Spring is when the first of the fruiting trees begin to blossom – plants that have saved the sun’s energy to keep alive over the winter are able to begin to invest the renewed energy into the reproductive cycle that we harness for the later sweetness of the summer fruits. Cygnet Mushroom Farm is surrounded by the vast strawberry fields of DM Jennings & Sons, and when I picked up the mushrooms for last week’s organic box there were certainly the floral signs of things to come (i.e. delicious strawberries) in the not too distant future.
This week’s box features a floral bouquet of a slightly sturdier variety – Grown for Taste from Saltwater River have supplied us with the flowering heads of their Tuscan kale crop, which they promise are all the sweeter as the plant directs its life-blood (sugar) into the process of making new kale plants – or at least it would be if we weren’t giving them to you for eating! Kale has traditionally been cultivated, amongst other reasons, for its ability to provide nutritious, fresh food during the leanest months of the year, culminating with the so called “hunger gap” that comes just at the beginning of spring when winter crops fall away but spring crops haven’t had the chance to reach their potential. The kale tops in this week’s box signify the end of what has been for many on the land a very difficult winter, and the hope for a productive summer harvest with less challenging weather conditions. Of course, you could always just say “I love you” to your nearest and dearest with the offer of a lovely edible bouquet too!
We’ve also got more lovely fresh herbs from Hills Transplants (great for the garlic gap when last season’s garlic is reaching the end of its life and fresh garlic is only weeks away), and an organic box featuring a wide array of greens from York Town Organics. A few lucky people have even received some of the bounty of our own garden – Mrs BB has harvested rhubarb, warrigal greens and red-veined sorrel amongst others for those requiring substitutes for exclusions. Here’s the full run down: