We're at peak soft fruit season at markets. Strawberries and raspberries have been joined by blackcurrants, gooseberries, loganberries, currants and cherries.
Blackberries, apricots, nectarines and peaches too at some market. These will be followed by the first gages and plums, and the first apples in August.
We often hear people asking what gooseberries are; if you see a punnet don't pass up the opportunity; buy them and try them. If they're hard and green it's likely they'll be sour. Top and tail and cook them simply with a little water and sugar or elderflower cordial and eat when cold with yogurt or cream. Turn them into ice cream, crumbles, tarts and sauces for oily fish. Leave them out to ripen and they'll become softer and sweeter. Red dessert gooseberries are more forgiving, being naturally sweeter. We've also heard that gooseberries can be turned into a very acceptable flavouring for gin!
Gooseberries aren't grapes (although their texture is very similar), nor are they tiny plums. They're members of the currant family. You may occasionally find Jostaberries on our markets; these are a gooseberry/blackcurrant cross.
We love the fact that there used to hundreds of gooseberry societies in Britain, where growers compete to grow the heaviest fruit! Thankfully a few still survive today.
Willesden Farmers Market is here at last!
Notting Hill Farmers Market is on the move. From Saturday 27th August we'll be at our new home.
We always say that our markets are open rain or shine.
As the cost of meat is rising many people may not know the reasons why it is doing so. Farmer Nick Booth gives us his take on rising costs.