box amnesty

Our boxes are reused on average four times, are made from 95% recycled materials and are recycled at the end of their lives but, surprisingly, still account for 10% of our carbon footprint (similar to the lorries delivering the boxes). In the long run we may move to plastic boxes as a more durable and lower impact solution. Preliminary calculations suggest this would give a 70% reduction in CO2 emissions, but it would be a huge capital investment and many of you have expressed a strong resistance to plastic in the past. I sense a rise in pragmatism over dogmatism in environmental issues generally and wonder how you would feel about your veg being delivered in a deposit-carrying plastic crate; email your thoughts to plasticvegbox@riverford.co.uk.

In the meantime we really need as many boxes back as possible, even if they are damaged (there is a much better chance of them being effectively recycled through us than through most municipal recycling schemes). This is the biggest thing you can do to reduce the environmental impact of your veg delivery. Please fold them up and leave them out for us to collect. We are also happy to take back plastic bags but would rather you added paper punnets to your compostable or paper waste.

sprouting at last?

Winter has passed with barely a moan of excessive cauliflower, kale or cabbage. The optimist in me attributes this to a rising appreciation of the culinary possibilities of our indigenous winter greens, but experience tells me low temperatures and a resulting paucity of supply has more to do with it. The plants that survived are now stirring into life; it looks as if we will finally have plenty of greens through to the end of the season (early May). The normally dependable purple sprouting broccoli has suffered badly, shedding most if its leaves in a bid to survive the cold. Its absence has left a gaping hole in our planning, forcing us to import Italian and Spanish broccoli to keep some balance in the boxes. We have just started picking our purple sprouting broccoli in earnest and hope to get it in the boxes soon.

Guy Watson from Riverford in Devon

We are delivering as normal over Easter, so look out for your order on your usual day.