Organic Fruit and Veg Boxes Explained

Riverford Organic Fruit and Veg Box

Last Tuesday we received our first deliveries to Orchard Cottage: organic fruit and vegetable boxes from Riverford organic veg. We’ve been looking forward to participating in an organic box scheme now that we have a patio for people to leave deliveries on. So far, the Riverford boxes do not disappoint.

Our first box came with a bunch of info pamphlets (and a good amount of dirt). I tend to glaze over brochures, but one of the pamphlets was actually quite useful. It explained how to plan your meals around the food you receive in the box.

Getting the best out of your box…

  1. Unpack and store the veg (see below)
  2. Plan your meals around the vegetables that need eating first
  3. Got something weird and wonderful-looking? Give us a call – we’ll tell you what it is and what to do with it (I love this – and it reminds me that I have no idea what to do with podded broad beans)

What to use, when to use it, and how to store it…

1-3 days

  • courgettes, mushrooms, sugarsnap peas, asparagus – store at the bottom of the fridge
  • fresh herbs, spinach – store in an airtight bag in the frigde
  • tomatoes – store at room temperature unless over ripe

3-5 days

  • broccoli, spring greens, sweetcorn, broad beans – store at the bottom of the fridge
  • salad leaves, chard, kale, runner beans, french beans, pak choi, rhubarb – store in a plastic bag in the fridge
  • apples, pears, avocados – store at room temperature

1 week or more

  • carrots, leeks, cucumber, peppers, fennel, cauliflower, parsnips, cabbage, sprouts, celeriac, bunched onions, swede – store at the bottom of the fridge
  • onions – store in a cool dry place
  • potatoes, beetroot, jerusalem artichokes – store in a cool dark place
  • squash, citrus fruit, bananas – store at room temperature

More on organic box schemes…

Organic boxes are pretty popular in the UK. The US has similar schemes with the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Check out their website to search for an organic box delivery near you.

A word on price – organic boxes are not cheap. We spent £26 on two boxes – one large fruit and one large veg – and received:

  • 6 bananas
  • 6 apples
  • 8 apricots
  • 9 clementines
  • 125g blackcurrants
  • 1 lettuce
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 1 cabbage
  • 5 portobello mushrooms
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 courgettes
  • 2 red pepper
  • 300g sugar snap peas
  • 1 bunch carrots
  • ~30 pods of broad beans
  • 9 onions
  • 15 kg potatoes

We ate through this within about 4 days (pretty easy when you’re two people working from home subsisting on a primarily vegan diet). So we’re going to need to add a lot more veggies to our order if we’re going to rely on Riverford for all of our produce needs. This’ll add up, but at the same time…

  • We get to eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits
  • We get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking
  • Our food doesn’t come packed in a whole bunch of extra earth-polluting plastic like it does at the supermarket
  • We get to support local farmers
  • We get to feel good about the food we eat and where it comes from

Read on…

7 thoughts on “Organic Fruit and Veg Boxes Explained

  1. Hanlie

    That would last us 2 days! It’s nice to have, but it does get very expensive when you’re eating a high raw plant-based diet and supplementing with smoothies. Looks great though!

  2. Monica Shaw

    Yeah this wouldn’t work if I was eating raw – the carrot juice alone would cost a fortune. The organic farmer’s market at my old place used to sell big massive juicing carrots in bulk. That was way cool… of course, I don’t actually own a juicer, but it’d be nice!

  3. Nachos

    Nice work!! We order boxes of organic, local produce too – but we don’t get nifty little pamphlets with them!

    Can you only get random boxes, or can you choose what you get? Ours does both… I’ve never ordered a random box though and you’ve inspired me to do so! If there’s something new on their list (and I don’t know what it is), I always order it! Hehe. Gotta try new things, right?

    I know exactly what you mean regarding the expense… We’re a bit poor most of the time, so we tend to order maybe 70-75% of our fruit & veg from our local organic supplier and pick up the extra stuff we need from the market.

    P.s. Was it you who asked me about what bento boxes I use a while back?? I don’t have any laptop lunch boxes but I know they’re popular. I’m just afraid of anything without a proper lid!! I have a range of kiddie ones (and a few adult ones for my partner) purchased from , jbox and ebay!

  4. Monica Shaw

    @Nachos – Riverford have a bunch of box options, including “random” boxes, and a “favorites” box where you pick your own. You can also buy stuff by the item. We mix it up with a couple random boxes (one large veg box, one seasonal box, and one fruit box). I like getting new stuff… just today I made broad bean soup for the first time. Never used broan beans much before, but I think they could grow on me (not literally). And I think it was me who asked about the bentos… thanks for the link. I don’t pack a lunch as much as I used to, but when I do, I wish I had a proper bento (would be especially good for plane travel!).

    @Sagan – Yeah, the expense is kind of a bummer. I guess that’s why you have to sort of pick and choose how organic you’re gonna go without blowing your budget.

    @Katharina – You’re very welcome! =D

  5. Gavan Murphy 'The Healthy Iris

    I just started using a CSA delivery over here in LA and it’s grand. Still trying to figure out whether to get it delivered more often or upgrade to the larger box since we’ve been plowing through them so quickly.

    Hope you don’t mind, I added your post link to my post because you give a lot of great info and I really enjoyed reading it. Actually your site is great. The Missus is a veg of sorts so I think she’ll enjoy your recipes. Cheers


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