Dækket med sne og i en fastfrossen jord, disse grøntsager kommer ikke på hylderne i supermarkederne
Disse spanske grøntsager som er dækket med sne i en frossen jord kommer ikke på hylderne i vores supermarkeder.

Butikker rationerer visse grøntsager efter at sne og storme ved Middelhavet har foranledt knaphed på grøntsager som vil vare ved indtil April.

Overraskende billeder fra Murcia i Sydspanien viser omfanget af problemet hvor hele marker af broccoli og salat ligger begravet i sne.

Shops are rationing greens after snow and storms in the Mediterranean have destroyed crops causing shortages which will last until April

Spain supplies more than 50 per cent of Europe's vegetables during the winter. Pictured: Snow covers a tractor near Caravaca de la Cruz in Murcia, Spain

Kommentar: Denne artikel er delvis oversat til dansk af sott.net fra: Freak weather in Spain leaves devastated salad crops and leads to rationing of vegetables in UK supermarkets

In a normal year, Spain supplies more than 50 per cent of Europe's vegetables during the winter, shipping more than 100,000 tonnes a month of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and between 50,000 and 100,000 tonnes of other vegetables including cauliflower and broccoli.

But this year heavy rains in mid December destroyed half the lettuce in Murcia and the first snow there since the 1980s made the situation even worse.

Anthony Gardiner of fresh food supplier G's said: 'The whole of southern Europe has been hit hard and supply is absolutely challenging across a number of salad, fruit and vegetable lines.'

Supermarket shelves have been left bare as shoppers rushed to stock up on greens.

Prices have rocketed with courgettes, normally costing 45p, being sold for £1.90 and lettuces, normally 40p, costing £1.17.

Morrisons has imposed a limit of three heads of broccoli and two iceberg lettuces per customer throughout its 492 stores and Tesco has limited customers to three lettuces.

The crisis isn't only affecting supermarkets as the online stores of the big grocers are restricting supply by listing many popular vegetables as unavailable.

And garden centre chain Wyevale has seized on the crisis by buying in more 'grow your own' vegetable seeds and plants so families can become more self-sufficient.

One hopeful entrepreneur is selling a box of iceberg lettuces on Gumtree for an eye-watering £50.

The seller named 'Dave' from Acocks Green in Birmingham urges shoppers to beat the 'national shortage' by snapping up his fresh veg.

He is flogging a box of 12 'freshly picked' lettuces, which would normally cost £5, for £50, or £4.16 each.

Brocolli, normally around £1 per kg, was being sold for £5 per kg at a London market and courgettes were also found selling for an extortionate £6 per kg.

Stunning pictures from Murcia in southern Spain capture the scale of the problem as whole fields of broccoli and lettuce lie buried in snow
The shortage began with aubergines and courgettes and has now spread to other vegetables, salad and, potentially, citrus fruit.

Consumers can now expect shortages of iceberg lettuce, baby spinach, mixed leaves, rocket, lollo rossa, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, lemons, and oranges.

Industry leaders say shortages and resulting high prices could last until April for some produce.

A Morrisons spokesman said: 'As a result of the fact that the Spanish harvest has been very difficult this year, we have just about enough coming in to supply our customers.

'We want to stop local tradespeople, restaurateurs, coming in and buying lots of stock. It is important that there is good availability for our customers.'

A notice in some Tesco stores reads: 'Due to continued weather problems in Spain there is a shortage of iceberg lettuce.

'To protect the availability to all our customers, we are limiting bulk purchases to 3 per person. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.'

Tesco said: 'Due to bad weather conditions in Spain, we are experiencing a few availability issues, but are working with our suppliers to resolve them as quickly as possible.'

And Sainsbury's, with no rationing policy, said: 'Severe weather has affected crops, but we are working with our suppliers to maintain supply for our customers.'

Heavy snow in Spain has severely limited the supply of broccoli. Pictured: A field in Ronda