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Farmer’s thoughts on celeriac growing

Co-director David Buck with harvested celeriac in storage. Photo: SG301112-03MD

Co-director David Buck with harvested celeriac in storage. Photo: SG301112-03MD

There are many plants that have struggled with the wet weather this year, but there is one vegetable that enjoys the rain.

Robin Buck, director at Jack Buck (Farms) Ltd, at Moulton Seas End, says celeriac likes the rain, although it does have a tendency to rot in storage.

However, the poor season has taken its toll even on this rain-loving veg, as Robin says quite a lot of 50 acres of the crop has bolted, or gone to seed.

He said: “It was very wet when we were trying to plant and so we had to hold it back quite a long time and it had some hot weather in the glasshouse. It then went into cold, very wet fields and then had a lot of stress from low light levels, being water-logged and cold. Some varieties are more prone than others.”

Nevertheless, Robin beieves yields will end up about the same because the individual pieces are bigger.

Harvest is underway on the 160 acres of the crop, mostly planted under polythene in May although some went in during April to provide an early crop in August or even July.

The farm sells to most of the major supermarkets as well as to wholesale markets, and the good news is that more consumers are warming to the vegetable, a move fuelled, Robin believes, by television chefs who use it regularly.

Robin said: “We are seeing more in restaurants and I think we are going to see more in prepared meals now because we seem to be selling more celeriac.”

 

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