Farmers Market - Japanese vegetables

Japanese vegetables are part of Lewes’ local food, thanks to a remarkable and innovative company based in Southover. On Saturday, Robin and Ijujo Williams of NamaYasai will cycle their pedal-powered stall down to the farmers’ market to sell the likes of juicy chrysanthemum leaves (shungiku), spicily fragrant shiso leaves, both green and purple, and more well-known greenery such as mizuna, wild rocket and garlic chives. This week the Williams’ garden has produced some exciting Japanese ginger (myogo) flower buds - just 20 or so, so get there early. NamaYasai’s excellent website advises you to slice it thinly and eat it raw. I tried some last night with some greengages. Amazing.

As well as going to farmers’ markets and supplying the odd restaurant such as The Jolly Sportsman at East Chiltington, the Williams sell mixed salad-leaf bags through Bill’s, Barefoot Herbs and the new café/food shop on Lansdown Place, La Porte’s. The leaves are picked the very day of delivery (Mondays and Wednesdays) in order to get optimum flavour and nutritional content. When I spoke to Robin he’d been up picking since midnight to fulfil this promise. The leaves are truly delicious and the mixed bag changes every time, making each one interesting. Instead of a ‘sell-by’ date, they have the date of harvesting, so you can tell how fresh the vegetables are rather than how stale: a different priority from the norm. HE

Myogo flowers: Japanese ginger, grown in Lewes

8 Paddock Rd
When? Preview 6-8 Friday and 11-6pm every Sat and Sun
How Much? From £65
(w) Website