Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Another damn box

Friday is a shitter. It’s often the busiest day at work, when coach loads come and coach loads go, and then I go along to Oxfam and try to get my work there done without falling asleep at the keyboard. I come home grouchy, tired and acting – frankly - like a bitch on bitch day who has taken extra bitch tablets. This Friday though I had a nice treat to come home to.

Back-story first. As I was forming my cookbook collection, my spice collection and the gadget collection I bought a copy of The New English Kitchen. It opened my eyes to a lot of issues such as food prices being insane, British veal being no more evil than killing a male milk calf, and EU caged chicken requirements. It presented a fantasy world where consumers knew the value of food and artisans and farmers could make a fair price giving it to us ethically. Don’t giggle, it’s possible. Eventually. I hope. One of the incredibly cool ways given to reduce the shopping budget, eat organically, eat seasonally and hug a farmer was the organic box scheme.

Organic box scheme. You pay some money every week or so to a local farmer and delivered to your door (or office or left wherever you want) is a box of organic veg. At the time I was living in dorms so it wasn’t possible but… did I mention the new flat. So don’t think me over dramatic but last Friday was a bit of a dream realisation for me, a three year one at that.

We ordered our box from Riverford. This week Stephen was in to get the delivery so it was waiting for me on the kitchen counter top. It was like Christmas. Soon our kitchen was full of veg and good Devonshire mud. We’re getting the mini box every other week do we got raja potatoes, onions, parsnips, cauliflower, cabbage and beetroot. We also ordered an extra bag of bananas and got the lot for £10.30. Just to compare it to supermarkets I took Tesco up on it’s 3 for 2 organic fruit and veg offer this week and got corn, bananas and apples for £6. Smaller portions too. And unlike the organic veg of the world thing the supermarkets have going on Riverford tell you exactly where they got the veg from and the carbon emissions. This week the onions, cauliflower and bananas came from outside the UK.

I’m very pleased with it all. The amount shocked me, the value shocked me and the taste has been fantastic. So far I’ve had potato cakes (a bust, more on that later) parsnip and beetroot crisps and I have plans for some curries and spiced cabbage. Should anyone be thinking of an organic box I have two words of advice: do it!

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