Vegetable prices soar in big freeze
Sunday 12 January 1997
Leeks, cabbages, cauliflowers, sprouts, spring greens and broccoli are all in short supply.
In Somerset, farmer Eric Greenham has used a drill attached to a small generator to uproot his crops of leeks, carrots, parsnips and swedes. "The ground is like concrete. I've never known anything like it in all my years of farming", he said.
With supplies so short, prices have shot up. Leeks are selling at up to pounds 1.20 a pound and cabbages are up to 65p each. Before Christmas they were as little as 39p and 59p respectively. Cauliflowers are up from between 59p and 69p before Christmas to between 75p and pounds 1.20 now.
Ben Summerfield, operations director for David Lang Mead, a company in Petworth, West Sussex, has invented a tool which drags under the frosted surface and lifts up 10-inch slabs of earth containing leeks. Yet he can still only produce just half a tonne a day, rather than the usual five.
"We're struggling like hell," he said. "Being near the south coast we are usually fairly frost-free, but the weather conditions recently have been quite stunning. The frost has got to 10 inches deep and the leeks are rock solid. We use a sledgehammer to get them out, then thaw them in front of a gas heater."
Supplies from warmer European countries have also been badly hit. Temperatures in Holland have plunged to minus 17C and in Spain fields have been devastated by floods.
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 'Necrophilia-obsessed' girl among double murder accused in three-way sex case
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Revealed after 75 years of secrecy: 'Fifi' the glamorous WW2 special agent who tested British spies' resolve
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked next, threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - Camden / Ken...
£100 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Year 5 class teacher vacan...
£50 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an SEN Learning Supp...
£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: We are working with a number of ...