11 Mar 2011

My Veg Box Experiment

At the beginning of the year I started ordering a weekly organic veg box. Just a medium one to start with - I didn't want to be overwhelmed by an array of strange, but seasonal vegetables.
I informed the children that from now on, we would be eating more vegetables and they would just have to try them. They took it rather well, with minimum of groaning.
It worked! We ate a lot more veg than usual - they tried broccoli, cabbage, hated courgettes, ate more carrots, leeks, potatoes and swede. I was filling my darlings with goodness! Receiving my box made me feel happy and virtuous.
But to my dismay, even if stored in the fridge, a Friday delivery of broccoli was soft by the following Tuesday. Tomatoes were furry before the end of the week. Potatoes had sprouts by Wednesday.
This put me under pressure to use all the veg before the end of the weekend rather than spreading it out over the week. This was not good - if we went out to eat on Saturday that meant I had less time to use the veg.
Eventually, after two months, I got fed up with feeling rushed. It made it difficult to plan meals for the week if your veg might not make it to cooking day. Organic veg, and from an expensive source (because these veg vox schemes aren't as cheap as the supermarket) were going in the compost. This made me gnash my teeth in annoyance.
So, much to my regret, I cancelled the delivery and now get my organic veg from the supermarket because I know it will last more than a couple of days. This does not make me happy. My local farmers' market is only monthly, so this is not an option on the weeks when it's not in town.
Why does the veg not last? I have no idea and I'm not naming them to save them blushes. It's a great idea and if I could use a whole veg box within three days, that would be fine. But who wants to have their life ruled by a carrot's life span? I want it to last at least seven days till my next delivery. I get that this veg is just picked and has no chemicals. But how does Sainsbury's organic veg last seven days and the beg box doesn't? What do they do it it? (Now there's a question).
Maybe I've just been repeatedly unlucky, but if it happens to me it must happen to others. It wasn't all the veg and maybe I'm expecting too much from my delivery - that's entirely possible - but I can't hope that my kids will go for more than two items of veg per meal.
I'm not giving up totally - I'm going to wait until there new season of more appealing veg is ready before I try it again. Will let you know how that goes!