February: time of plenty

Contrary to popular belief, February is a time of plenty. A wide choice of delicious root vegetables, as well as luscious leeks, onions, different varieties of cabbages make for colourful and varied options:

  • Artichokes (Jerusalem)
  • Beetroot
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage (red, savoy, green winter)
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cavolo nero (black kale)
  • Celeriac
  • Curly kale (red and green)
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce (depending on weather)
  • Onions
  • Parsley (depending on weather)
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Purple sprouting broccoli
  • Red Russian (a type of kale)
  • Salad leaves (depending on weather)
  • Shallots
  • Spinach (depending on weather)
  • Spring greens
  • (Squash – stored, if you are lucky!)
  • Swede
  • Turnips

Many of these vegetables are grown unprotected, but some in unheated polytunnels. Note: some of these are only available when it’s relatively mild, e.g. lettuce.

Vegetable of the month: Savoy cabbage

Savoy cabbages are available througout the winter months, but are at their best this month. With a nutty flavour, rich texture and fresh green colour, savoy cabbages are a welcome addition to a wide variety of dishes, including stews, soups and roasts.

Spotlight on apples in February

You can buy stored English apples in February, but they will have been kept in cold store, which requires energy. One way of avoiding this is to buy a large box of apples (Cox’s are best) in October and keep them yourself in an unheated space, where they will last until April. You need to pick them over every so often and use any bruised ones first, and they will get a bit wrinkled, but they will be very sweet and brilliantly coloured. Some people prefer the taste to the plumper ones kept in cold store!