March saw the resumption of our vegetable box deliveries, after a few months off over the winter.
I love this time of year, when the veg boxes resume. It’s a time of growth, hope, and brighter, longer days. My body begins to crave vibrant, fresh greens after a winter of ‘give me all the carbs’. Salads begin to look appealing again.
It’s been eight years since I first began to support our local community supported agriculture scheme, and I’ve learned so much in that time. I’ve learned the importance of low food miles, supporting local farmers and what to do with some of the more unusual offerings which occasionally appear in my deliveries.
Here are ten reasons I think you should subscribe to a veg box scheme too:
1. Eating seasonally. Seasonal eating involves eating foods that are grown and/or harvested at the same time you eat them, foods grown locally. You’ll be reconnecting with nature and will learn and appreciate how crops vary from one season to the next.
2. Low food miles. Reducing your food miles is much better for the environment, especially if you’re subscribing to an organic farmer. We all want to make as small a carbon footprint as we can, and veg boxes are an easy way to contribute to that.Choose a grower who use farming methods with as little a negative environmental impact as possible.
3. You’ll be directly supporting your local farmers and subsequently your local economy. This will help build a sustainable future.
4. It may broaden your vegetable horizons. Some veg box providers, like mine, offer a ‘this is what’s growing now, do you want it?’ option. Every delivery is a surprise. Over the last eight years I’ve been introduced to kohlrabi, a vegetable sputnik, spicy mustard greens, purple carrots, yellow tomatoes and I’m pretty sure I’ve learned at least 1001 ways to prepare and serve courgettes.
5. You don’t have to think about what to buy. My suggestion would be to meal plan around what arrives in your weekly box.
6. Better flavour and freshness. You’ll discover carrots that actually smell and taste like carrots, how wonderful fresh peas straight out of the pod taste and the exquisite juiciness of fresh garlic. There can be a wide variety of different flavours and textures in one bag of salad leaves and, the flavour of corn on the cob, picked not even 24 hours before it ends up on your plate, is extraordinary.
7. Greater vegetable consumption. Your diet will incorporate a wider range of nutrients, especially if, previously, you habitually bought the same familiar vegetables over and over again. You’ll feel healthier because of it. Current guidelines recommend we consume at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but some research indicates that7-10 is even more beneficial for good health.
8. Less food waste, especially if you know the people who have grown your vegetables. If you’ve had the opportunity to muck in and help for an afternoon’s digging too, you will appreciate the hard work that goes into nurturing every single seed, transplant, and minute spent weeding and harvesting.You might be more likely to compost any waste too, or even get creative with bits you might otherwise have wasted before (like saving leek ends, parsley stalks and broccoli stalks for soup stock).
9. You’ll learn to love wonky veg. Carrots entwined around each other in a loving embrace will bring a smile to your face.
10. You’ll realise just how much there is on offer from your local growers – with the current economic climate in upheaval, now is a good a time as any to support local businesses while contributing to a sustainable environmental future.
Find your nearest organic vegetable box scheme here: https://www.soilassociation.org/organic-living/buy-organic/find-an-organic-box-scheme/
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