Caroline McParland champions seasonal veg boxes, while Malcolm Thick looks at how England has historically relied on root vegetables. Plus letters from Margaret Davis and Chris Woolf

It’s all too easy to mock Thérèse Coffey. The environment secretary’s understanding of matters ranging from species reintroduction to inflation is woeful, and unacceptable for someone in her position, but with her latest suggestion, that we “cherish” seasonal food such as turnips amid shortages of other fresh produce, she has a point (Report, 23 February).

Expecting to eat fruit and vegetables out of season isn’t sustainable. Supporting local farmers through veg box schemes can be more affordable and sustainable than shopping in supermarkets. So is helping folk in urban areas grow their own food, with access to allotments and local community growing schemes.

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