Saturday, 1 November 2008

Veg Box Scheme 101

It's simple, really. I give £6 a week to Growing Communities at the cafe in Hackney City Farm, they give me a bag of fresh, in-season, local vegetables, and I complete my slide into grandmotherhood.

Although there are numerous hippie, Athens-esque justifications for the veg box scheme, I joined for one reason only: I like to eat. It can be a hassle to try to constantly try to keep fresh vegetables in the house, but the veg box scheme takes the hassle out of it for me. The flipside of that, of course, is that I don't get to chose the vegetables that are included. But I like that, too. Instead of deciding what I want to eat each week and picking out the necessary veggies, it goes the other way: when I open up the bag, I start to brainstorm possibilities for the week ahead. It's also led me to try numerous new vegetables that I never would have been brave enough to try otherwise, including Romanesco broccoli, celeriac, leeks, and kale.

Since I began receiving my weekly veg box about a month ago, it has contributed, in whole or part, to coq au vin, chili, pumpkin bread, black beans and rice, salads, pasta sauce, and soups of the potato, leek, carrot and broccoli varieties. It's also on deck to help me out with some apple coffee cake and a revival of coq-au-vin week.

For too long now, I've been more talk than action in the "I-like-to-cook" department. Now, in large part thanks to the veg box scheme, I hardly eat out or buy prepared food anymore. In other areas, too — but especially where food preparation is concerned — I really like the person that I'm becoming. It's nice to know that I like to cook not only in the abstract, but in the daily reality of it, too.

Now, if I could just brew my own beer and wine, I'd never have to leave the house!

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