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What's in season?
June Strawberries

June at the Farmersí Market

The dry and relatively cold start to the year slowed down growth but now growers and producers are now at full stretch as we lead up to the summer solstice in the latter half of June.

The benefits of buying locally at Farmers Markets means that not only do you get the chance to taste before you buy but by going directly to the source you can find out at first hand how the produce was grown or made. In addition, our producers are able to give you storing and cooking tips so you can really make the most of your purchase.

With the cost of food increasing almost weekly, remember that when you are buying locally and seasonally, pricing is very competitive with supermarkets and often cheaper so donít fall for the idea that shopping at Farmers Markets is an expensive luxury.

The vagaries of the weather are nowhere more in evidence than with the asparagus crop. A dry and old start meant the season didnít get going till early May. Picking will finish by the end of the month to allow the plants to generate growth for next year, so make the most of the green spears while they are around now. Eat your local asparagus traditionally, steamed and served with melted butter, or brush with olive oil and griddle the spears on the barbecue until tender then scattered with shavings of a sharp hard cheese.

Other veg to look out for are crisp radishes, spring onions, spinach, and of course new potatoes. There are also early cucumbers, runner beans, spinach and courgettes, alongside all kinds of salad leaves now in season.

Now is also the time for strawberries  Ė you will find some finer flavoured varieties at Farmers' Markets, rather than the more robust berries grown to withstand the rigours of the supermarket supply chain. The cool start to the year has  delayed the start of cherries (Kentish cherries are justifiably world famous), gooseberries and early raspberries, but are now available  A favourite way to serve raspberries, cherries and strawberries is to crush them slightly, sprinkle with a little cherry brandy and sugar, leave for an hour, then serve with vanilla ice cream.

Spring lamb is now at its very finest now and a boned-out shoulder or leg is perfect on the barbecue or simply roasted and served with baby new potatoes and minted broad beans and peas.

On the fish front itís really has to be mackerel Ė bought silvery fresh from the market and cooked the same day to enjoy at its very best. Try it the traditional way for the month Ė grilled and served with a tart gooseberry sauce. Mussels are also in season. If you have never tried cooking them before we have a deliciously simple, excellent recipe written by Anne Williams. Follow the link below to find out more. 

Recipe of the month>

Kent Life Magazine featured different articles about farmers' markets along with a seasonal recipe made with local produce HERE>
Why buy seasonal food?