Plenty of autumnal produce is gliding in: English plums; apples; cobnuts; Turkish black figs; squashes and much more besides.
Plums are terrific right now – decent harvests with ripe, sweet fruit. Varieties at time of writing include Victoria (pictured in center below) and the later Marjorie's Seedling. You'll also find the variety Angelo, typically from Italy:
Early crops of russets have joined Cox (first picture below), Gala, Early Worcester (second picture) and the last of the Discovery:
English Conference pears are still early, and compete with Italian Williams pears (pictured below):
Black Turkish figs are always a bestseller at this time of year:
The first clementines and satsumas are also here – a quintessential taste of autumn:
Other fruits to consider are peaches, quince, fragrant Muscat grapes, custard apples and kaki fruit (pictured last below):
Among the softer fruit, British blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are available.
"[Strawberries will last] about another month if the weather stays as it is – but it only needs the frost to knock it out," says Steve Oakden at French Garden.
Cobnuts, chestnuts and green walnuts are among the nuttier options:
On the veg front, squashes are dazzling in their variety, with pumpkins here too in time for Halloween:
English sweetcorn and runner beans are still going strong:
Among the brassicas, Brussel sprouts and their tops have arrived, along with purple sprouting, excellent cabbages and kales:
I love the sultry colours of this Rainbow chard, sparkling in the light:
Don't forget the final weeks of British salads, plus fresh spinach and herbs such as parsley, mint and this tip-top coriander from Worldwide Exotics:
Wild mushrooms are a good bet too in this cooler, damp weather, such as these fine Cep
Produce from the Continent includes Jerusalem artichokes, Globe and Petit Violet artichokes, round courgettes and Romanesco cauliflowers.
Specialties include these Zebra tomatoes and chervil root from France (pictured last below):
"Quality sells," says Chris Kensit, the gentleman receiving the cake from employers French Garden after a lifetime on the market.
He's off to Australia and started his career in the original Covent Garden sit, where he remembers how queues for opera house tickets snaked through the market itself.
Here he is with Charlotte, one of the younger generation, who works with distributor J Connell.
I wish him all the best in his travels. Drop me a line with any comments and queries on this month's report. See you in November.