Hello. As spring and summer approach with its fruit and veg bounty, I’m thinking of getting a veg box again. This would be my first time though in SE23. So what are the best providers? I prefer home deliveries but if the pick up points are convenient then could consider that as well.
Veg box recommendations
We used to use a really great local supplier, Capricorn Organics: http://www.capricornorganics.co.uk/delivery.asp. Paul was our driver, but it looks like someone else is covering Forest Hill now. Can’t remember why we stopped, but it certainly wasn’t because of the way the box scheme worked.
Deliveries on Thursday too. Good delivery day for the weekend!
I have been using Riverford for a few weeks now, and I’m really happy with it. Deliveries to Forest Hill are on Thursdays. The reason I picked Riverford was because there is quite a bit of choice (16 different boxes) and also a make your own. I often add extras like bread,eggs and yogurt which makes my life even easier. This week my box had wild garlic which I’ve tried for the first time and so delicious as pesto. Their recipe channel on YouTube is great.
If you have some left, try making it with walnuts. I’ve also substituted manchego for the parmesan.
We have been using Abel & Cole for several years. Fantastic range of veggies and fruit - you can also get pretty much everything else from them if you wanted to. Reliable, veggies tend to last much longer in the fridge than supermarket bought alternatives and just seem to be much tastier, great range of various box options, and a really useful veggie focused cook book which comes as a free gift with your first order. Delivery day in SE23 is Monday. We have used them for past five years now and not a single complaint or bad product delivered in that time period.
I have used Riverford recently and am happy.
I had my second box last week. I like the boxes. But haven’t been thrilled with the quality of additional items. last week strawberries and asparagus delivered on Thursday were unusable by Saturday. Any similar experiences or is this rare?
My strawberries from last week are still going strong. So far I haven’t had any issues with the extras. I’ve even been getting dairy, beer, etc from them as well – the Greek Yogurt is delicious.
I’ve been doing local greens for 3-4 months now, collecting from The Chandos. I like that it’s all from UK farms, this does mean on a low-week the bag may not be the best, but personally, I’d rather that than paying to transport veg from across Europe. Fresh, tasty, spray-free veg! They also do fruit bags but I haven’t tried those.
I love the idea but I also need convenience which this doesn’t offer me.
Don’t make the mistake of letting Abel & Cole get hold of your details. They’ll call you twice a week until the end of time.
Riverford is amazing, not just because of their 100% organic veg are just incredible but also because of their company ethics that cares about their entire production chain from top to bottom. (https://www.riverford.co.uk/gre/aboutus/)
I will suggest giving a try to OrganicLea too which are based in Lea Valley and they distribute to some places in Lewisham https://www.organiclea.org.uk
I intend to give them another try. At least they refunded me for the duff veg I received. I am hoping it was a one off. OrganicLea sounds great but I am more interested in delivery to the door.
I think Riverford is your best bet. You also have Lee Green, they’re a non-for-profit based in Lee, Lewisham. https://www.leegreens.org
I’m trying out Farmdrop for the first time tomorrow, who for a princely sum will deliver before I go to work in one of their snazzy electric vehicles. Heard a podcast about them a while ago and they do a huge range of products, so I’m intrigued to see what’s on its way…
Website’s down at the moment but the app is ace. And they team up with different providers, so you have a number of options for source farms.
Please let us know how it goes as delivery times always issue with me. Would want delivery as no collection points from various alternatives near me and I don’t have a car. Certainly before work is better as more likely to be in than afterwards.
They look amazing. If you get a veg box, I’d appreciate feedback on that too as they appear to have different ones from different producers.
Yup - they make you pay for it, but then I’ve requested a one-hour slot, so I’m happy to pay if the stuff is good quality. Anything left in the public lobby of my building will get nabbed, plus these guys deliver fresh fish/meat as well (if you order it) so immediate refrigeration is a must in those cases.
Def will feedback. I can’t believe how excited I am about a box of random veg, some cherries and a couple of globe artichokes.
