Friday, 3 February 2017

Veg crisis looms in Caversham

[Please note: this is a joke, a parody of the ridiculous stories about lettuce and courgette rationing that are currently hitting the UK headlines]

A veg crisis is looming in Caversham.

"We’ve got chard, cavolo nero and curly kales coming out of our ears! Despite the heavy frosts and rain they just won’t stop growing. And now the sprouting broccoli have sprung into life” claims local gardener Karen Blakeman. 

But there are more problems on the horizon. “It’s the brussel sprouts" says Ms Blakeman. "We’ve been eating large sprouts and sprout tops for nearly two months. But now we have the smaller ones to finish off, blown sprouts have started erupting everywhere, and fresh leaves are sprouting from where we cut the tops. It’s never ending.” 

Ms Blakeman says they could be eating brassicas and winter leaves from the garden for at least another two months, and she is getting desperate.“I’m running out of ideas. I have only 135 gourmet recipes left to try out”

Veg crisis in the UK? Hardly...

Not content with lamenting the lack of courgettes on UK supermarket shelves the media are now reporting that the so-called veg crisis has worsened to include iceberg lettuces and broccoli. Even the BBC has joined in: Iceberg lettuces and broccoli rationed as vegetable crisis hits supermarkets. The shortage is down to the appalling weather in Spain and Italy, which is where the veg are usually grown at this time of year.

Locally grown veg from Reading
 Farmers' Market
Whilst it is a crisis for the growers concerned it is ridiculous to refer to it as such for UK consumers. It is winter, after all! Courgettes, lettuces and aubergines do not grow in the winter in the UK but plenty of other veg do. There is an abundance of tasty, seasonal and locally grown veg, and plenty of recipes on the internet if you don't know what to do with them or want to get creative.

Our garden is not big enough for us to be self sufficient in veg all the year round but at the moment we are enjoying a glut of brussel sprouts, cabbage greens, kale, sprouting broccoli and swiss chard. All keep going despite the heavy frosts and rain that we have recently had. The rest of our veg is bought from Pagets via the Reading Farmers' Market and Tolly's via the True Food Co-op.

To call the current situation a "crisis" is ludicrous. We have far more important matters to worry about at the moment than the absence of a few boring, tasteless lettuce leaves.