Friday, December 01, 2006

What's a Vegetable Box Scheme?

It's a farm-organised scheme, and there are lots running all over the country. You register with a supplier and receive a box of organic vegetables once a week or once a fortnight. Your box will include only what's in season, and, because the farm can decide what goes into the boxes each week, prices are kept low (about 60% less than supermarket organics). You'll get some staples (usually potatoes, carrots, and onions), some greens, and some interesting things each week!


Joining a box scheme is a great way to:
1. Keep food miles to a minimum
2. Eat what's in season
3. Support the local economy
4. Get more organic veg for your buck.

We get ours from
Riverford Farm, paying £9.00 for a small, £11 for a medium, or £13 for a fruit-and-veg each week. But there are plenty of farms offering the boxes - and some milkmen deliver vegetable boxes on their rounds, too!

This week our small box includes: Butternut squash, celeriac, box of mushrooms, brussels sprouts, onions, potatoes, broccoli, and carrots. Yes, we usually get through it all, although I can go online and swap the box for a mini or medium depending on whether we are running low or high on vegetables! It does dictate what you eat, but that's a good thing - plenty of variety and challenges. Eating what's in season is naturally better for our bodies, since imported exotics have only been arriving for the last few decades.

We've been receiving a box for a few years and so I'm used to working out the weekly menus according to what appears - not as hard as it sounds, especially in winter, when you get used to eating a lot of root gratins and bubble 'n' squeak!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anna, really informative. I asked partly because of this blog, partly because I've been watching some of the Local Food Hero programmes on UK TV Food. Riverford Farm was one of the South West finalists. As you say, some items can present a challenge and you are a cook. You will know the reason why I do not cook every day, from scratch. MS is not just an excuse. Hardly at all now I have Pete who loves cooking. I have to persuade him (and me finally) that this will fit into our lives. I am sure we'd be healthier.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm. Shirl has introduced me to your missive, which I found most interesting. I must admit that I avoid supermarket organic food like the plague. It never looks any more appetising or different, has travelled a fair way and is ridiculously expensive. Shirl has found Purton House Farm, which is only 5 minutes away, and I found myself wanting to have a bash, so to speak. The cost is so comparable to plastic encased food BUT, oh the freshness of it all. One of our faourite meals was salmon parcels which, quite frankly, I had gone off. I will put the recipe on my blog later and will soon be giving it a go with Purton House veg. I bet we notice a difference.

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