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Online Shop / Supplies Vegetables and ther Groceries from Local Farms.

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      27.09.2012 16:55
      Very helpful



      For me, the best way of purchasing fruit & veg

      Since we moved out of London (not far, but still I'm enjoying a little country feel) I used to shop for fresh fruit, veg and meat on local farms as there are quite a few around. However I realized that oranges and grapefruits are most likely not farm-grown, that the farm most likely only produces few items and the rest is sourced just like in better supermarket or greengrocer's and, being a farm may not be a good thing as you can't really see where the items are from. Then I found Kent Veg Box scheme on www.kentvegbox.co.uk ran by lovely bunch of people also running a farm near Maidenhead.

      The idea is simple - you decide how big box of veg and/or fruit you'd like to receive every week, they go round local farms (mostly in Kent) and buy genuine seasonal fresh farm produce, divide it into boxes and deliver to your door. You can be sure veg you've received was only picked the very same week and was not stored in warehouse before going on shelves of supermarket. You don't know what you will receive upfront (well, you can check online on Tuesday what you will receive on Thursday/Friday, but can't cancel) so they also make you use variety of veg in your diet. The produce is not 100% organic - however they claim to check on each supplier to make sure they're not using nasty stuff. Most of them are just too small producers so organic certification is not viable for them - source of each item can be checked online at any time.

      Delivery area covers most of south-east London, most of Kent, part of Surrey etc. all the way to the coast (Dover, Folkestone...) - full map available on their website.

      There are four sizes of veg boxes, three sizes of fruit boxes, and a combination 50/50 box to choose from ranging from £6 for Mini (4-5 kinds of veg) to £15.75 (7-8 kinds of veg or 5+ kinds of fruit). Kent Veg Box are always making their best to keep the cost comparable or even better than supermarket (non-value range) and you can find average saving to compare with Tesco on their website each week.

      Before you sign up, you can get a 3-week trial for half price. That is some amazing value, and exactly how we started. We ordered a small box trial, containing 5-6 different kinds of veg, one of them always potatoes. First delivery came, delivery mane introduced himself, explained everything, asked for place where to put the box if we're not at home, and we exchanged numbers "just in case". Very personalized service! Following weeks he also asked for used boxes for recycling.

      Each week box contained, as promised, few different types of veg, always very fresh, mostly covered in mud (you have no idea how happy I was to firstly see carrots covered in soil, what a luxury!), not always regular in shape and polished to high shine.
      For those who had farm-grown, or home-grown veg before, I don't need to comment on taste. For the rest - it has sooooo much more flavor than veg you can buy in supermarket that you will never ever even look at those huge fluorescent orange carrots in Tesco's again. This is how the veg is supposed to taste like! Honest!
      After the trial we switched to a 50/50 box, which is slightly less veg and extra 2 kinds of fruit. So far for all boxes we received, I must say I was very pleased. All contained potatoes, and most of them carrots, too. Sometimes a marrow, cabbage, beets, tomatoes etc. Fruit, so far, was mostly apples and some berries. If you don't like a particular kind, you can just let them know and they will substitute it with something else. Apparently in winter months they also source some products on the wholesale market, as there is not much seasonal produce in England, but anything that doesn't come from Kent is organic.

      You can also order bread, milk, eggs, meat box, fish box, local cheese and beer, too. I can only comment on eggs - fresh medium sized, and good value. The rest I have not ordered yet.

      Being a small company means that you can make the most of personalized service. From letting them know you don't like beets, making your deliveries every second week rather than weekly, letting them know you're on holidays, adding or removing additional item, etc. All this just a phone call away - I have also sent e-mails occasionally, and got almost instant reply. They also have a facebook page, where you can see the boxes ready to be distributed most of the weeks (to get your taste buds ready).

      I really find Kent Veg Box good value for money, a fantastic addition to our diet, and for those who live in delivery area it's strongly, strongly recommended. I only had great experience using them, and if something went wrong (well, wrong, once I didn't receive eggs) it was dealt with instantly and rectified within 5 minutes. Well deserved 5 stars.


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