what's in season: april

purple spring crocus
Side by side through the streets at midnight,
Roaming together,
Through the tumultuous night of London,
In the miraculous April weather.

Roaming together under the gaslight,
Day’s work over,
How the Spring calls to us, here in the city,
Calls to the heart from the heart of a lover!


Cool to the wind blows, fresh in our faces,
Cleansing, entrancing, After the heat and the fumes and the footlights,
Where you dance and I watch your dancing.

Good it is to be here together, Good to be roaming,
Even in London, even at midnight, Lover-like in a lover’s gloaming.

You the dancer and I the dreamer, Children together,
Wandering lost in the night of London, In the miraculous April weather.

April Midnight - Arthur Symons 1865–1945

April is known as a "cruel month", not least because it is rather lean in terms of seasonal British produce. Although a poem which describes April weather in London as miraculous seems a little dissonant, knowing what we do about the weather of the past few years. I do wonder if the UK's crops will be disrupted yet again by our unseasonal weather. Certainly sheep farmers in the north have had a terrible time of it recently.

Stores of British fruit and vegetables are coming to an end and the new crops of vegetables are not up to maximum strength yet. Fortunately spring greens are beginning to appear, such as lettuce and watercress as well as spinach and broccoli, so it’s not all doom and gloom. Last year I discovered the happy accident of a whole load of wild leeks in my back garden, so I was able to forage close to home, making wild leek pesto and using the leaves and flowers in pasta dishes such as my spaghetti with wild leeks and roasted tomatoes.


We are expecting rain and snow later in the week, so it will definitely be an opportunity to cook some delicious warming winter stews as well as satisfying soups. Bring it on!

vegetables, herbs and wild greens:
artichokes (Jerusalem), asparagus, basil, broccoli (purple sprouting), cabbages (various green varieties), carrots, cauliflower, chard, chicory, chives, dandelions, dill, endive, fat hen, greens (spring and winter), hop shoots, jersey royal new potatoes, kale, leeks, lettuces and salad leaves, meadowsweet, mint, morel mushrooms, nettles, onions, parsley, potatoes (main crop), radishes, rosemary, samphire, sea kale, sea spinach, sorrel, spinach, spring onions, watercress, wild chervil (aka cow parsley), wild garlic (ransoms), wild rocket

fruit and nuts:
bramley apples, rhubarb

meat and game:
beef, chicken, pork, rabbit, spring lamb, turkey, wood pigeon

fish and shellfish:
cockles, cod, coley, conger eel, crab (brown and cock), dab, dover sole, haddock, john dory, lemon sole, lobster, mackerel, mussels, oysters, pollack, prawns, salmon (wild), scallops, sea bass, sea trout, shrimp, whelks, whitebait

2 comments:

Caroline - All That I'm Eating said...

I do look forward to the hunger gap in a strange way because when it's over you appreciate it even more!

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Absolutely! Though I do wish it would warm up a bit so I can start planting my veg patch!