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Treacodactyl

Riverford Organic veg box

We're thinking of getting an organic veg box, probably from Riverford as it's reasonably local and their vans zoom about around here. We'll also get their organic milk and I might look at their meat although I tend to buy that from the next door villages these days.

Any comments, hints or tips? At first glance the options seem a bit overwhelming but I expect we can narrow it down after a while and get a box where we can use everything.
Jamanda

I thought they were down in South Devon. Why not Hall farm at Petrockstowe? Their stuff always good.
Treacodactyl

They'll not deliver here and even if we persuaded them we'd be the only one so probably too many food miles.
nats

We get one (I know, not really local to Swindon but web ordering, keen pricing etc make it worth it for us, and the local place didn't use to deliver to this side of Swindon - they do now but we're settled! and it's still better than supermarket.

No tips other than to say that the dairy is rather nice! I lurve their butter! And like the non-homogenised milk too.
Nicky Colour it green

We used to get Riverford boxes - only don't now because we produce more of our own, and I can buy their veg and milk from the local shop.

The milk is good - not homogenised. The veg is great - not tried their meat.

I used to go online and look at this week's box and if it was full of things I already had, would swap to a different box or have a week off.
I really learned what was seasonal and to like some veg I hadn't really bothered with before.
If we stop growing veg, I would go back to them
Chickem

They'll not deliver here and even if we persuaded them we'd be the only one so probably too many food miles.


I work for them..... where are you? I may be able to help Laughing




( Riverford may be organic but they are NOT carbon footprint friendly!)
Mistress Rose

One reason I wouldn't use Riverford is that I am not convinced that, in spite of them claiming stuff delivered to Hampshire is not all grown in Devon, it is a good idea.

This is the problem with trying to reduce your carbon footprint; is it better to get a veg box which may have stuff in it from 2 counties away, or go 15 miles to town once a week buying very local produce on the way?
jema

We had the Riverford ones for a while and I thought they were pretty good, but it ended up with too many turn into soup Fridays, I think veg boxes fit the way some people plan their weeks food, but don't suit everyone.
gardening-girl

My friend milks on the farm.
Lots of fruit/veg bought in from all over.
Treacodactyl

We had the Riverford ones for a while and I thought they were pretty good, but it ended up with too many turn into soup Fridays, I think veg boxes fit the way some people plan their weeks food, but don't suit everyone.


That's my main concern. I know we can adjust the order but it's not going to be the same as just buying the items we need.

I'm not really bothered about their carbon footprint because if it saves a shopping trip or means a different company doesn't have to specifically alter it's route then no matter where the produce comes from it will have a lower footprint than other options.

It's also just a stopgap until the summer when we can buy veg from a much closer place and grow our own.
Chez

Why not just pop to chickem's farm shop or your local farmers market and buy what is available each week? Treacodactyl

Why not just pop to chickem's farm shop or your local farmers market and buy what is available each week?

Loads of reasons. One it's too far away - I don't drive somewhere unless I can do several things and I don't tend to go out that way much. We do use our local farmers market - when it's around and it isn't at this time of year. Local FM doesn't to milk or butter. Etc, etc.
Chez

I guess we're lucky, our market is all year and is in a town with a good range of shops.

My perception is that Riverford have gotten too big to be quite as eco as they started off.
Rob R

We had the Riverford ones for a while and I thought they were pretty good, but it ended up with too many turn into soup Fridays, I think veg boxes fit the way some people plan their weeks food, but don't suit everyone.

That's my main concern. I know we can adjust the order but it's not going to be the same as just buying the items we need.

Why do you need to go for a box? You could always just select what you want from their online shop.
Treacodactyl

We had the Riverford ones for a while and I thought they were pretty good, but it ended up with too many turn into soup Fridays, I think veg boxes fit the way some people plan their weeks food, but don't suit everyone.

That's my main concern. I know we can adjust the order but it's not going to be the same as just buying the items we need.

Why do you need to go for a box? You could always just select what you want from their online shop.

I gather it is cheaper as they pass on some of the savings they make (I assume it will save them money if they pack 100 identical or similar boxes rather than hand pick 100).

Plus it might encourage us to find a use for a veg we may not tend to buy on it's own. We just need to avoid turnip soup Friday.
Rob R

Yes, it's a lot quicker and cheaper, and there's less wastage with standard boxes. My own boxes are much easier all round since I split them away from the 'a bit of everything from the animal' and there's less waste.

We thought about a box scheme but decided against it as there always seems to be something that doesn't get used if you don't have an element of choice. We have a good greengrocer in the local market town, not far from some of our grazing, and a good farm shop a little out of our way, but worth it and we try to integrate trips with other things/deliveries.
nats

They may not be as carbon light as your local farm, but still lighter footprint than the local supermarket, which is why I stick with them. Also partly BECAUSE they ship some stuff in - the occasional head of calibraise now means I can persuade the husband to stay with them - if it was pure seasonal we'd have given up a long time ago. I just can't eat that much turnip! And it's one trip less out of the door - means I can avoid having to go to the shops many weeks, which saves precious time which is so important in our life at the moment. The meat is delicious, but expensive. The bread by the way is stunning, but I only ever order it if we are away and I want some basics to greet us when we get back, far too expensive for every week! joanne

I got a Riverford box this week as they offered me the second one free. I usually get an Abel and Cole one and I have to say the quality and quantity of the Riverford one was very disappointing in comparison.

I would use a local box scheme but everyone I've tried has been disappointing with manky veg that doesn't last very long at all.

I like the Abel and Cole one because you can swop stuff out you know you won't eat or have a surplus of, I'm currently drowning in oranges so I've swopped those out this week.

