Monday, December 18, 2006

Veg Box

I've had veg boxes from several different sources, and invariably they are poor.
I can understand that, in the winter, it's going to be hard to put together locally sourced organic food for the same price as during the summer (and I suppose I'm surprised the price doesn't reflect this), but they are invariably full of stuff that you don't eat - either because you don't know what it is, or because there's so many of them (e.g.: one massive squash that you'd not even think about buying from the shop).
Even the "best ever veg box" that Amy and I had (from Goosemoor Organics, who don't deliver to where I live now) still had a large celeriac every week. They did leave it out when we asked, but there were a few that turned runny before we actually got to eating them.
The other thing is that they are not tremendously good value. This true of organic veg in general, but I've found that, from a £25 "mixed" box, typically I end up buying another £5-10 worth of veg. This is sometimes simply because there weren't basic things like onions, but also because, being vegan, I tend to eat a lot of fruit and veg, and there wasn't enough variety in the veg box to keep me healthy.
We tried doing a veg box where we got to choose what we got. It was a nice idea, but it turned out that, because the supplier was so unreliable, we'd usually only get half of what we ordered. Very annoying, especially if you were trying to get specific ingredients. Also, we had to order the new veg box the day after we got the old one, so we'd have to try and predict what we'd need a week in advance.
It's hard to know what to do, as the best places I've found for organic fruit and veg are Beanos (Leeds), Beanies (Sheffield), and On the Eight Day (Manchester), so it's not really viable to go and choose my own veg unless I want a two hour round trip. (I know I work in Manchester, but Eight Day is about 20 minutes from where I walk, and then the stuff would have to sit in my bag for 3-4 hours before being bumped around on the train, and so would be unlikely to last very long. Getting things like tomatoes just isn't practical.)
I currently get one from Carnival Organics in Manchester (they only sell boxes), which is conveniently situated between where I work and the station. It's not great, but it's just good enough to stop me getting one.

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