Review of Organic Veg Box and Fruit Bag from Riverford

Photo of veg box and fruit bag from Riverford

I am one of those people that tends to always do my shopping at Tesco. It is local to me and I like getting the clubcard points so I don’t tend to shop anywhere else very often. I am however starting to find that I spend too much money each week on buying all the wonderful, fabulous BOGOF offers! I do love them but I tend to find that I end up buying things that I don’t really need. Since having my daughter I have started to write a shopping list as I always find I get to the supermarket and have forgotten what I needed to buy! I blame baby brain! . . . . . and of course the once screaming baby and now pestering toddler!  I just seem to find that whenever I leave the supermarket I have always spent more than I wanted to and to be absolutely honest that is normally because I can’t resist the chocolate and the bargains!

This is why I was very keen to try out having an organic veg box delivered to my door. I was given the opportunity by Riverford Organic Veg and I was over the moon. I think I mainly loved the excitement and anticipation of wondering which veg and fruit would be in the box!

I had the box delivered to my Mum’s house and she had the honour of collecting it from the carport as she hadn’t been in when it was delivered. It is fantastic to know that Riverford will deliver the boxes even when you are not in!! They will leave it in your chosen safe place and as they say on their website …”They are used to all sorts of requests. This could be anything from leaving your box with a neighbour, in a shed or garage, to tucking it under a hedge, behind a dustbin or under upturned recycling boxes. They’ll also deliver to your work place if this is more convenient.”  This is the kind of company I like…one that understands you are not always in when you planned to be and as a Mum it gives me great peace of mind to know I can have the veg delivered but don’t HAVE to be in to sign for it or collect it. Fabulous!

Photo of veg box and fruit bag from Riverford

Riverford kindly sent me and my family a medium veg box with a fruit bag worth a total of £21.90. We were very impressed with the variety of fruit and veg and it is great to know that all the produce is organic. The box I received contained an abundance of lovely fresh vegetables and fruit. We made lots of meals from the items and very little got wasted.  When you are getting your veg in a box like this is does make you more aware of what needs eating first…such as in our case the Kale needed eating quite quickly. This isn’t a problem but it does encourage you to plan your meals more.  We got apples,bananas, clementines, fennel, carrots, parsnips, red and green peppers, potatoes, runner beans, curly kale, brussel sprouts, onions, potatoes, lettuce and jerusalem artichokes.  The website is updated each week with the content of that week’s boxes…so you can always take a look online and decide whether or not you want to order one for delivery.

The Riverford veg box scheme began when Guy Watson started delivering vegetables locally to 30 friends in Devon. They have now expanded on a massive scale and deliver around 47,000 boxes a week to homes around the UK from their regional sister farms.  If you visit the website and enter your postcode it will tell you which is your local farm. The farms that they deliver from are Riverford on Wash Farm in Devon, Riverford on Sacrewell Farm in Peterborough, Riverford on Home Farm in Yorkshire, Riverford on Upper Norton Farm in Hampshire and Riverford on Stockley Farm in Cheshire.
The Riverford website has a very extensive FAQ page that answers nearly any question you could think of regards having a veg box delivered to your door. The FAQ sections are as follows:-

The Riverford website is very easy to navigate and it is a pleasure to browse through the massive recipe section. I could spend ages just looking at all the delicious recipes on the site! They even have some cooking videos. Riverford now have a cook book for sale called ‘Everyday and Sunday’. If you would like to read more about the book please click here.

Photo courtesy of Riverford

The Riverford website is one of those sites that just has so much useful info on it. It would take me ages to write about all the interesting things on the site. Firstly I recommend you visit the site and book yourself a veg box to be delivered (…as it really was tasty fruit and veg that I received), then secondly I think you should stop by here and read the info on simple cooking and preparation of all the veg types and then last but not least, visit the recipe section and decide what you will cook with all your healthy, organic produce.

The Organic veg or fruit boxes can be ordered as often as you like. Be that weekly, fortnightly or less often.  You can stop and start deliveries whenever you like and all you need to do is let Riverford know or call your local vegman or lady. (You will be given their details on your first order).  You need to give 48 hours notice on any box changes or to order additional items with your box.

Riverford don’t only sell fruit and veg….they have a wide selection of items ranging from eggs and milk to chocolate and wine.  You can order extra items to be delivered with your veg box and you can change these things from week to week. 

My delivery came with a leaflet entitled ‘Welcome to life with a box’ – which is a handy leaflet telling you how to get the best out of your box and what veg and fruit to use when. For example they recommend mushrooms are used within 1-3 days but swede will remain fresh enough to be used after a week or more.  You also get a weekly newsletter with each box and this features recipes and any important news.
My newsletter contained  6 recipes and one of those was for a delicious sounding Seville Orange Marmalade Pudding. Yum!

Photo courtesy of Riverford

Riverford have a superb eco-policy and they re-use and recycle many of their boxes and packaging.  Your local veg delivery person will take away your veg boxes, plastic bags, meat boxes, liners and gel packs. They will then be reused dozens of times which helps to reduce their costs meaning that the prices stay affordable for us to buy from them plus it also helps to reduce their carbon footprint. In 2010 Riverford won the award of ‘Best Online Retailer’ in the Ethical Awards run by The Observer.

Riverford never air freight and they have a whole separate website dedicated to giving you all the information on Riverford and their commitment to helping the environment. It is a very interesting site….lots to read about carbon footprint and food miles, etc. To visit the Riverford Environment site please click here.

In conclusion, I loved receiving the fruit and veg from Riverford and I have definitely decided to have another box delivered, hopefully on a fortnightly basis.  I like the sound of the seasonal box as then I would be able to give my daughter home-made meals made from seasonal produce.  It would also help teach me what is in season and when. I hate to admit it but I just go to Tesco and buy whichever fruit and veg I fancy…I never spare a moment’s thought to whether or not it is in season or where it has been imported from.  From now on I hope I will spend a little bit more time looking into those things ….and if I go ahead and order a seasonal box then I won’t have to worry about it all as they will only deliver seasonal fruit and veg. Perfect!

If you would like to visit the Riverford website please click here. 

If you want to keep up to date with all the news from Riverford then you can follow them on Twitter, Facebook and on their blog.. Also the news section on the Riverford website is more like a blog with lots of lovely posts about the farmers and the vegetables they are currently growing, etc. It charts the ups and downs of all the veg in the fields and it gives you all the up-to-date news about everything going on at Riverford.

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