The Market Year - June
With the recent drawn out cold winter and spring hopefully behind us this should be the month when everything starts to get going for both young livestock, out in the pastures, and vegetable plots. With the sun up at 4am and setting at 10pm growers and producers are at full stretch, and the fruits of their labours should now be in glorious evidence.
One of the biggest indicators of our late spring was the delayed start to the asparagus season. The asparagus is now here and the season will be shorter than normal so don’t miss out on one of the joys of our climate – sweet tender spears of asparagus picked and cooked the very same day. Or make into a perfect risotto with the first tender broad beans (freshly picked little pods can be enjoyed whole) and fresh green peas.
When your visit to the market coincides with a sunny weekend fill your basket with a local picnic - cheese, smoked fish or charcuterie, raised pie or veggie pasty, add a loaf of fresh bread, chutney or relish, a punnet of strawberries and you are all set.
Photograph: Carlotta Luke
Just north of Forest Row and at the end of a long and windy lane, Brambletye Farm is a peaceful and lovely place. It is surrounded by bluebell and wild garlic woods, blossoming orchards and fresh green hills almost quivering with Spring energy. The land is worked inter-dependently by three separate businesses using biodynamic principles and uses a largely closed system where little waste is produced and few other products are brought in to the farm.
Born in Madrid, Guillermo started his career as a social worker but now really enjoys the community, ethics and natural beauty at Brambletye Farm. Guillermo has worked on the land at Brambletye for four years where his main role is in pruning fruit trees. He works in exchange for produce and then makes his living by selling fruit and juice, eggs and vegetables at markets south of London. Guillermo agrees with Stein that the weather and its current unpredictable patterns are a huge challenge. The crop yields can vary from, for example, a sad 400kg up to this year's predicted 60 tons from ten acres of pears. “So far, Lewes has not tasted our pears – this year that will a great new experience!" More...
While the pear blossom sets and the gooseberries and strawberries swell, Guillermo is selling the new crop of mushrooms and has shared his favourite breakfast recipe.
More of Carlotta Luke's photographs can be found here...
In Season Now
Salad leaves, asparagus, beetroot, herbs, early peas, strawberries, cooking gooseberries, rhubarb, spinach, chard, baby broad beans, new potatoes, radishes and spring onions. Crab, arctic cod, dabs, plaice, hake, halibut, sea bass, sardines, mussels.
Seasonal Recipes by Polly Senter
Lewes Food Market is run by Lewes Local Community Interest Company. It was founded to give the people of Lewes, and visitors, a unique opportunity to buy locally sourced fresh food products direct from the producers on a weekly basis.
Details of all the Lewes Food Market traders here...
See www.lovefoodhatewaste.com for help with wasting less food.
See www.makinglocalfoodwork.co.uk for exciting food news.
By buying local and eating food in season we are supporting and encouraging our local food producers. We can help them survive and multiply so that we are not so dependent on importing most of our food. With rising fuel costs, climate change affecting crops and constant international conflicts, importing is a risky business which can easily break down.