Vendée here after 25 years in Belgium where we always ate seasonally and European. Don't see the point of transporting green beans from Kenya or asparagus from Peru or onions from NZ. In Belgium a lot of fresh veg and salad is grown but also hot house peppers and tomatoes from The Netherlands where they had the wit to divert excess heat form electricity generation to heating industrial scale glasshouses. The Brits just send it up to the sky.
We eat seasonally here too and being that bit further south and west there's a tremendous amount of fresh local roduce as well as from other French regions. I watch food miles so, until I get my own potager under way and producing all year I wait for French strawberries rather than buy early Spanish ones and so on. SIL over here in early July, horrified at price of strawberries at 3 times what she'd been paying in ASDA but there's no social contract in the UK to limit working hours and even below minimum wages are more than Romanians can earn at home. Unfortunately, the dive in the value of the British pound has meant fewer eastern Europeans going to pick crops in the UK and even less next year so they'll have to automate because the the Brits see it as peasant work.
We hope to become self sufficient except for things like avocados and blueberries which I won't be able to grow myself and potatoes which we eat so infrequently it's not worth growing them. Given the milder winters we should be able to grow early and late PSB and such and I shall try sweet potatoes too and salad crops in the polytunnel for winter.
I can assure everyone that vegetables grown on UK farms for the major UK supermarkets are not picked by underpaid workers. The contracts between the farmers and the supermarkets are incredibly stringent, covering many things, including the accommodation for the workers, hours worked, provision of adequate WCs and hygiene facilities for the pickers and rates of pay ... I can also assure you that the farms and their records are inspected rigorously by the supermarkets to ensure that the standards are being maintained.
It is absolutely not feasible for farmers to rely on student labour ... the harvesting of crops starts way before the end of the university summer term and continues way after the beginning of the autumn term.
People expect to buy lettuces for more than just six weeks in the summer.
Sussexsun ... I absolutely agree that we should re-evaluate our priorities ... but if carers were paid what they are worth we would have to reduce the pay of those at the other end of the spectrum who earn so much for adding so little to our lives ...
It doesn't all go to supermarkets Dove but I do agree about pay inversion.
"Now you will tell me that I am wrong "
Why do you presume to know what I'll say?
My daughter worked in a care home owned by her friend's Mother. She was the only English person there. She asked why: " you're the only one who applied"
SOME folk, not all, but some folk think that sitting at home, breeding and watching Jeremy Kyle and claiming benefits is of use the country.
No more Brussel sprouts, French beans, Spanish onions or French marigolds, dutch hoes will be confiscated. All forms of Italianate design will be destroyed, and no more will Monty be able to visit the gardens of Europe in that silly hat
WHEN I WAS A KID WE WENT TATTIE PICKING.
WE LIKED IT.
WE WERE KIDS.
WE WORKED FOR HARDLY ANYTHING BECAUSE WE WE HAD NO UNION, WE WERE UNDER AGE AND WE WANTED TO BE AWAY FROM OUR PARENTS.
THE CAREFREE SUMMER HOLIDAYS THAT MODERN CHILDREN ENJOY NOW WERE ORIGINALLY DESIGNED TO COINCIDE WITH HARVEST TIME.
GET THE CHILD LABOUR BACK IN THE FIELDS. HANG HEALTH AND SAFETY. GIVE THEM A BUCKET AND TELL THEM TO GET ON WITH IT.
AND BRING BACK HANGING TOO.
and when they've finished in the fields, shove them up chimneys.
That all got me thinking of the Monty Python sketch......
In the Vale of Evesham tomatoes are grown for all of the major supermarkets, despite the fertile soil the majority are grown hydroponically in a solution of chemicals, homegrown did someone say! You could grow them like that on the moon if need be.
no reason why the UK can't grow more of its own especially as the climate gets warmer and if the EU are sensible we will still be able to import a lot of the things people like. The difference is we need to develop, support and subsidise our own agricultural industry, not someone else's at our expense.
Don't think there's enough schoolchildren in Suffolk to deal with this lot ... read the figures!