Looking forward to spring and summer

I’m sure you’re all aware that the days are creeping out to be longer and the temperatures are becoming bearable! This is great news for local produce, as the very best of what Lincolnshire has to offer is just around the corner.

As we move through April, we will begin to see local new potatoes available – our first variety will be Rocket; a variety almost entirely grown in Lincolnshire. The next few months will also see the first crops of spring or Sweetheart cabbage. It may be a little too early to see any summer cauliflower, but there will be plenty of UK grown vegetables available. 

Namely, these will include asparagus – local grown crops from St George’s Day on 23rd April – artichoke, beetroot, chicory, chillies, lettuce, marrows, parsnips, radish, rhubarb and watercress. Glasshouse strawberry crops will soon be making an appearance too, as we move from spring into summer. Watch this space as Yummy will be supplying local strawberries until September!

The growing conditions reported to me by my suppliers have made it very tough this month for over-wintered cabbage and cauliflower. The supply has not been as good as expected, and the density of cauliflower has not been as good as we would like. However, new season supply is very close, and the quality will improve quickly.

As Spud as Gold: The Perfect Potato…

Roasted? Boiled? Chipped? Mashed, even? How do you like your Lincolnshire tates? My own preference is to give ‘em a good roasting in Lincolnshire rapeseed oil with a sprinkle of sea salt, a generous grind of pepper and a clove of garlic chucked into the roasting tin for good measure. 

We all love our potatoes – however they’re prepared – but how often do we give consideration to each variety? Lincolnshire food delivery website Yummy’s potato supplier is Steven Lunn, from J. Lunn & Sons. 

Steven’s farm is located in Frithville and mainly grows Maris Piper, Marfona and Stemsters, three very well-known potato varieties for most purposes, Piper for roasting and chipping; Marfona for baking and mashing; Stemster for boiling. 

“We grow Piper, Marfona and Stemster on our 20 acres near Boston,” says Steven. “What makes these so special is our soil. Because we’re blessed with a beautiful loam type soil, this is where the taste comes from. Potatoes taste different from different land types.”

“A Piper potato from Boston’s loam soil will taste very different to a Piper grown on the sandy soils of Norfolk, for example. Piper potatoes are the ideal choice for roasting and chipping, due to their ‘dry matter’ content. They fry really well, too.”

“Marfona (championed by Marks & Spencer since the 1990s) are perfect for baking, due to their smooth texture. We’ve been growing Stemster for the past 25 years, and if you ask me which is the best tasting variety I grow, I’d say Stemster every time! It’s a brilliant tasting potato and a good all-rounder; it will chip, mash and boil.”

Yummy now sells these three varieties in either a 2kg or 25kg bag, with home delivery; see www.yummy.co.uk/marketplace/the-yummy-greengrocer/

Grace Lunn of J Lunn, Frithville.