Top five fruit & veg box schemes
by Charlotte Morgan | 10 October 2012 | 0 commentsTweet
Why shop for your fruit and veg when you can get it delivered straight to your door? Check out our five favourite fruit `n veg box schemes from across the UK.
‘Delivered by hand straight from the land’ is the catchy motto used by Farmaround, the award-winning makers of the first ever organic veg box. It was set up in 1994 to promote the benefits of organic food and farming, and creator Isobel (who also launched ethical fashion label Izzy Lane) has been awarded a RSPCA Good Business Award for her efforts.
It’s a weekly service and the delivery charge is just £1.50 if you spend a minimum of £12.95 on your fruit ‘n veg bundle. Either select one of their assorted fruit or vegetable bags (the £9.50 ‘standard fruit bag’, for example, contains bananas, honey dew melon, Italian grapes, kiwifruits, royal gala apples and grapefruit) or build your own bag.
It’s not just fruit, either. They are also the only UK company who stocks a range of ethically sourced milk and eggs from Good Food Nation, and you can even add oils and vinegars, cereals, olives, dried fruits and goodness knows what else to your shopping list. We like the vegetable bags on offer too – the ‘luxury’ bag contains everything from sweet potatoes to spinach, green beans and oak leaf lettuce.
Delivers to: north of England, London, Greater London and the Home Counties
Perhaps the most popular veg box scheme around, Riverford began when Guy Watson started delivering vegetables locally to 30 friends in Devon. The company now sends around 40,000 boxes out a week to homes across the UK.
Everything is strictly seasonal, and boxes range from simply squash to salad, fruit, small vegbox plus meat, seasons vegbox plus meat, fruit plus vegbox plus meat… there’s a lot to choose from. Prices start at around £7.95 and peak at just over £20 for just fruit and/or veg boxes, although there is a lot of organic meat on offer, too.
There’s a great recipe section on the site chock-a-block with ideas, and plenty of information on visiting the Riverford farm in Buckfastleigh, Devon. You can also see last week’s box contents so you can get an idea of what you might expect.
Delivers to: you have to type in your postcode to find out!
Earth Natural Foods are London based, and they will deliver your box of organic fruit and vegetables within the North London region free of charge. Cost is from £9.50 for a small bag of 9-11 seasonal vegetable and salad varieties; £15.50 to get an extra four or five fruits on top of that; and £19.95 for a bag full of 14-18 varieties of vegetables, salad and fruit.
All the produce is organic and sourced from organic farmers predominately in Kent, Essex and Sussex.
Organic eggs, milk and spring water are also available, and the deliveries run right through to 9:30pm. Alas Earth Natural Foods only delivers to North London, so if you’re outside of that then this isn’t the scheme for you!
Delivers to: North London
Based in Kent, near Canterbury, Ripple Farm grows near 90% of their fruit ‘n veg box bootie themselves, with the remaining 10% sourced as locally as possible. Boxes are delivered to designated drop-off points within a 20-mile radius of the farm, or you can stop by the farm on your way home to pick one up yourself.
Recipe suggestions come with every box and Ripple Farm encourages feedback from its customers about what they do and do not like, so changes can be made accordingly.
You’ll get up to nine different seasonal items in each box (choose small, medium or large), including tomatoes, aubergines, peppers and basil, thanks to the Ripple Farm polytunnels. Potatoes, carrots and onions are year-round staples, and you will be treated to strawberries in the summer.
Quite a sweet little touch – every customer is allowed two ‘dislikes’ per box, which can be replaced with a staple of their choice.
Delivers to: Kent only
A south Manchester based home delivery service, whose mission is to ‘…provide fantastic and sustainable organic and locally produced food straight to your door’.
They specialise in locally-grown organic fruit ‘n vegetables, but can also deliver everything from milk to coffee, olive oil, bread and cheese, too.
Every box is given a very groovy name… the ‘Norman’ contains potatoes, onions, kale, mago, cherry tomatoes and a few more bits, while the ‘Melanie’ is far more fruity, containing apples, pears, bananas, mangoes and grapes. They deliver almost as far as Stockport (you can see a map here) and even write their own blog, championing organic and local food.
Delivers to: Manchester area
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