Baby vegetables are as cute as they are tasty! We offer around fifteen varieties of these products which are always in great demand during the holiday season. Cooks and foodies alike can’t get enough of baby carrots, cauliflower and beetroot. Arnaud Guillerm, a grower in Sibiril, Finistère, took us on a tour of his farm to show us his baby vegetable crops.
Delicate and crunchy baby vegetables
The small size of baby vegetables is not due to chance. In fact, they are rigorously-selected varieties developed for optimal flavour and aesthetic qualities.
Specific growing conditions are also required to produce vegetables of this size. Higher planting density, constant monitoring during growth and early manual harvesting are the secrets to success in baby vegetable production. These diminutive varieties are well-loved by chefs as well as consumers for their delicate flavour and amazing crunch.
An opportunity to diversify crops
Arnaud Guillerm and his partner Jean-Jacques Quéméneur established their GAEC (jointly-run farm) in 1998. On their 150 hectares, they grow cauliflower and broccoli, lettuce for packaged salads, and lamb’s lettuce. Around ten years ago, they added baby carrots and turnips to their list of crops.
“The demand came from the market. SICA’s baby vegetable department asked us if we would begin growing baby vegetables to meet the demand. We already had large unheated greenhouses—multi-hood greenhouses—for growing lamb’s lettuce and early lettuce. This allowed us to diversify our crops. We were also curious about testing different varieties.”
Baby vegetables: labour-intensive crops
From the Prince de Bretagne range, Arnaud Guillerm and his partner chose to grow only baby turnips and carrots. “These crops require a lot of labour over a short period. This adds up to about 60% of their sales price.” This is due to the fact that all harvesting is done entirely by hand. Arnaud and Jean-Jacques’s farm has sixteen employees, seven of whom are on permanent contract. All these workers are trained to know exactly how and when to harvest baby vegetables in order to guarantee the high quality of the product.
Around fifteen varieties in the Pouliquen range
In all, we offer around fifteen varieties of baby vegetable produced by twenty or so Prince de Bretagne growers. Beetroot (Chioggia, red and golden), orange and coloured carrots, cauliflower, turnips, white and red cabbage, endives, bell peppers, leeks, Savoy cabbage, and even Romanesco: all these vegetables are grown on the North Finistère and Côtes d’Armor coastlines. Depending on the variety, size and quantity required, our baby vegetables can be packed in flowpack or shrink-wrapped trays, and cardboard or wood baby boxes. Just let us know your needs, and we’ll make you a custom offer.