Today’s Times has a report on yesterday’s holly and msitletoe sales at Tenbury – majoring on the glut of berries and material for both plants and how this is pushing down prices.
This is a curious tradition of the Times – prices and tonnage for msitletoe are a regular feature – and similar stats can be found in editions dating right back to the 19th century – though mostly relating to the import trade. I’m not really quite sure why this is so newsworthy – how many people (apart from me) are really interested in the fact that 30 tonnes were on sale yesterday in 1250 lots?
Some historic examples that come to hand:
The Dec 3rd 1949 Times reported that the French vessel St Effiam arrived with 2283 cartes of mistletoe – though tonnage is not quoted. The Dec 14th 1934 edition tells us that two boatloads of mistletoe, ‘representing 130 tons’ were landed from France. Dec 7th 1921 reports that mistletoe ‘will only be available in small quantities’. And on Dec 20th 1915, despite the war, France was reportedly sending us mistletoe at high prices because of an organised campaign against it in French Orchards.