Riverford Wicked Leeks

in it for the long haul

The papers are full of stories of the newly impoverished middle classes turning away from organic food in general and box schemes in particular. Add to that rising fuel prices, and the media would have you believe that we vegbox growers are ready to end it all in a puff of shotgun smoke. For several years the media have painted a story of unimpeded boom; now it is one of fathomless doom.

As always the truth is a bit more complex. We, and most other box schemes, are having a pretty hard time. In fact, despite the professed enthusiasm for all things local, seasonal and organic, this has been the case for a year or more. The new austerity has certainly played a part, but more significant are public confusion and exhaustion in the face of a barrage of well funded but poorly substantiated green claims made by every retailer, manufacturer and political party. We are being squeezed out of our well-earned place in the minds of less established and more uncertain customers by a tidal wave of bullshit. This is frustrating but, given the sheer volume of claims, perhaps not surprising.

By my reckoning, if you are hard-up, want to save the planet and love your food, staying in and cooking from a veg box is the smart thing to do. You could probably save a pound or two by buying the cheapest non-organic veg, but by the time you have fought your way through the traffic, check out queues and packaging you will probably need a glass or two to restore your good humour - that