Little did I know when I posted my ABC picture 2 days ago, that I was ahead of the national news with my story of the anticipated onion shortage :o
The BBC reported on it yesterday, using the same source as I did - Riverford Organics. I've looked into this a bit further and can report there are conflicting views on when the shortage will happen. Riverford have already used up all their UK sourced onions and have switched to supplies from the continent. In fact they're suggesting their customers use other alliums, such as leeks instead. They might even need to use Southern Hemisphere sources as early as March. It doesn't sound good for our carbon footprint, but I can understand that Riverford need to react to their customers' demands - after all, how many of your savoury dishes don't contain at least one onion?
On the other hand, the British Onion Producers' Association (BOPA) doesn't anticipate problems until April/May. I suspect the difference between BOPA and Riverford is because organic sources may have been particularly badly affected by last year's weather. So far, the BBC's newstory doesn't seem to have resulted in the usual panic buying in the High Street (at least if my local supermarket is anything to go by), in spite of the reports that prices may rise by as much as 50%.
Naturally, the story and yesterday's good weather chivvied me into giving my autumn planted onions some TLC. So I took my trusty little onion hoe to the capped soil around them yesterday afternoon, so that they can breathe again. They looked so much better for it. I wonder if I should be providing some extra security too - who knows, onion thieves may strike!
Phil over at Landscape Juice has also picked up on this story, but personally is still enjoying a good crop. He's also asking how's your crop faring?