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Announcing a new addition to the f&n family

August 16, 2013

(Ramblings are like buses – you wait for months and then several come along at once … !)

Spinach cress rocketThis weekend we launched ‘Spinach, Cress and Rocket’ in selected Tesco stores.  We’re particularly excited about this new mix  because the ‘cress’ is Bermuda Cress so of course it’s been a great excuse to get some of our farmers to pose  in some very spangly shorts! (pictures to follow soon, we promise).

This very spicy peppery leaf is similar to it’s watery cousin but last longer in the packs! The new selection tastes fantastic – do try it and let us know what you think.    (Unfortunately we had to switch off  the Comments facility from the Ramblings because of so many problems with spam – we’re hoping to fix this soon, but in the meantime you might like to use our facebook page.  There’s a link at the bottom right of this screen.)    Extra brownie points for Triangle jokes ….

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Phew what a Scorcher!

Ooops – you can tel we’ve been busy this summer because we haven’t been keeping up with the Ramblings.    No, we haven’t been out topping up our tans in all that lovely sunshine – in fact it got a bit TOO hot out there last month (salads really don’t like being baked)  and we have to pay tribute to the fantastic job our growers have done in keeping their little leaves fresh and lovely while the rays were beating down.

One of their biggest challenges in hot weather is to keep the crops watered properly.  The usual method is to irrigate using overhead booms, which travel across the fields  giving a lovely refreshing mist of spray but then when the sun gets going the droplets on the leaves act like mini magnifying-glasses and the result is crispy fried bits on our baby leaves!    When it’s really hot the irrigators have to keep going 24 hours a day to ensure all the crops get enough water.

One thing Steve Lawley (our main baby leaf grower) can do is make the most of his location.  He farms near Great Yarmouth on the East Norfolk Coast so when he’s doing his growing plans he makes sure his peak summer fields are the ones nearest the coast, to take advantage of the offshore breezes to help cool the crops down.  (Apparently standing there with a big brolly isn’t a practical solution!).

In the last week or so the weather has gone back to something more like a traditional English summer (it’s tipping it down here in Cambridgeshire right now) but this is much better for our baby leaf crops, which like it a bit cooler.  Now, of course, the challenge is to avoid harvesting them when they’re too wet; we don’t like trying to dry them as that can damage their delicate surfaces (which means they don’t last as long or stay as tasty) but we don’t want to pack  soggy leaves either!

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