There is still a vast range of produce being grown in our immediate area, despite there being fiercer competition from cheap overseas imports every year. Because it is so important to support our local growers I follow a 'local first' policy when sourcing my stock.
Free Local Delivery, fruit baskets made to order
Many of you will be aware that my shop has been undergoing a fairly exhaustive restoration process this last month. What began as a minor cosmetic repair job quickly became a pretty urgent structural repair! I apologise for the extremely erratic opening hours this has caused recently but by the beginning of September everything should be back to normal.
We are now in the middle of one of the best English plum harvests I think I have ever seen – the trees are completely laden with masses of delicious fruit. The apples and pears are also doing well and by late September the huge Comice pears should be in – gigantic fruits often over a pound in weight each!
P.S. Any of you who have been following my progress as a beekeeper at: www.bungaybeeblog.blogspot.com will be aware that I am cautiously expecting my first, very modest, honey harvest this year. There may be some surplus to sell in the shop but I won't know how much, if any, until the end of the month...
Sell your surplus produce
If you have surplus garden produce this year you may be surprised how much it could be worth. Because of the increasingly high demand for fresh local produce I am always seeking more and more locally-grown stock.
I always stock locally grown produce whenever possible, even if cheaper goods can be bought from further away. This philosophy can be applied to everything in the shop and some things I don't stock on a matter of principle – for example raspberries flown in from California were available in February this year and I expect we'll see another glut of cheap Spanish asparagus come on the market just as the all too brief English asparagus season begins!
This is not to say that just because it's local it will be more expensive. Usually it is precisely the opposite – my locally grown cauliflowers from a farmer just seven miles away have sometimes been as much as half the price of the French ones have been this season, and so much better for being cut only a few hours before!
My feeling is that, if we do not continue to support our small local farmers, even when times are bad and the national market is flooded with vastly underpriced produce, they won't be there to support us when some multinational superpowers are dictating grossly inflated prices to bulk out their own profit margins!