Growers are starting to dump spring and summer fruit and vegetables as cool, wet weather dampens demand for them around Otago.

Saddleview Greens co-owner Dale Jordan said demand for lettuce usually dropped at this time of year because the market was flooded by growers' crops coming ready at the same time.

But this year, the drop had been exacerbated by the cool, wet weather around Dunedin.

Read more horticulture stories here


"It sounds silly but it plays a big part on the demand.

"I don't think it's very good salad-eating weather.

"For this time of year, it's normally humming out the door, but it's really, really slow for November.

"When it's cold and wet out, people aren't having barbecues with salads. They go back to their roasties and stuff."

Mr Jordan said his business supplied local cafes and caterers such as Kaan's.

"At this time of year, Kaan's have all the new spring vegetables available like potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries and all those new yummy things for spring," Mr Jordan said.

"Demand for those things is absolutely dead. They're just not even moving.

"The weather's affecting everybody, not just us."


He recently had to dispose of nearly 2100 lettuces because they were past their best and could not be sold.

He said one man's bad luck was another's good fortune, because he gave them to a local flood-affected farmer on the Taieri so his cows would have something fresh to eat other than hay or baleage.

Disposal of the lettuces made way for new seedlings to be planted.

He hoped December would be warmer and drier so that demand for lettuce would increase again.

Recent flooding has also affected Palmerston Asparagus.

A message on the business' Facebook page said no more asparagus would be picked this year.

"Following the recent flood event, we have made the difficult decision not to resume picking this season for several reasons, in particular to ensure plant robustness for next year."

Co-owner Rod Philip declined to comment further.