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Veg Box Schemes in London

Home > London > Food and Wine | Nature | Recipes | Escape the City | Outdoor
Published June 21st 2011
For anyone who's never come across a veg box before, it's basically exactly what it sounds like: a box full of vegetables. Veg box schemes have really taken off over the past decade or so, as an incredibly convenient way to get fresh produce delivered to your door, usually direct from the farm it grew on.

Most schemes are organic, and 'ethical' in all sorts of ways; they cut down on transport emissions and packaging waste, and ensure a fair price to the producers. So basically you get extra flavour with less guilt and no hassle, plus the satisfaction of sticking up two fingers to mass supermarkets chains.

A veg box is also a great way to try out ingredients you wouldn't usually buy. You never quite know what you'll get, as it all depends on the season and what's ready (though usually you can specify if there's anything you'd rather not receive). Often you get suggested recipes with your box or on the website.

Most schemes are also very flexible, available in a range of sizes and combinations and you can choose to order a box as often or not as you wish, or add any extras you particularly fancy.

The scheme you're most likely to have heard of in London is Riverford Organic. From the humble beginnings of Guy Watson selling vegetables to friends from his Devon farm, the business now delivers 47,000 boxes every week, in partnership with other organic farms around the UK. Boxes come in several different sizes, as well as a seasonal box, favourites (a selection of the most popular vegetables), salad boxes and fruit, either combined with veg or on its own. You can even order a fruit box for your workplace, or while you're at it, a meat box. In fact Riverford delivers pretty much everything you could want: dairy, drinks, treats, fresh bread and deli supplies.

Riverford sounds hard to beat, but it's certainly not the only option. Abel & Cole offers a similar range, including 'gourmet' veg boxes for those who prefer only the best varieties. Yorkshire-based Farmaround also serves London, and has some interesting options, including a 'Mediterranean module', 'Green module' and 'Juicing module'.

There are also London-based schemes, including Earth Natural Foods, Just Organic, The Organic Delivery Company and Bumblebee Natural Foods. Meanwhile Growing Communities, a social enterprise based in Hackney, promises to be 'more than just a box scheme' - when you join, you become a member, with a say in how it is run.
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Why? More flavour, seasonal variety, less guilt, no hassle.
When: All year round.
Where: Across London.
Cost: Depends on scheme and box size.
Comments
We used Riverford for veggy box home deliveries when we lived at Woodford Green and it was a great way to get regular fresh vegetables.
By Bruce B - reader
Wednesday, 22nd of June @ 09:25 am
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