The Hungry Man and I have been a bit obsessed with local and organic food since the report on GMO’s and have been trying to improve on what we eat. But buying organic at the supermarket really weighs on our budget, so we’ve been experimenting with produce delivery directly from the farm.
As I spend my week in Brussels and him in London, and then we meet in London week-ends, he was the one to order our first organic basket. After browsing the web, we finally chose Riverford Organic Farms for our first try : the website is very user friendly, you can do everything online, and they come deliver at your house.
What was also important for us is that you have a very wide choice in terms of things to buy and size of the basket (don’t want to end up with 2kg uneaten zucchini..). You can order baskets of veggies, fruit and meat,or a mix of this all. It is also possible to add some seasonal extras such as cheese, eggs or cider for example. For Halloween, you can even order a selection of colorful organic squash.
In terms of delivery, I can only report what the Man told me, as I was not there. But he was very happy about it: it came exactly when expected, we had specified that is was possible to leave the basket in the backyard, but as one of the roommates was home it was not necessary. As He had not been the one receiving the basket, the farm called on his phone later in the afternoon to ask if he had well received his basket and if everything was alright with it…how nice!!
We had ordered the mini vegbox + meat for 26£ and it was more than worth it! It contained 350 g mince meat, 400 g of beef steaks and a roast beef. With this: portobello mushrooms, onions, potatoes, turnips, a romanesco, carrots and tomatoes (I might forget a few veggies). Cherry on the cake: we did not have to go and get it and lose our Saturday afternoon lining up at the cashier.
With the winter coming, we might encounter a few unknown roots & veggies, but Riverford Organic Farms though of everything: each delivery is accompanied with a recipe book and a newsletter with the latest events (you can go to the farm for a few events and to pick up your own produce).
Conclusion: I can only advise you to go for this new “distribution channel” : green, friendly, cheap and practical! Find a farmer in your area and go for it! I ordered from L’Heureux Nouveau in Brussels this week..delivery on Saturday, I’ll let you know about it!
In the mean time, here is the very easy recipe of our first organic & local Sunday lunch
400 g of beef steak
3 portobello mushrooms
Some herbs , salt & pepper
1. Remove the steak from the refrigerator to get it at room temperature. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Don’t cook the steak straight from the fridge, otherwise the outer portions will be overcooked by the time the center comes to temperature.
2. Slice the onion and mushrooms, then let it brown in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil until golden.
3. Preheat the oven to 220°C
4. Cut the carrots and potatoes into big chuncks, and put in boiling water for 5 mn (it does not need to be cooked, as this will all go in the oven afterwards).
5. Then remove from the pan, put in a gratin dish with the onion and mushrooms and a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs. Leave in the oven to roast.
5. Cook the steaks on high heat: Put a heavy-duty pan on the stove, brush lightly with vegetable oil, and put the meat in it when you can see the pan smoking. High heat is key to obtain a nice crispy crust!
6. When the steak is nearly done, drop a bit of wine or vinegar to mix with the meat juices, this will make a nice and easy sauce.
7. Eemove the veggies from the oven..and serve warm.