This week I’m giving a bit of a different review than normal – it’s all about the Riverford vegetable box service, which brings farm-fresh food straight to your door. They also deliver fruit, eggs, and meat if you want it, though we stick with the veggies. We’ve been trying this delivery box for around a month, which we figured is enough time to give it a review!
Firstly, I’d like to make it clear that this is in no way a sponsored post – we paid full price for the boxes and did not receive any blogger discounts. We actually came across their stall at Foodies Festival and had to give them a go. Here’s J enjoying their photo stand!
We’ve already made quite a few meals with their veggies that we’ve shared here. These included the cabbage coleslaw, the butternut squash lasagne, and the spaghetti ragu. We’ve got a fair few more coming too, so stay tuned for those!
The food that they deliver is so fresh that it’s still got mud from the farm clinging to it. They come in big boxes which you can hand back in order for them to be used again, which is great on the sustainability side. I actually kind of wish everything was a bit cleaner – I do appreciate that it’s the farm freshness and all, but sometimes I can’t even tell what the carrots are. Perhaps a light brushing could be introduced before delivery!
The food is generally very good. The vegetables have a strong flavour and are always in good condition. I’ve never received a half-rotten or bruised vegetable, which I certainly can’t say about grocery deliveries from Sainsburys – who have more than once delivered red onions so battered I couldn’t even salvage them. The tomatoes are juicy and sweet, the mushrooms earthy and light. The cabbages are even tasty, which is high praise coming from me, let me tell you.
The one downside is not being able to choose which vegetables you have delivered. It’s all seasonal and based on what they can harvest ready for the delivery, which means it’s great for the environment. You can see what will be in each box before it gets packed, so you have time to cancel. It just doesn’t make it easy to plan meals in advance. It can also get a little dull when you have weeks of cabbages and leeks but no onions.
We found that the small box is a little too small, the medium box perhaps a little too big. After three medium and one small delivery, we’ve only had to throw away a handful of green beans (used most of them, the leftovers went off) and half a fennel (both of us found out we can’t stand fennel).
The boxes are quite pricey. The sales pitch talks about the relative cost of buying organic vegetables in Waitrose, but if you’re doing that then you are probably legally addressed as a Lord. It’s more expensive than my weekly shop would normally be for sure. However, it does have some advantages: it forces us to eat vegetables even when we don’t feel like it, it guarantees freshness, and it also guarantees good quality.
As an extra bonus, we’ve also received a copy of the winter cooking book from Riverford which may just be my new Bible. I’m so excited to start using it in the New Year and cooking up a storm, so watch out for some of those coming your way in our videos!
For some reason I didn’t take any photos of any of the boxes – I guess I’m too excited to receive it all each week! I’ll rectify that with our next delivery. For now, it’s a huge thumbs up to Riverford for us – with the caveat that this won’t work for you if you are shopping on a budget.