Farmdrop deliveres the boxes with good insulation for meat, fish and daries so it will last well until you get home and put it in the fridge, they usually come with heat proof package and ice
Oddbox is a great company - different size boxes and all produce not ‘perfect’ enough for retailers
Apologies for the tardy response, I’ve been tunnelling my way out from beneath a mountain of produce
It’s pretty good! For the “small” bundle, I got spring onions, jumbo spring onions, beetroots, a big clutch of carrots, rainbow chard, 5 potatoes, a bag of delicious salad leaves, and a cucumber. Separately I added a punnet of some of the most delicious cherries I’ve ever eaten, two terrifyingly large globe artichokes, some rather giant fresh hen’s eggs and some fancy pasta. I am very happy. If still slightly intimidated by the artichokes.
I was also told about a vegbox service called FreshSouthEast https://freshsoutheast.co.uk/ on a Facebook forum – apparently they use less plastic packaging compared to Riverford. I am a bit concerned about the amount of plastic packaging in Riverford especially when ordering extras, but it looks like this is something they are actively looking into reducing, trying to strike a balance between plastic use and food waste.
Hey @Fran_487… do you have a recommendation for which veg box is best? I see they offer veg boxes from different farms.
So far I’ve only sampled Purton. The veg was good quality - I’m only getting the small bundle periodically. I might switch to a different farm to see if the content varies.
So far there has been a lot of chard…
They take packaging away, plastic bags used can be used in food bins as biodegradable and all insulated if left for you for later.
Great app, great quality, great time slots, not great website, no android app
And the recipe pointers are really helpful too. Plus the staff are LOVELY. I didn’t want my last delivery girl to leave*, she was a delight!
*In a non-creepy way, obvs
Got my first Farmdrop last week. Did a small order to check but the veg was great and amazed by the variety available… even foraged stuff.
I had thought it was only a Wednesday delivery but it is every day of the week. Friends in north London now use them for their main food shop.
OH didn’t like the insistence of unpacking everything in the kitchen. I’d prefer they just pick up the packaging on the next delivery.
I admit I was surprised when the nice young man from Farmdrop strolled with me into my kitchen - my OH, fresh out the shower, was even more surprised - but I guess it gives the personal touch, which is a huge part of the brand they’re building.
Accidentally ordered the “family box” of veg this week (there are only two of us). I predict a lot of carrots.
Trying Oddbox next week, thank you for the recommendation I saw that they also collaborate with the People’s Fridge and I’m trying to get one setup in Lewisham!
Hope you like them and great news about bringing Peoples Fridge to Lewisham
Strange, they always ask and now wait at the door whilst we unload & check order
We’ve also delivered packaging back on the next order
Always late to the party but has anyone checked out -
There a local online farm shop with veg from there own family farm. Great customer service and excellent quality
I’m wondering if anyone has any up-to-date Veg box recommendations. After something that focuses on seasonal veg ideally. Thanks.
I use Wellocks at Home because you don’t have to have a subscription and you can buy what you want when you want it. You don’t even need to order a veg box you can just fill your basket from their various products.They sell a lot more than just fruit and veg. Free delivery for orders over £40 and they’ve recently started doing a loyalty points system.
I also buy veg and other nice things from:
I’m looking for online fish people too, if anyone has any recommendations. I don’t have a big freezer though.
We haven’t used them but friends have and say the quality and the price is really great: https://peskyfish.co.uk/pages/marketplace
We use Oddbox, which is great. You basically get whatever is seasonal and in surplus.
We tried local company Marvellous Greens and Beans last week after seeing their giant poster ad at FH Station. Quality and variety were excellent. A good safe home delivery choice given we are trying to avoid markets and supermarkets. We ordered as a one off trial I think best value is with a regular order.
Thanks. We ordered from them when we had to isolate a few weeks ago and couldn’t quibble on price or quality. I wonder if I just need to be more savvy and research what’s in season. Hmmm.
