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Unicorn News

Veg news 26th April

Veg news 26th April

Having been spoilt for choice with the range of Cornish brassicas for most of the month, this week sees the Hungry Gap properly bare its teeth for the first time this year…

This is the period when longer/warmer days mean brassicas that have been overwintered begin to bolt as they decide it’s time to flower. At the same time, crops kept in storage since last year (e.g. beetroot, celeriac, swede etc.) either run out, or cease to store quite so well. Meanwhile, the weather in the field is not warm enough for many new spring crops to kick on.

Consequently, sprouting broccolis and kale are finished for the season. We do have a good supply of spring cabbages from Ormskirk’s Duncan Gielty, and spring cauliflowers from Yorkshire, but the range of brassicas will be at its lowest ebb for the next month or so.

In contrast, there is an abundance of leafy greens from across the northwest… the quality of spinach from Preston’s Libby Flintoff and Glebelands in Stockport is sensational. UK spring onions are more abundant by the week, and Dunham Massey rhubarb is plentiful despite the blast of cold weather that’s hit us overnight. The local salad leaves are a little more limited, as Glebeblands move from their indoor (tunnel) crops onto their outdoor sowings. Plenty of headed lettuces to fill the gap though!

Looking towards Europe we have some excellent value ratatouille on offer, including some beautiful Dutch glasshouse aubergines. Berries are coming down in price as the season progresses and the first watermelons from Spain will be with us this weekend.

Last Modified - 26th April 2017

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Veg news 11th April

Enjoy the kale through the beginning of the week… Last weekend’s blast of warm sunny weather has caused it to flower and most growers are reporting a smaller yield. So here begins our annual kale gap – most likely to last through to June.

While the mild weather means the last of this season’s kale, it looks likely to bring an abundance of UK spring crops a couple of weeks earlier than in 2016. This week, that’s most evident in the fresh herbs from Strawberry Fields in Lincolnshire – mint being the latest addition, plus a continued abundance of leafy greens (ruby chard, perpetual spinach etc). Next week we anticipate a growing selection of lettuce varieties, plus a sprinkling of radishes and spring onions. UK asparagus is even being whispered about!

From the continent, calabrese broccoli remains tricky, but Cornish purple sprouting is fortunately abundant. The blood orange and clementine seasons are drawing to a close, but there’s a wealth of Spanish berries to provide a good range of fruit across the top shelf.

Tomatoes! We’re starting our much-loved Isle of Wight supply this week. The cherry vines in particular taste a little special.

Last Modified - 11th April 2017

Veg news 11th April

Enjoy the kale through the beginning of the week… Last weekend’s blast of warm sunny weather has caused it to flower and most growers are reporting a smaller yield. So here begins our annual kale gap – most likely to last through to June.

While the mild weather means the last of this season’s kale, it looks likely to bring an abundance of UK spring crops a couple of weeks earlier than in 2016. This week, that’s most evident in the fresh herbs from Strawberry Fields in Lincolnshire – mint being the latest addition, plus a continued abundance of leafy greens (ruby chard, perpetual spinach etc). Next week we anticipate a growing selection of lettuce varieties, plus a sprinkling of radishes and spring onions. UK asparagus is even being whispered about!

From the continent, calabrese broccoli remains tricky, but Cornish purple sprouting is fortunately abundant. The blood orange and clementine seasons are drawing to a close, but there’s a wealth of Spanish berries to provide a good range of fruit across the top shelf.

Tomatoes! We’re starting our much-loved Isle of Wight supply this week. The cherry vines in particular taste a little special.

Last Modified - 11th April 2017

Grow a Grocery

We think there’s room for a Unicorn-type store in every city, and perhaps more besides. We have no plans to expand outside the one shop, so we’ve put together a guide intended to help facilitate the emergence of new stores run on similar lines.

Starting a new business is a daunting process. The guide is based on the model Unicorn has tried & tested since 1996, and walks potential grocers through all areas of the business, in the hope that it will make starting a new shop an easier process and help existing shops improve and/or expand.


Read the guide here

Last Modified - 10th October 2013

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