Monday, September 28, 2009

Organic Boxes

I’ve long been a fan of organic fruit and vegetable boxes. Generally delivered once a week, they are chock full of produce fresh from the field. It is an easy way to ensure you are eating seasonally, and it can often be a money saver. The quality of the fruit and vegetables is usually pretty exceptional as you can see from the photograph above. Of course it all depends on your supplier, but most organic box schemes are eager to please and their product reflects that.

There are a huge number of companies in the UK that do organic box deliveries, and more and more abroad. When we lived in the Midlands, I used a company called River Nene, which was a branch of Riverford Organic Veg, but now we live down south I have been sourcing my organic boxes from Abel and Cole.

Most organic box schemes have a feature that allows you to tell them if there are any vegetables you do not like and they will replace them with something else, so you are not likely to get a whole bunch of something you cannot use. It does mean that you have to plan your meals around the contents of the box, but most companies can tell you the week before roughly what they plan to put in, so you can still plan ahead to a certain extent. I can organise my whole delivery on-line, and there are other organic products available that I can order at the same time as a one off, or place on a regular delivery. Many other box schemes operate this way as well.

For example, last week I ordered some organic Double Gloucester cheese in addition to my vegetable box. It arrived in a wonderfully environmentally friendly cool pack made from sheep’s wool.

Basically the cheese was in a bag with two re-usable ice packs. This bag was surrounded by special packs of woolcool. This is a product made (not surprisingly) from sheep’s wool and used for insulation. The cheese was icy cold when it arrived, ready to pop straight into the fridge. I’ll put the cool box, along with the box my vegetables arrived in outside for collection when my next delivery arrives. The boxes and cool packs are re-used again and again.

Often our lifestyles mean that we can’t do as much for the environment as we would like to, but even small efforts do help. Having an organic box delivered once a week is a practically effort free way of doing what you can. It is well worth considering. It usually saves me money over shop prices and the vegetables and fruit really could not be much fresher. The fact that it is delivered by a van that is delivering to lots of other people near to me means that we don’t all have to go out in our cars, and the convenience of delivery really cannot be beaten. So do consider joining an organic box scheme. It can benefit the environment, stimulate the farming economy and if you choose a good company, is a convenient, nutritious and delicious choice.