Welcome to VegNews, the weekly veg bulletin from Cultivate, bringing you the latest news from the Cultivate farm and from our other local suppliers. Our focus this week will be on the inherent unpredictability of the local food market, particularly when compared to food retail giants like supermarkets.
You may notice the lack of lettuce heads on the VegVan this week. These had been ordered from two suppliers, one of which was our own farm. At our farm, on closer inspection the whole bed of lettuce had turned brown and simply wasn’t up to scratch, whilst on the farm of our other local supplier, the indoor lettuces had gone over and the outdoor heads proved too small to harvest!
Working with other local, small-scale growers, we have a fixed day to order and the producer has a fixed day to harvest. There generally isn’t the capacity for anyone to do another harvest if we end up having gaps in our stock. In contrast, a wholesaler will generally always have stock available and can be contacted on a 24-hour basis.
In contrast to local food retailers, supermarkets might have predictable stock, but they have a far narrower horizon of fruit and veg varieties, grown principally for ease of transport and processing rather than flavour and interest.
We hope you see this on the VegVan: you’ll notice for example two varieties of basil, Springhill’s mixed rocket bags, our own mixed salad bags, rainbow chard, two kale varieties, all of which (albeit with some culinary creativity) we hope can serve instead of the lettuce heads. That said, they should be back next week- it’s all part of the local food game!