Mushy peas just got bumped up to a luxury item!

Recent flooding in the UK has devastated 30,000 homes, 7000 businesses and 1000s of hectares of crop land. The city of Hull as been described as the UK’s ‘New Orleans’. Now we are told that about half of the UK’s pea crop will be left in the ground to rot.

Ay up mi duck, ya mushy peas just became a luxury item! Prices are set to skyrocket.

More here.

Even more worrying are the effects on the supplies of a wide range of vegetable crops. The recent floods have damaged thousands of acres of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflowers, potatoes, onions and carrots.

Industry experts believe that shoppers may start to see higher prices this weekend as firms seek to import stocks from the Continent. Neil Booley of Staples in Lincolnshire, one of the country’s biggest growers with 7,000 acres of vegetables, has had to buy in cauliflower from Spain to meet supermarket orders. The firm usually sends out 40,000 trays of cauliflower a week, a total of 320,000 cauliflowers. This week there are just 18,000 trays, some 144,000 cauliflowers.

Mr Booley is also worried about broccoli and is to visit Poland and Hungary next week to secure new supplies. Supermarkets buy broccoli for an average of 83p per kg and sell it at £1.25 per kg. The cost is expected to rise to at least £1.50 or £1.60.

Ian Grant, who farms near Boston, in Lincolnshire, said: “I usually plant a total of 200 acres of broccoli but so far only 30 acres are planted and they are just rotting in the ground.”

More on sky high veg here.

For a fascinating story on the background to mushy peas visit The FOOD Museum.

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6 Responses to Mushy peas just got bumped up to a luxury item!

  1. Pete Smith says:

    It’s everywhere. Flooding’s the real killer, but persistent heavy rain comes a close second. My shallots and onions have got mildew, and my summer fruiting raspberries gave up before they’d hardly got going.

    Runner beans should be good though.

  2. matt says:

    Yes I guess there’s some pros to set against the cons, but probably not many. At least the aquifiers will be full to bursting.

    And the evil curtain twitchers will no longer be able to indulge in their favourite pass time of shopping their neighbours for washing their cars or hosing down their patio. 🙂

  3. Pete Smith says:

    Ironic really. Eating fresh ‘garden’ peas is a very recent fashion. The practice of letting peas ripen and dry in the fields goes back to ancient times, and mushy peas are a throwback to that tradition, a true ‘peasant’ food. And now it’s possibly under threat 😦 The varieties used for mushy peas are different from your actual Birds Eye garden peas, so there may not be too much conflict.

  4. Pete Smith says:

    “At least the aquifiers will be full to bursting”

    Maybe. The conventional wisdom is that we need rainfall in the winter months. Summer rain is lost through runoff and takeup by plants.

  5. matt says:

    Someone on ‘Farming Today’ was claiming this morning that the floods have not been helped by a emphasis at the Environment Agency on bringing back wetlands. Added to this, it was claimed that money is not being spent on drainage ditch maintenance and river dredging.

    Defra’s written response was that the recent downpours couldn’t have been catered for and anyway, drainage ditch maintenance is down to the land owners.

    In other words, everyone has been caught out and no one is responsible! The New Orleans effect.

  6. Pete Smith says:

    The ‘someone’ was the local NFU chairman. I thought he was talking bollocks quite frankly. Hillary Benn was quite right when he said the main reason for the widespread surface flooding in places like Hull is development. Not sure that applies to farmland flooding, I suspect that soil management (or lack of) has a bigger role. Soil compressed by over-grazing and heavy machinery won’t absorb rain water. It’s highly likely that extreme weather like this will become more common in the future. It’s up to landowners to respond by improving soil drainage and clearing ditches themselves, rather than expecting ‘the gov’ment’ to do it.

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