what's in season: june

Henry's pink aquilegia 2011
The fountain murmuring of sleep,
A drowsy tune;
The flickering green of leaves that keep
The light of June;
Peace, through a slumbering afternoon,
The peace of June.

A waiting ghost, in the blue sky,
The white curved moon;
June, hushed and breathless, waits, and I
Wait too, with June;
Come, through the lingering afternoon,
Soon, love, come soon.

Arthur Symons (1865-1945) - In Fountain Court


June is probably may favourite month, for no better reason than it is my birthday month, the days are getting longer and as a child I was firmly convinced of June’s magical properties; Mid Summer Day was full of faeries, enchantment and stories of future loves and I had no reason to disbelieve this. When I was 16 I was given a bottle of homemade wine as a present, with a beautifully designed label entitled “Rachel’s Midsummer Magic” and I have been trying to maintain this ever since!


The elderflower comes into season – a plant that was once thought to have mystical qualities and the ability to protect us from witches. I shall be making some wine (which will protect me from most things, although probably not an overwhelming desire to sing karaoke after a couple of glasses . . . )

But more importantly in June, home-grown food really is coming into season. My favourite English asparagus has a couple more weeks to go and my beloved broad beans and peas are here to stay for a while. Thank god! Tomatoes make their first appearance too and the lettuces are raring to go too.

Look out for Jersey Royals, the king of new potatoes, where the specific growing environment (island slopes, sea breezes and seaweed mulch) gives them an intense potato flavour.

vegetables, herbs and wild greens:artichokes (globe), asparagus, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli (calabrese), broom buds, cabbages (various varieties), carrots, cauliflower, chard, horseradish, lettuce, marrow, peas, peppers, sea spinach, tomatoes, turnips, wild fennel

fruit and nuts:
apples, cherries (European), elderflowers, gooseberries, pears, raspberries, redcurrants, rhubarb, strawberries, tayberries

meat and game:
chicken, lamb (welsh), mutton, pork, turkey, wood pigeon

fish and shellfish:
black bream, crab (spider), freshwater crayfish, cuttlefish, grey mullet, herring, mackerel, pilchards, pollack, prawns, river trout (brown and rainbow), salmon (wild), sardines, sea bass, sea trout, shrimp

5 comments:

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

so much elderflower around me, not ever done anything with it, am so lazy... must get picking this weekend!

Liz said...

Thank you so much for the lovely comment in The Guardian yesterday. Sent my stats sky high ! You are right about the fab people you meet in bloggerland - it seems such a simple way to add to the sum total of human happiness. Great post too... and get out there Dom otherwise the elderflower will have gone off and we all know what that smells like...

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Dom - hurry up with the elderflower - you'll kick yourself if you don't. BTW, on another note, do you want that "old dough"?

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Liz - an absolute pleaure to give you a mention - you deserve to be more widely read :)

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Pleasure even!!!