I started ordering an organic vegetable box delivery recently and it’s completely changed our appreciation of food and our way of eating! I honestly can’t recommend it enough, although this time around is a lot different to when I first gave one of these schemes a try a few years ago. Read on for more reasons on why veggies are best local, organic and fresh.
The first time was with a larger company, and sadly most of the contents of the box went mouldy within a couple of days. I ended up cancelling it, thinking this was just what happened to all organic farm “fresh” food.
I decided to give a different organic veg box business a go again recently, and looked for a farm local to us in Essex, UK. I finally found Sarah Green’s Organics, based in Tillingham. They deliver weekly organic vegetable boxes to a health food shop called Green’s in Leigh-on-Sea, where people could then pick up their produce. They also deliver to many parts of Essex and east London.
This is taken from their welcome letter:
“We are a family run farm in Tillingham, Essex. I work in partnership on the farm with my parents. I am the third generation of my family to farm in Tillingham. We have over 30 acres of land that is registered with the Soil Association, and we have another field completing its conversion next Spring. It’s here on our organic fields where my Dad and I, Sarah Green, grow a wide variety of seasonal organic vegetables.”
We have received an organic veggie box from Sarah Green’s for four weeks in a row now. Never has the produce gone off, even when we’ve still had it in the fridge a week later. I put this down to the fact that as they are so near and the vegetables are picked so soon before delivery, the produce we receive is remarkably fresh. For £15 we can choose a good-sized box with vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, kale, potatoes, radish, beetroot, mushrooms, cabbage and broad beans to name a few. Not all of the vegetables are grown on the farm – some do come from abroad, but you can pick and choose what’s in your order. We also get half a dozen farm fresh free-range eggs thrown in (from chickens that we have been assured really do see the light of day and eat a good diet).
People think such schemes are expensive, but I think ours is really good value for money. We’re a normal family with a two-year-old boy out of childcare, and we get by on one wage. We live really simply. We don’t eat much meat or fish or buy lots of packaged goods such as fizzy drinks, or spend much elsewhere, plus we make almost everything from scratch. That helps!
The potatoes arrive caked in soil and the beetroot (which I didn’t recognise at first because I’m so used to seeing them vacuum-packed at the supermarket) are bulbous with their leaves still attached. The vegetables come in all sorts of ugly shapes and sizes instead of the glossy supermarket varieties. It’s been an education, seeing what vegetables actually look like fresh out of the ground, instead of when in a plastic supermarket packet. This week we got to see what fresh garlic looks like for the first time. And yes, it does really smell garlic-y.
I have eaten radish for the first time after discovering it in our first box too and now I order it most weeks. It’s a great way to give new foods a try.
I’m going to get all cheesey now but I honestly feel more in touch with the food we are eating and the process it has taken from being grown on the farm to our plates. It really is the simple things….
As we eat a lot of vegetables we still top up this supply with some other produce, but I feel better knowing that a majority of our vegetables are fresh from the ground, local, organic and seasonal. I also find that supermarket produce comes in far too much plastic packaging. Sally on the other hand even re-uses the boxes the eggs and vegetables come in.
Sally also sends a newsletter out, telling customers what’s been going on at the farm. It’s cute.
Last week she wrote:
“At the moment we have 38,000 plants waiting to be planted! Each evening Steven waters them in their trays to keep the plants in the same good condition that they arrive in.
We have had a little ornithological success in one of our barns. A pair of Barn Owls have two nests either end of the barn. In one nest there are two chicks just about to leave the nest, and in the other nest there are 3 eggs waiting to hatch. The parents must feel that they can manage both nests as they are located quite close together.”
Part of my philosophy for good eating for ultimate nourishment and fitness is to eat food that is as close to its natural state as possible. Apart from growing it yourself, you really can’t get much better than a local scheme such as Sally Green’s. Have a look for a farm in your area and give them a try!