When I was much younger, I remember my mum picking up a veggie box from my primary school once a week. It was full of fresh, local produce and you didn’t get to choose what was inside. Most weeks we’d get some misshapen vegetables and I learnt from a young age that appearance doesn’t have anything to do with taste or quality, so since then I have always tried to choose “ugly” vegetables at the supermarket.
Since moving to Bristol, we’ve had easy access to a few different delivery boxes of veg. The way it works is super simple – you sign up online for whatever size box you like depending on family size, specify any allergies/things you’d rather not receive, and the box turns up on the same day each week! You can miss out any week you like and there’s no contract you have to stick to. I’m going to talk through our experience with the first box we tried, which comes from a local farm.
Unfortunately, the first thing I noticed was the use of plastic. Part of the reason I wanted to start getting our veg delivered was to cut down on waste as supermarket produce nearly always uses plastic, so this was a bit disappointing as it’s totally unnecessary.
Apart from that, the box was pretty great. The value for money is good at about £11 per box including delivery, and I love the fact that you don’t choose what goes in – it encourages you to get creative. One week we received a tonne of beetroot and I made a bright pink pasta dish which went down a treat! You typically receive 6-8 different vegetables with enough of each to probably last more than a week if there are only a couple of you. That was another issue – as just the pair of us we did struggle to use up all the veg before some of it started to go over, so the option for a slightly smaller box would be great.
After the second box still contained plastic, I decided to reconsider. While I loved supporting a local business, I read up on their website and found that only a couple of the vegetables were coming from the farm, and the rest were coming from overseas. Ideally, I really wanted to just be buying UK produce so we stopped the subscription and looked elsewhere.
We actually found a much cheaper and totally UK-produced box right down the road from us, so that’s next on our list to try. They also offer a small, medium and large sized box which suits us a lot better. I’ll post with the verdict when we’ve had a few weeks to decide how we feel!
Overall, I strongly believe that people should support local small businesses where they can and veg boxes are a great way of doing that sustainably. However, plastic is still a huge problem and so is food production with a high carbon footprint. Hopefully, our new subscription will eradicate these problems and we’ll be able to continue buying our veg waste-free!