What is “The Hungry Gap”?

What is the hungry gap?

You might hear one of our members on veg say “We’re in the hungry gap at the moment.” But what exactly does that mean?

Well, some of it’s to do with where we are on the planet and how the sun travels… but we won’t go into all the details here. Mainly it’s to do with what we can grow at different times of year and seasons and what stores well in the UK.

In years gone by, well before Infinity Foods and fridges, greenhouses and international trading people knew all too well about the hungry gap. It was when the winter crops were ending and the spring-summer drops had yet started, leaving nothing in the fields to harvest and everyone to feel hungrier than normal.

With greenhouses, heated growing, fridges, international trade and transport we don’t have these problems, or so you’d think.

Why do we source locally?

One of the rewards of sourcing from local farms is that at a time when demand often outstrips the supply of locally grown organic produce in other shops, and supermarkets that sell tired-looking produce, often heavily packaged, and sprayed in fungicide to increase shelf-life we are able to provide our customers with vibrant, freshly picked produce straight from the farm. However, when supplies are not available we stock some imported organic fruit and vegetables. In these instances, we choose land and sea freight over air freight and fair-trade and worker-owned where possible.

We have some greenhouse produce coming from Milles at Hankham and Toos & Rosa at Laine farm have given us smaller deliveries of things such as Leeks, potatoes, chard, lettuces, kalettes and fresh cut flowers.
We have spinach, chard, beetroot, leeks, and broccoli all from across the south of the UK and a few bits from organic growers in France and a few other countries. All organic, tasty and good.

New produce coming

You may have already noticed our shelves filling up with more UK-origin produce. We are most excited about the organic Tomatoes from the Isle of Wight, a part of the UK that has some of the most sunlight and is perfect for growing these sun-loving beauties. Over the season we will have many different varieties available.

We also have the start of British Aubergines, Asparagus, Radish, Cucumbers, Courgettes and Jersey Royal Potatoes (a bit pricey at the mo, but that will come down!)
We’ve also got Spinach, Chard and Spring Greens, but sadly no kale until the new crop.
The UK apple crop is coming to an end, but some are still available from Kent. Of course, British chestnut and portobello mushrooms are available all year round.

Time to check out our store cupboard favourite recipes to keep your plate full.

Click here to check out our recipes and ideas to make your veg go further.