, putting fibre back into the ground as the straw is chopped to plough back into the fields to benefit the land. 

This year's Potato crop looks promising, with samples from our Potato digs indicating good size, quality and yields. It will only be a few more weeks before our potato harvesters start working their way across our fields, harvesting our Lincolnshire grown 'tates'. With 7 varieties and more than 670 acres to harvest, they'll certainly be very busy! 

The roads of Lincolnshire will see an influx of tractors and trailers transporting them back to our site to be graded and boxed or bagged up, to then be shipped away safely to their stores. 

Potatoes are naturally fat free and gluten free, packed with nutritional benefits needed for a healthy lifestyle, One Potato contains nearly half your daily value of vitamin C and is a great source of vitamin B6 & B1, potassium, magnesium and antioxidants.
In fact keep the skins on to reap the natural source of fibre from this magical staple food, plus when chipped, wedged or roasted with the skins kept on they go even more crispy - yum!
'Spuds' are incredibly versatile and can be cooked and enjoyed in many ways - roasted, boiled, mashed, chipped, Jacket Potatoes - especially our Lincolnshire 'Maris Piper'. 

Speaking of Jacket Potatoes (which incidentally, are also fantastic as a side dish for your BBQ), we feel that the microwave is responsible for heinous crimes against this wonderful spud dish. The only way to cook a proper baked potato is to take your clean spud, prick the skin and then rub with butter or oil. Sprinkle salt over the buttered/oiled potato and place directly onto the shelf of your oven. Depending on size, at 200ºc it will take about 1hr-1hr 30 mins, but if you cook slightly slower at 180c for over 2hrs, you will get a wonderful crispy skin.

While the dry and sunny weather continues Pea viners are currently working hard and ensuring all our peas are harvested and sent to the freezers within a matter of hours to ensure optimum freshness. 

So with all areas so busy, we barely have time to notice that so much of life is still being impacted by this pandemic. We are fortunate that so much of our work is outdoors, but wherever you work, we hope you are all keeping safe and still be able to get outside to enjoy some of the good summer weather being promised for August. 

Stay safe! 

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