Spring is on the way. Although greens are sprouting in the fields
in Kent and Sussex, it will be a while till they are at the Farmers’
Market in huge quantities. One of the realities of seasonal food,
(as compared to the supermarket ‘perpetual summertime’
myth), is that main crop vegetables such as potatoes and carrots start
to come to an end at this time of year – usually before the
large amounts of early summer greens come in. For this reason, the
March-April time was traditionally known as the ‘hungry gap’.
But the farmers at the market use polytunnels and greenhouses to grow
oriental salad vegetables and other types of green veg to tide us
over. It’s a good time to try some different types of greens.
Ask one of the farmers or look on Growing Communities’ web-site
for recipe ideas. Look out for cavallo nero (black kale), swiss chard,
rocket, mizuna, mustard greens, pak choi, plus different cabbage varieties:
try them chopped in thin strips and stir fried with ginger, garlic
and soy sauce. The first rhubarb of the year is available from mid-March,
and, now that we have Keith Jefferson Smith bringing his organic Jersey
milk and cream to the market, how about combining it with real clotted
The Stoke Newington Farmers’ Market takes place every Saturday
from 10am till 2.30pm at William Patten School Stoke Newington Church
Street and is run by Growing Communities: www.growingcommunities.org
or 020 7502 7588 for more details. All the produce at the Market is
organic, biodynamic or wild and is grown, reared or produced within
100 miles of Hackney.