Fruit and vegetables is something I am passionate about and something we eat a lot of in our house. In fact I must admit I start to panic when I can see the bottom of the fruit bowl and when the veggie supply is low but there was no plan to go shopping that day – what am I going to feed the family on? In those moments I fall back on my freezer stash!
Years ago I had a vegetable box once a fortnight. I had been married a couple of years and had just completed my dietitian training. The veggie box was so exciting. Firstly there was the excitement of opening it (I love parcels and post), discovering what was in the brown box of goodies.
Then there was the rush of creativity in my head – what recipes jumped out at me, what different foods were in there that I wouldn’t usually have bought but love and what the hell was I meant to do with the Jerusalem artichokes (substitute sprouts, beetroot, turnip or marrow in here). Then came the little booklet with ideas and recipes. I am a complete recipe-a-holic. Give me a magazine and you will find me snaffling through for the food section and tearing out bits for my recipe book – used for those “unpinable to Pinterest moments”
When we moved house and ended up with a mortgage as huge as the pyramids my vegetable box was something I had to give up. That was a sad moment. Then with a family of 4, soon to be 5 eating mouths I would now need one huge box. The small box we were sent would not last us long and did not contain enough “throw a meal together style veggies” for my family. We would need the large box each week which is £20.95. I eat around 7 portions of fruit and veg a day, the husband probably only 4 but I’m working on him, the 2 eating kidlets 5 portions each. So that is 11 adult and 10 child’s portions a day. Woah!
Shortly after having baby 3, in need of a helping hand with food, Goldhill Organics, the Dorset-based veg and meat box home delivery business sent me a vegetable box to try out. What was perfect about the box they sent me is, it being May, they sent me a lot of salad bits. Wham bam, on the table quick and easy. It has actually reignited our love of salad. When I say our, I mean mainly mine and Miss K 😉
We received a small vegetable box costing £13.95 that was in a sealed box divided into compartments containing:
A large lettuce
1 bunch of spring onions
2 medium turnips
2 large beetroot
3 large onions
1 bag of potatoes
1 pak choi
Unexpectedly the radishes were devoured by my “not that keen on vegetables but will eat them if mummy says I should” boy. Why? Because Peter rabbit eats them. DOH! Hilariously he kept eating too many radish slices and had a mouth on fire! But it didn’t stop him going back for more. So now we are planting radish seeds. Miss K has never been a fab of lettuce, but having salad on the table more led to her trying a small amount at each meal and she now is acquiring the taste. Both the children lapped up the spring onions too, which is something I don’t often buy. The pak choi falls into the category of “veg I rarely buy but I love” so that is going into an stir fry. Having lived in Hong Kong for a few years a stir fry is something I love.
The beetroot I am saving for the weekend… why? Because I am cooking up tonight as I want to make my beetroot chocolate brownies! It has to be done and surely is a necessity when breastfeeding a newborn? That is my excuse anyway.
The vegetables were all very fresh, in great condition and tasty. I could not fault the quality. Would I go back to a vegetable box? I would love to, but I just find it a bit too expensive for our family. Instead we try and grow as much of our own as we can and shop around for the rest. We have fruit trees and bushes and freeze down the excess for the winter months. Recent Soil Association research showed that organic box schemes and independent organic enterprises grew by 8.2% in 2015. Great news. I do love the vegetables box schemes and think they are a great way to entice people to experiment more, try new veggies and cook from fresh more. However there are also other ways to get your veggies: buying from the local greengrocer, using the supermarket and growing your own for example.
Goldhill is run by husband and wife team Jane and Nick Somper. The company offers home deliveries of organic fruit and vegetable boxes, produce is sourced mainly from its home farm, Goldhill Organic Farm with vegetables picked and delivered the same day. They also supply grass fed meat and local artisan produce.
Disclaimer: I was sent this box free of charge to review. All views are my own and I was not financially compensated for this post.