In the UK we are fast approaching the Hungry Gap. This is the period from April to June when crops such as kale and chard, which have been in the ground over the winter, come to the end of their life and start to flower. At the same time stored root vegetables begin to deteriorate and run out, whilst recently sown crops are still in their infancy. Despite increasing sunshine it is the sparsest time of year for fresh produce, but with supermarket shelves fully-stocked year round, it is no wonder this isn’t common knowledge.

In the past, before widespread and affordable imported goods, the Hungry Gap really did mean a diet comprising of cabbage, old potatoes and preserved food. Thankfully, we can offer our customers better than this! With our poly tunnels and glass houses we are able to provide delicious mixed salad packs, even now, and we plan carefully so that the last of our outdoor kales (aptly named Hungry Gap) will see us through to when our early, indoor plantings are ready to harvest. We also have some seasonal treats up our sleeves, such as wild garlic, asparagus and purple sprouting broccoli! In the tunnels we have freshly germinated salad turnips, radishes and carrots, which, all being well, we can look forward to before too long and our rhubarb plants are now well and truly out of hibernation.

Indeed, your box will always contain something from the farm.You will notice, however, that during the coming months, we have to source a higher proportion of fruit and veg than usual from further afield. Our local suppliers, such as Bore Place and Brambletye, face the same predicament, waiting for the weather to hasten on Spring goodies.

Where we source everything you get in your box is now clearly shown on our new website, with each item labelled with its origin that week. This was one of our main aims with the redesign, as we wanted anyone who feels strongly about eating seasonally, as opposed to prioritising variety, to be able to make swaps easily. We also wanted to ensure we are as transparent as possible about what we are able to grow ourselves and to help educate our customers as awareness of our diets’ environmental impact increases.

For example, some of you may be surprised to learn that now, in March, if you receive tomatoes in your box, they come from Spain. In July, we’ll have a glut of our own to share (we can’t wait), but right now it takes a tenth of the carbon to transport tomatoes from Spain (where we work with our wholesale partners and their trusted growers) via lorry, than it would to grow them here, in a heated glasshouse. The Hungry Gap is certainly a timely moment to be discussing this and it’s the most challenging period for us to keep the contents of your boxes interesting. As the year progresses you will gradually see more and more produce coming from our farm right here in Barcombe, and from our local suppliers, but in the meantime if you’d like an in-depth explanation of how we source, what we grow and our future plans, we now have a permanent page here which we’d love you to read.