Thank you. This list is extensive and very helpful so thanks for taking the time to do this. Might give some of them a whirl.
I’ve heard great things about Oddbox. Think this might be the first I try. Thank you.
Ooo scallops with roe … my favourite. Thank you
The guy who runs that place is lovely too.
You can of course go up and buy direct also if near and out anyway - the shop is by the Honor Oak Post Office on Brockley Rise. There appears to always be a small queue whenever I have passed it, which I take as a good sign.
Yep - their takeaway coffee isn’t bad and they have a coffee loyalty card too
Yeah can’t speak highly enough of the guys there.
Great selection, decent price and good coffee
It’s very small, so only one customer/couple in at atime which is why there’s more often than not a queue.
Trying Oddbox to supplement our allotment veg. this week. This is a medium sized veg box priced at £13. Delivery was in the early hours into our porch. Pretty good I think and, given it is delivered, good value.
(Shame about the sprouts though, without wishing to reignite the annual Christmas debate).
We’re big Oddbox fans in this household. It’s consistently good quality, generous, and everything tastes pretty good. As for the sprouts, the best way we’ve found of using those up is slicing the trimmed sprouts in half, and roasting them flat side down at 180 fan for half an hour, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with salt and pepper - quite tasty. Note also that you can apparently block some items from your box, though we’ve not done that.
Most problems with Sprouts happen when you boil them.
So try slicing them thinly. Toss with some oil, seasoning. Then either bake at about 200c until they get a bit crispy… or stir fry. Dress with some lemon and chilli flakes or whatever really. Just don’t let them go soft.
This is a pic of my Wellocks delivery I posted on this site a while back, when I didnt know what to do with baby turnips and all the greenery in there. I have another delivery tomorrow, so will try to remember to post a snap then. I always specify no blueberries and no feta cheese as I’m allergic to both.
Re the sprouts: my husband loves them. I usually hate them, but there are some really nice sweet varieties around nowadays, so I always try one of his just in case and sometimes we’re lucky.
I agree they’re much nicer fried. With a little pancetta and pink sweet onion. Maybe chilli flakes. An Italian cookbook I have deep fries individual leaves for snacking, but that seems an awful faff.
I’ve always liked boiling them, mashing them/fine chopping them and adding small fried crispy bacon bits and butter. But that’s the unhealthy way of eating these…
Thanks for all the sprout ideas. Rest assured they will not be wasted
I often fry up any leftover ones with a dash of sesame oil. Just gives a little nutty sweet depth without being over oily. Sesame oil works well with various leftover bits and bobs.
Edit to say: literally, just a dash. Overdoing it makes it oily, rather than flavoursome.
This is my Wellocks fruit and veg box today. One red pepper, not two - the second one was an add on extra. That’s £15 for the box. Free delivery if you spend 40, which isn’t hard as they do lots of nice things.
I suppose I should have laid it out for the photo. It’s one red pepper, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, sugar snap peas, brown onions, bananas, African Rose plums.
And garlic, which was hiding at the bottom of the box when I emptied it.
I have had a steamer for years, & cook all vegetables in that. Older potatoes don’t go all mushy, & Brussels sprouts cook with all the flavour intact.
I’ve been using OddBox but you don’t get a choice over what you get so as they’ve had supply issues recently I had a ridiculous amount of parsnips and carrots And I’m
Never sure if what is on the pre advertised list will actually be available. I do need to be able to plan meals o this has become awkward. I know the deal is that you are basically rescuing for use produce not deemed cosmetically suitable for a supermarket so you have to get what’s available but I’d at least like to know what’s coming! After a mouldy lettuce last week (Following in from mouldy cauliflower earlier) I’ve paused my deliveries for a bit - I don’t might misshapen fruit and veg but it does need to be edible! I’m hoping is a blip while all the customs stuff Is settling down.
Hi, am now using Watts Farms - great produce and quality