Monday, 3 October 2011

Bartlett Beets to Rainbow Roots

With the sugar beet all but harvested and sweet smelling tractor loads of onions thundering down The Street, this truly is a harvest time to feel festive about. But what of more exotic fare?

Half way between Swaffham and Oxburgh Hall, near Cockley Cley (Cock-lee Kl-eye), they are growing rainbow carrots exclusively for Tesco. Modern GM madness, no. A 15 year old variety that harks back pre William of Orange's edict to promote his house's colours and make the night sight improving vegetable more patriotic. Some or all of these facts may be apocryphal. One of the root's original colurs, purple, seems to run in the roots of grower Alan Bartlett.

A family firm, the Scottish Albert Bartlett branch provides the tasty Rooster potatoes amongst many others, started by boiling beetroots in post war Scotland. The history of the soil syndicate can be seen here.

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