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Wet weather impacting vegetable prices & quality

flooded vegetable field

Had enough of it raining? So have our farmers & vegetable crops!

This winter has been one of the wettest in decades in the UK. It follows a blistering hot summer and warm autumn which caused their own problems for farmers.  In many areas of the country farms are flooded and even in areas which aren't actually under water, the ground is sodden and has been impossible to prepare, plant, fertilise or harvest crops as usual.

What has the impact of this been on our farmers and vegetable crops?

It has been reported that around 25% less crops have been planted than usual in the UK this winter season. This has been due to a multitude of factors but primarily the wet weather meaning fields have been flooded or too wet to work. The wet autumn meant a lot of crops in ground were ruined - carrots, parsnips and other winter root crops have rotted in ground as they were unable to be lifted from waterlogged soils.  For those crops that have been harvested both the yield and quality have been much lower than usual. Crops have often been left too long in wet soils as farmers were unable to get harvesting equipment on to their fields.  In addition the poor growing conditions and low light levels through out the autumn and winter has meant crops simply haven't grown as well as usual.

This has led to poor harvests across the UK and shortages for some vegetables the UK specialises in such as cauliflowers and potatoes. One of the main wholesalers in Cornwall had several weeks where they were unable to get hold of any cauliflower in the UK and were having to import them from Europe at £2 per head! Reports are that imported cauliflower have been regularly at 3 times the usual price this winter. 

Potatoes are one of the UK's main vegetable crops and is one of the worst affected crops. This season has resulted in the lowest potato crop ever recorded in the UK.  Here in Cornwall potato growing is a mainstay for many vegetable farmers. The wet weather means potatoes have been left to rot in the ground, and those that have been lifted are of lower quality and haven't stored as well as usual.

Shortages of seed and rising seed prices have also impacted the planting this spring. Many growers are saying they simply can't get hold of the seeds they need. Our smaller organic growers are particularly struggling to get hold of the seeds they need which has meant high costs and less crops in the ground for the coming year.

 

To read more on how the weather is impact farming and vegetable growers in the UK:

Fruitnet.com - Extreme weather taking it's toll on vegetables

https://www.yourweather.co.uk/news/trending/wet-winter-floods-destroyed-many-farm-crops-and-broke-british-records.html

https://www.fwi.co.uk/arable/further-wet-weather-raises-fears-of-harvest-catastrophe

https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/fruit-and-veg/more-imported-vegetables-likely-as-flooding-hits-key-growing-areas/686854.article

 

 

 

What are the most popular gifts to send for Valentine's Day?

Are you planning on celebrating Valentine's Day this year? Surveys show about 80% of people in a relationship celebrate Valentine’s Day. I’m not sure what the other 20% are up to but the data certainly does shows that you’ll likely make the most effort if you have been with your partner for 2 years or less. However long you have been together a romantic gesture on Valentine's Day will always be appreciated whether it is a full blown romantic candlelit evening or a thoughtful gift to show you care.

Despite general perceptions that Valentine’s Day is most important to women, it is men who feel that celebrating Valentine’s Day with their partner is important. Stats show 68% of men would be disappointed if they didn’t celebrate the day compared to 51% of women.

So, what do people actually buy their partner for Valentine’s? In the UK about 40% of people will send a card to their loved one, 17% will indulge them with a box of chocolates, 14% will go out for a romantic meal, and 7% will send flowers.

If you are looking for some creative ideas to celebrate Valentine's 2024 look no further. We have great Valentine's gift ideas to make the perfect day no matter how long you have been together.

 

Cook a Romantic Dinner Together

Save some pennies and rather than going out rustle up something special together. No need to find a babysitter, squeeze into an overcrowded restaurant, and find a taxi at the end of the night. You can enjoy your favourite dishes at home and make a romantic moment creating it together. Luckily here in the heart of Cornwall we are surrounded by some of the best producers in the world. At The Cornish Food Box you can find all you'll need to make a special meal for two, and you can get it delivered to your door wherever you are in the UK. From a great range of Cornish Fish and Seafood, Grass Fed Beef Steaks, wide selection of Cornish cheese, and award winning wines including Camel Valley Brut.

