Spring is in the air

The 21st of March may have been officially the first day of spring but as the ancient Chinese proverb says ‘Spring is sooner recognized by plants than by men’.

I’ve just returned from a week in France and everyone is rotivating or turning over their veg patch ready for the big planting out day. According to north European folklore nobody will risk planting out until the ice or frost saints (Mamertus, Pancras, and Servatuis) have done their work 11th 12th 13th May respectively. Even in Yorkshire there is an ancient saying ‘he who shears his sheep before St Servatuis day loves his wool more than his sheep’.

So anyone with vulnerable veg to plant out don’t be fooled by this early spate of fine weather, you have been warned.

It is nice though to see a change in the season and the arrival of English rhubarb and wild garlic means lots more lovely English produce will soon be here.

Spring also means the start of the sea trout season but very few fish have been seen so far. My contacts in Wales tell me the tides and water should be perfect in the next week, so fingers crossed. Anyone interested in seeing the coacle fishermen at work or even a night fly fishing for the elusive sea trout give me a call.

The Elver fishing season is well under way and very encouraging numbers have been caught. We shall placing elver tanks in schools at the end of April as part of our sustainable eel campaign which many our chef customers are helping support. Would be great to have 2 schools in London so if anyone can help or wants more information give Richard or myself a call.

It is of course the Wild Salmon season that we are really looking forward to (1st June) and the traditional basket fishermen will be busy repairing and getting there baskets ready for stacking and fixing in the River Severn. It is always well worth a trip to see this ancient method of fishing together with lathe netters who fish the pools on the ebb of the tide.

Just seen an important news flash, porters at Billingsgate fish market are staging a fresh protest today against plans to change licensing bylaws which they say will hit their working practices ( unfortunately this will not include a ban on defrosting frozen fish on the market) The union Unite said the action by the City of London Corporation is an attempt to remove the porters from the historic London market.

Many years ago my best friend told me he had a new girlfriend, I naturally enquired what’s she like. The casual reply was ‘she’s the mirror image of Debbie Harry,’ I immediately conjured up images of a peroxide blonde, black leather and pouting lips. Some weeks later on meeting the so called Debbie Harry look alike, no matter how I squinted or even put a hand over one eye it was obvious that we all see things oh so differently. And so it is as you get older the more cynical you become of people's claims and fancies. So when I claim and tell you that Var Salmon is the finest Farmed Salmon on the market today I don’t expect you to believe me, just try it for yourself and make your own mind up.

Var Salmon will officially be launched in the next few weeks. Details about the fish are attached.

We will be selling this as a fresh and smoked product. Anyone interested in more info do not hesitate to call.

More news soon.

Dai Francis