Organic Box Schemes

I’ve been using organic box schemes for the past couple of years and find them invaluable for the following reasons:

Convenience of organic box schemes

Their home delivery system saves me the time and hassle of having to make the trip to the supermarket. Many organic box schemes are expanding their ranges so it’s no longer just fruit and vegetables they supply, but also many other kitchen and household essentials. My last box contained fresh bread, organic chicken and products from the Ecover cleaning range.

What’s also handy, is that if you’re out they will normally arrange to leave your box in a pre-agreed place.

Better tasting organic produce

Organic produce tastes better as it has been left to grow and ripen naturally, allowing flavours the time and respect to develop properly. Fruit and vegetables are also taken from the fields and delivered to you within a couple of days, giving you the just picked taste.

Seasonal organic produce

Organic box suppliers will not force their produce to grow outside of its natural cycle. You can enjoy your organic produce at the time when it’s at its best.

Expands your culinary skills and tastes

One of the great things about box schemes is that you are introduced to some new produce that you might not have tried before. Most organic box schemes will also provide you with recipes that use the contents of that weeks box.

Cost of organic box schemes

I have found that the amount and quality of the produce supplied in an organic box is much better value than shopping for the same items in your local supermarket. Along with this you’re saving money on the trips you’re not making to the shops.

Reduced environmental impact of organic box schemes

A high percentage of the produce in box schemes is grown and sourced from the UK, which significantly reduces their carbon footprint. Most box schemes will tell you where each item is produced as they pride themselves on minimising environmental impact.

Another really great thing about box schemes is the reduction in the amount of packaging used. Fruit and vegetables are normally placed loose in the box. Any packaging that is used is normally recyclable or can go on your compost heap.

The boxes are also collected at you next delivery for re-use.

With so many good reasons for trying an organic box scheme why not sign up now and try out one of the many schemes available throughout the UK.

What does Organic really mean?

Organic simply means adopting methods of farming that don’t rely on using chemicals or genetic modification (GM).

Farming organically means:

1. Protecting and working in harmony with the environment to produce good food.

2. Understanding the direct link between our health and the way in which animals and crops are farmed.

3. Reducing or eliminating chemicals that are used to treat crops and farm animals for pests and disease.

4. Caring for the quality of the soil in which crops are grown.

For example, organic farming now relies on methods like crop rotation in order to maintain soil fertility, instead of using chemical fertilisers.

Any farm or food product wishing to be recognised as organic has to adhere to strict guidelines which are set and rigorously monitored by associations such as The Soil Association in the UK.

An A to Z of Organic Gardening terms

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Aerobic: aprocess that requires the presence of oxygen.

Anaerobic: a process that does not require free oxygen,
or a condition in which free oxygen is excluded.

Annual: a plant that completes its life cycle in a year.

Anther: pollen bearing structure supported by a filament,
which together form the stamen of a flower

Asexual reproduction: non-sexual reproduction, such as grafting,
cuttings and tubers

B

Biennial: a plant that completes its life cycle in two years.

Biodiversity: Variabilty within living organisms and their
environments

Blanching: covering a plant to prevent sunlight from turning
leaves and stalks green

Bolting: development of seed stalks

Brassicas: group of plants which includes Cabbage, Kale,
Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Turnip, Rapeseed, Mustard and Brussels Sprouts

C

Clones: plants produced from a genetically identical parent
by asexual propagation

Compost: a process speed up the natural decomposition of
dead organic matter. Kitchen and garden waste is piled high and left, except
for the occassional aeration or watering where it turns into nutrient rich
soils ideal for promoting healthy plant growth.

Companion planting: the grouping of plants for their mutual
benefit (more on this)

D

Deadheading: Removing the flower heads from plants such
as roses once they wilt to encourage further flower growth

E

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F

Fertilizers: Additions to the soild to help a plant grow.
Be careful because many fertilisers are not organic in nature

G

Germination: When a seed starts to grow it is said to germinate.
The requirements for successful germination are: viable seeds, clean soil,
moisture, warmth and (depending on seed variety) either complete darkness
or lots of light.

H

Harvesting: Picking your organic crop once it has grown
is the best thing in the whole world.

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