As it’s Earth Day today, it seems a good opportunity to talk about my organic veg box. Every Thursday, I put the empty one outside the front door and a few hours later I open the door and, as if by magic, it’s full of fresh veg, herbs, salad greens and half a dozen free-range eggs.
I like the freshness of the veg, the fact that they have been grown only a few miles away. I like not knowing what to expect – except for carrots, lots and lots of carrots every week all year round. I don’t like washing the salad leaves. That’s fiddly and time-consuming and they never dry completely, and sometimes I find a live slug or two in one of the bags. I don’t want to kill them so I used to park the slug on a lettuce leaf or a piece of cabbage, place it on the windowsill in the kitchen and leave it until I could take it into the garden. Too impatient to wait, it would usually climb off the leaf and disappear and then I would never know where it was going to turn up next. Now, if I find one, I put it on a leaf and place it on the windowsill outside and let it find its own way down to the garden. Is that cruel – we live 3 floors up?
This week’s box has a good-sized butternut squash, 2 heads of purple green spring greens, a small cauliflower, baby beetroot, the usual carrots and potatoes, curly parsley (reminds me of a 1970′s garnish or vegetable soup) and an assortment of salad leaves. Most of the veg are filthy and need a good wash but that’s the price you pay for freshness. I don’t know how I will use them yet. Definitely not going to make vegetable soup – that’s the easy way out.