Spring may seem like the time of year when most of your favourite vegetables may be in season. However, at the supermarket they are always there, and on closer inspection of the origin of these vegetables it becomes clear that they come from countries where it is always the season. Especially that it is April, a notoriously tricky month for those looking to buy seasonal produce. This is because it lies between the last harvests of the winter vegetables and the first harvest of the spring vegetables.
However, there are still some food which depending on the farmer’s market or store, should still be available. These would generally be quite tough foods which survived the long winter. Generally the most seasonal vegetable, and often quite underappreciated one is cauliflower. But also, more delicate and young leaves such as spinach, asparagus and other salads are also becoming available near the end of the month. Others may also include, radishes, cucumbers and for the more adventurous foragers, wild nettles (just boil them to remove the sting).
And as for seasonal local produce for fruits the challenge becomes greater. And although they may not be the sweetest, rhubarb and gooseberries are good at this time of year. As the most traditional ways of having fruit at this time of year is often through preserves, one can also find new ingenious ways to cook using local, seasonal cauliflower.
To keep things more simple, here’s a quick list of what’s good this month: Artichoke, Beetroot, Cabbage, Carrots, Chicory, New Potatoes, Kale, Morel Mushrooms, Parsnips, Radishes, Rhubarb, Rocket, Sorrel, Spinach, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Watercress.
Or if you want to go even further, now is the perfect time to start planting lettuce, tomatoes, courgette, strawberries, beetroot and many more.
by Fred Lowther-Harris