I also like the fun approach Abel & Cole have, you get little messages saying 'we've got too much broccoli have some free' or we aren't sure about these onions so we've stuck a couple extra in for you'

I've reccomended them countless times and had loads of thank you gifts as well including a free veg box - they just seem to be more friendly and want to help plus their veg is really really fresh and lasts ages in the fridge.
DorsetScott

I got a Riverford box this week as they offered me the second one free. I usually get an Abel and Cole one and I have to say the quality and quantity of the Riverford one was very disappointing in comparison.

I would use a local box scheme but everyone I've tried has been disappointing with manky veg that doesn't last very long at all.

I like the Abel and Cole one because you can swop stuff out you know you won't eat or have a surplus of, I'm currently drowning in oranges so I've swopped those out this week.

I also like the fun approach Abel & Cole have, you get little messages saying 'we've got too much broccoli have some free' or we aren't sure about these onions so we've stuck a couple extra in for you'

I've reccomended them countless times and had loads of thank you gifts as well including a free veg box - they just seem to be more friendly and want to help plus their veg is really really fresh and lasts ages in the fridge.

I actually prefered Abel and Cole to Riverford, like joanne says you get more control over what you receive with Abel and Cole (you can even opt out of specific veg if you don't like it) and there is some fun in the box.

I actually went over to a New Forest box scheme which is all New Forest Marque stuff. Was ok, but nothing special.
There's a localish farm here I'm going to try at some point too, but haven't started up the box deliveries this year, just been using the greengrocers.
Mithril

I liked Abel and Cole too, although I've not had Riverford to compare. But I am fussy and had loads on 'skip' - I wouldn't be happy without that option. Can't afford it now though. Thankfully, there is an organic fruit snd veg stall once a week, not too far away, so I can get some stuff there as it is (mostly) reasonably priced. But these days I eat more meat and I would rather spend my money on free range meat than organic veg (I can't do both). VM

If anyone in their area (Lincolnshire, I guess), I highly recommend Woodlands Organic Farm who are near Boston and deliver over quite a wide area.

We only got their box for a while as we started having more of our own stuff, but I thought the quality very good.

They also deliver eggs, meat and game - meat quite expensive as it is organic - the game seems good value - and a whole host of other things.

Worth supporting people converting quite a sizeable family farm to completely organic.

http://www.woodlandsfarm.co.uk/
VM

Main thing I am struggling to find since moving here is organic milk and other dairy. Some organic milk at village Co-op, but not butter. Ironically, could get it by going to Tesco's in Sleaford, but I don't use Tesco's. Oh well. Nick

http://assets.riverford.co.uk/bookandfruitbox/?_ms=158

Just received.
joanne

http://assets.riverford.co.uk/bookandfruitbox/?_ms=158

Just received.

Yeah but what they don't tell you is that you only get it on the 2nd order and you have to order another box or equivalent of 12.50 in other things to get the free fruit box - Abel & Cole are up front all the way
Treacodactyl

Having checked Abel & Cole don't deliver out here so options are even more limited.

Thanks for the voucher Nick, we were aware of similar offers like this but that one may be useful.

We are also aware of their T&Cs, the first line "Free Riverford Farm cook book and fruit box on your second delivery when you place a regular order. Offer applies to new customers. Minimum order value applies." which doesn't seem unreasonable and fairly clear to me.
Nick

I pass it along. I offer no endorsement. Mistress Rose

Unless you live a long way from suitable sources of supply, what is the point of getting things delivered? I hate it. You have to be within sound of the door bell, so you have to stay in the house and where you can get to the front door quickly. If they just drop it, then it can get wet and soggy or be pinched off the doorstep.

Very difficult to be sure of the carbon footprint of boxes delivered with non-local produce from varying distances versus visiting all shops including farm shops for fruit/veg and meat once a week.
joanne

Unless you live a long way from suitable sources of supply, what is the point of getting things delivered? I hate it. You have to be within sound of the door bell, so you have to stay in the house and where you can get to the front door quickly. If they just drop it, then it can get wet and soggy or be pinched off the doorstep.

Very difficult to be sure of the carbon footprint of boxes delivered with non-local produce from varying distances versus visiting all shops including farm shops for fruit/veg and meat once a week.

Abel & Cole deliver to me very very early so it's sat there waiting for me when I get up, they are always careful to protect it if it's raining with a big plastic bag that's returnable and they put it in a safe place for me of my choosing.

I can't get to the local farmers market as it's during the week as I work full time, the Abel & Cole boxes have full traceability so I know exactly where my fruit and veg has come from compared to the nearest farm shop which is 15 miles out of my way and isn't that clear where their stuff comes from.

All their packaging is recycled so all I have to do is remember to do my order and stick out last weeks boxes the night before and it's all done for me, the quality is excellent as is the quantity. As far as I'm concerned it's win-win all round
Mistress Rose

Sounds as if it suits you Joanne, but I can get to both farm shops on the way to other shopping, and doing farmers markets, can buy stuff as and when I want, so that route is easier for me. Rob R

Well you did ask 'what is the point of getting things delivered?' and that was Jo's answer...

I'm not sure how much easier it is to be sure of the origin of veg & meat in a shop v in a box. In terms of meat it's easier to hide it as shop stuff doesn't have to be labelled at all.
mochyn

We used to have a box when we lived in Shrewsbury because it fitted in with how we lived then. Now? No: I don't htink anyone would deliver out here, but there's also a lovely veg shop in the nearest town (7-8 miles) and a fish man once a week as well as a very good butcher and even a bakery Smile Most weeks it's the only time I go out too, so it's good for me to go to the shops.

If we lived in a town again though I might consider going back to a box if for any reason I couldn't get to decent shops or a market.
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