This year has been an excellent one for walnuts with a splendid harvest of English grown walnuts.
You can find English walnuts on sale in farm shops, farmer’s markets and food festivals across south east England, as well as on-line.
Home grown walnuts are so much tastier than imported ones. They are fresher: harvested this autumn, travelling at most 50 miles from farm to market and very well worth seeking out. Walnuts are not usually sold by the variety, but the grower will be able to tell you which one you are buying. The two I found on sale last weekend were Broadview and Lara, gathered from trees planted during the 1990s and now in their stride, cropping well.
This is the time of year to look out for home grown walnuts. The two main sellers are Alexander Hunt of Potash Farm, near Sevenoaks and Edward Lade of Nut Farms, also based in Kent. Potash Farm has its own shop, on-line sales and regional outlets and can to be found at farmers’ markets across the south east: see here for a diary of venues. Nut Farms sells walnuts at Kent markets and every weekend in London at the Saturday ‘Fine Food Market’, Duke of York’s Square, off the King’s Road, Chelsea and the Sunday ‘Farmers Market’ at Alexandra Palace, Muswell Hill; see here for more information. They both also sell home grown hazel nuts and a range of products, which includes hazel nut oil and walnut oil.
Check on their websites and twitter for the markets at which you can find them and check the list of Kent Farmers Markets to be held during December in the run-up to Christmas.
English nuts will be featured on BBC Radio 4 ‘Farming Today’ next Wednesday 16 December at 5.45 am, also on Saturday 19 December at 6.30am and include an interview with Alexander Hunt.
For more walnut stories see our main website for reviews of two books, one on cooking with walnuts and the other about walnuts grown across the world: http://www.fruitforum.net/walnuts-at-home-and-abroad.htm