It’s June, and there will be good things to enjoy by the middle of the month as loads of things ripen with the onset of the warmer weather. One of these is strawberries. That’s to say, the genuine strawberry season starts. UK-grown strawberries will have been on sale for a little while already, giving the lie to the idea that local food is automatically better for the environment. The Times had an interesting article last month about the way farmers extend the growing seasons through greenhouses or under-soil heating. Sometimes this is just clever agricultural practice, and sometimes it’s just getting the all important union jack sticker on an environmentally unsound product.
Anyway, in June there’s new potatoes to enjoy. Asparagus shipments from Peru go on hold while we harvest our own. New season carrots make their first appearances (They stop in September, and we’ve been running on cold storage carrots until now), and you’ll find some early cauliflower, broccoli, and broad beans. And lettuce and tomatoes are ready. Make yourself a salad.
Fruit has been a little thin on the ground since I started noting the seasons. June will put that right with the strawberries, and gooseberries and blackcurrants. The UK has a very short cherry season, so short that most cherry farmers have gone out of business and we continue importing all year round, but look out for English cherries towards the end of the month.
Just thinking about strawberries – I think this is the main seasonal fruit that we’re aware of, mainly because of Wimbledon, and the tradition of serving them up to people watching the tennis. Because they have that certain special quality, and because of their cultural place, this might be a good way to introduce seasonal ideas to your family. If you’ve got kids, serve them up some strawberries and teach them about the seasons.
- (US readers – treat yourselves to some corn. We’re still waiting for ours. And have an avocado. We don’t grow those at all. More here)