This Year's April Fools
First British crops of Spaghetti enjoyed in South East England!
Patient farmers and gardeners in Sussex are finally harvesting their first crop of spaghetti since planting trees over 15 years ago!
This harvest from the Common Italian Spaghetti Tree Spagio bolonus, is quoted as a significant indicator of global climate change.
Why were they planted in the UK? The sap-sucking beetle Aprile una decimated crops in the Po Valley region of Italy during the early 2000s; to address concerns about a worldwide spaghetti shortage the European Union awarded grants in 2005-2006 to landowners for the establishment of spaghetti orchards. Over 100,000 spaghetti trees have been planted throughout the United Kingdom since 2005.
Although the climate in South East England is now similar to that of Northern Italy, heavy frosts in February and March have seen previous years crops fail. However, this year growers are delighted to be harvesting a bumper crop.
Spaghetti is sensitive to the cold and to prevent bruising must be picked by hand. In the March issue of Cow & Crop Magazine, Giles Foolton - Owner of The Mounds Orchard in Ham explained "The challenge now is to harvest all the spaghetti before the colder night-time temperatures we expect to hit us around Easter".
With Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic, there are few skilled spaghetti wranglers available to assist with the UK harvest; many growers have been franticly training up 100s of the nation's unemployed chefs to pick the crop. Gordon Ramsay - Celebrity Chef and UK Kitchens To Fields re-training scheme ambassador said "It's a f***ing great idea, these guys are experienced at handling spaghetti".
So this year keep an eye out in the shops for Britsh grown spaghetti!