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Bad news for sprout haters: a bumper crop this Christmas

12/20/2011 23:07:20 PM

A bumper crop of brussels sprouts that are 20 per cent bigger than normal is expected this Christmas, farmers have said.

It has been an exceptionally good year for the much-maligned vegetable, which has ripened three weeks earlier than usual.

Most weigh 25g instead of 20g and are particularly sweet and flavoursome, thanks to the unusually warm winter weather.

Last year Britain suffered a shortage of sprouts due to freezing conditions. But experts said there should not be a repeat this year following perfect growing conditions, including a dry spring, summer rains and the recent mild spell.

“It has been a really good year for sprouts and the yields are much higher than they have been for the past six years,” said John Lankfer, who grows 70 acres of sprouts on his farm in Wisbech, Cambs.

A spokeswoman for the Love Your Greens campaign group added: “The mild dry weather has been really good for the crop and helped produce very high quality sprouts.”
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Sales of sprouts have risen sharply in recent years, with 40,000 tons, worth more than £60 million, sold already this year, compared with £53 million last year.

It is thought innovative sprout recipes from celebrity chefs including Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey and Heston Blumenthal have helped boost sales.

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SRC: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/8941983/Bad-news-for-sprout-haters-a-bumper-crop-this-Christmas.html


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