If you don't fancy spending too much time in the kitchen why not order one of these amazing Heart Shaped Pasties? Perfect for two to share and available as traditional steak, cheese or vegan.

Treasure Hunt

Add a fun element to your gift giving this year. Design a special treasure hunt with lots of little gifts for your loved one to find. Use a combination of treats and trinkets that you know they'll love from beautiful scented candles from St Eval, minatures bottles of artisan gin, and delicious artisan chocolate from Chocolarder.

Couples Activity

Spend time together. You could choose to learn a new skill, try a new activity, or make something to symbolise your partnership. Whether it is polishing up your dance skills together, trying out a new sport, or getting hot under the collar in the kitchen, working on something together is the best way to bring you together.

Make Your Own Card

A handmade card shows that you have made an effort to make something special just for them. You don't have to be an awesome artist - the simplest designs can be the most effective and there are plenty of ideas and inspiration online. 

Christmas & New Years Opening Hours and Delivery Schedule

CORNISH FOOD BOX OPENING HOURS & DELIVERY SCHEDULE

 

Christmas 2023 Opening Hours and Delivery Schedule

 

Cornish Food Box Christmas Opening Hours & Delivery Schedule

Final Orders for Christmas & New Year = Friday 15th December

** If you would like to make changes to your regular subscription during this period please email tor@thecornishfoodboxcompany.co.uk with your updates.**

** We cannot amend any orders or subscriptions after midday on Friday 15th December.**

Our delivery schedule and opening hours are:

  • Friday 22nd December = Deliveries/Collections as usual
  • Saturday 23rd December = Deliveries/Collections as usual
  • Christmas Eve = CLOSED
  • Christmas Day = CLOSED
  • Boxing Day = CLOSED
  • Wednesday 27th December = CLOSED
  • Friday 29th December = Deliveries/Collections as usual
  • Saturday 30th December = Deliveries/Collections as usual
  • New Years Eve = CLOSED
  • New Years Day = CLOSED
  • Tuesday 2nd January = CLOSED
  • Wednesday 3rd January = Deliveries will be delayed.
  • Thursday 4th January = Deliveries as usual.

Why our chicken doesn't cost the earth.

chickens in field

Marsh Farm, set within the rolling hills of Bude, has been in the Wickett family for four generations, but they have been farming in the area for many years before that.
 
Keith Wickett is continuing traditional methods of rearing free range poultry, keeping the skillset alive, and providing Devon and Cornwall with quality Cornish produce. Many of the region's finest restaurants and hotels have worked with Keith for many years because of the wonderful taste, flavour and quality of the poultry he produces.

 
The chickens are reared at a slow pace, allowing them to grow naturally, in a stress free environment. The chickens live for twice as long as the supermarket alternative. Prior to restrictions put in place due to Avian Flu Keith's chickens are free-range by day and shut in at night for their safety. Today the birds are kept indoors in small groups with plenty of room. 
 
Over the last few years things have got tough down on the farm with the rising costs of energy, feed and transport, as well as Avian Flu restrictions, problems with staffing and the rising costs of the quality chicks needed. Farming can be a lonely occupation with incredibly long hours and constant worry around the future of the family farm.
 
The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution - a charity set up in 1860 to support farmers and their families, have found that poultry farmers are finding things particularly tough at the moment. "The risk of disease outbreak, on top of rising input costs, payment and policy changes and labour challenges, continues to bring increased uncertainty for poultry producers. Inevitably, these factors are having a detrimental effect on farmer’s mental health particularly when many are genuinely concerned for the future of their family farms."
 
As normal the big 'industrialised' farming operations are first in the queue when it comes to being able to demand the best prices. Smaller family farms like Keith, who are rearing birds in small flocks in stress free environments are struggling the most. 
 
Not only are Keith's chickens reared in small flocks, fed non GM feed, double the age of the supermarket birds BUT they are also approx. cheaper or the same price as a free range bird in the supermarkets. 
 
- Small Flocks
- Stress Free Environment
-Direct from a family run Cornish Farm
- Twice the age of supermarket bird
- Same price as supermarket birds
- Save when you subscribe to a regular order
- Support Cornish & British Farmers

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