Food shortages

Whilst working and bantering with SFN posts I have had France Bleu on in the background. I heard an item that discussed the fact that France had produced 5% only of its normal apple crop. Other things have struck me this year. Despite wonderful, an abudance even, of blossom my cherries came to nothing, no quinces, almost no plums, no peaches, few gooseberries, short raspberry season, strawberries few, almost no plums, ditto apples. I was surprised by my hives empty of honey a few days ago and had a response to my enquiry on that subject from Zoe on 'The Hive' group that told me that I am not the only one. I have also called Nicole, our biggest local honey producer, and she has the same problem as me but over 200 hives rather than my handful. The Guardian ran an online article yesterday and today on the possibity of the entire planet needing to become vegetarian because of increasing food shortages.

It all got me thinking, so I had a look at the FAO's statistics on food and its production in western Europe on what they know so far. Wheat is not doing well and the yields are expected to be low, maize is down, other cereal crops have fared little better. Root crops had a wet start that caused rot and then a dry summer that has killed off large parts of the rest. Potatoes are included in that. The rest remains to be harvested, but from the bit I have seen the grapes look a bit manky, blackberries are even think on the bushes and I don't exaactly get the feeling the farmers hereabouts growing sunflowers are too happy either.

It is not a good year. That means much more will be imported and anyway cost a considerable amount more. Here in the west shortages are hardly noticeable but we pay richly for what we do get that others do not. I wonder what we are doing wrong? Is it climate change, is it just one of 'those' years or simply bad luck?

we have had so many strawberries this year - bumper crop. The gooseberries have been great as well. The plums and peaches - not so good and the cherries dismal. Plenty of pears, apples and quince on the trees. The birds got to all my blueberries and my tayberries seem to have disappeared. The rhubarb is doing well, although it could do with a drink. The currant bushes have been fantastic too!

So all in all not such a bad year. We do have hit and miss items each year - this year cherries, plums and peaches are the misses. It does seem to be something each year - that is why I preserve as much as I can for the quiet years !

Gooseberries...You very lucky person.

Would love to find them here...the large ones...


Not a single cherry on our tree this year due to the fact that it rained when it was in full flower and ready for pollination. We do have quinces, but small ones, gooseberries, but not a lot, a few apples and enough plums to make one large tart! More strawberries than ever, though, and veg doing well. Can't give the courgettes away there are so many.

The cherry, raspberry and strawberry crops seemed very, very low this year and the strawberries have been little red water pellets.
Sad. The vegies have been a little tired and scimpy and not so many of them.