Vegetable box schemes are nothing new. They’re a great way of encouraging people to cook more at home, to ensure that you stick to seasonal foods, and can even introduce you to vegetables you’d never have thought to buy or had never heard of (as one friend recently discovered when salsify appeared in her veg box).
Most will be aware of the big players in this market, such as Abel & Cole and Riverford, but those interested in supporting local food producers may wish to consider using one of the many schemes operating in Bristol and the local area…
Based in Stowey (BS39), free delivery to these postcode areas
Priding themselves on the fact that they have supplied Prince Charles at Highgrove and that they have appeared on The Great British Menu, AJP are a family-run nursery based in Stowey (BS39).
The nursery offers a range of fruit and veg boxes, starting at £5 for the small fruit box and going up to £14 for the large veg box. A combined fruit and veg box is also available, and additional fruits, vegetables, herbs and salad items can be added to your order.
In addition, the company checks their prices weekly against those of leading supermarkets, and is on average 20% cheaper than every supermarket (comparing their organic prices to AJP’s).
Based in Chew Magna (BS40), delivery to these postcode areas
Chew Magna’s Community Farm inherited their veg box scheme from The Better Food Company. With a huge range of boxes available, their aim, when creating the boxes, is to balance out “the best seasonal produce with the practical considerations of what you need to get your dinner on the table”.
£8-£20 is the price range here, with apples, carrots, onions, potatoes and oranges available separately as bulk purchases. Box contents are published on the Farm’s website each week, and can be seen here.
Based in Abbots Leigh (BS8), orders delivered to these collection points for customer pick-up
Claiming that the price of their boxes is around 30% less than customers would pay at a farmers’ market, the majority of the produce appearing in Leigh Court’s boxes is grown on the farm, but supplemented with items from the rest of the UK and Europe.
Boxes range from an £8 fruit box to a £17 veg box, and customers have the option of specifying up to three veg “dislikes” if there are items that they don’t want in their boxes. Box contents can be seen online here – I particularly like the fact that the source of each item is specified on the site.
Based in Clifton Village (BS8), website unclear as to delivery areas
Nice and simple from Boyce’s Avenue’s Reg the Veg: two options available for their home delivery service.
Option 1 – You Choose
Unlike other box schemes, we are giving you the freedom to pick & choose the fruit & veg you want. We will then deliver your selection directly to your door.
The minimum offer for delivery is £10. If your order comes to less we will make it up to £10 with a selection of fruit & veg.
Option 2 – We Choose
A selection of our finest seasonal fruit & veg (selection will vary weekly).
Small box of mixed fruit & veg: £10 (1-2 people)
Medium box of mixed fruit & veg: £15 (2-3 people)
Family box of mixed fruit & veg: £20 (4+ people)
Company based in Glastonbury, delivery in the areas shown on this map
This is the one site I keep meaning to order from and never yet have! Somerset Local Food Direct is a community business run by local producers, meaning that almost all products available on the site are locally produced. It’s not just fruit and veg – you can buy just about anything you need, from Bristol-made rocket pesto to Bakewell tarts made in Wincanton.
Vegetable box prices start at £2.50 for a one person fruit & veg bag, ranging to £14 for a large vegetable box. As with many of the other local schemes, extras can be added to your order.
Based in Churchill (BS25), free delivery to Bristol and North Somerset
VegBox2U supply not only vegetable boxes, but also meat, jams, breads, dairy products and more: specialising in local and British produce, but opting for further afield for items not grown locally.
Boxes range from £10-£20, with a guide to contents available on their website. If you want to supplement your order with additional fruit or veg, the company has a VERY long list from which to choose!
Interestingly, there’s also a section on the site about becoming an agent for VegBox2U, which looks like good fun.
If you know of any other local vegetable box schemes that should be included in the above list, do let me know and I’ll include them!