We all know the benefits of shopping locally to support British farmers who work hard to bring us fresh, nourishing produce. But in a world full of mammoth supermarkets – able to entice shoppers through their doors with the promise of cheap prices – we rarely take the time to get to know our local suppliers anymore. In fact, it can actually be near impossible for many of us who simply don’t have the time to make trips to the local farm shop thanks to our busy work schedules. Add into the equation the constant battle to try and put good food on the table at a reasonable price and it all makes for a pretty bleak situation…
But alas, there is a solution in sight! As Devon residents, we’re pretty lucky to have some of the best food producers in the country and many of these local foodie heroes have started to offer subscription packages for their fresh produce. There are no longer any excuses not to support our local growers and farmers – now we can get everything we need to make balanced, affordable meals at the click of a button!
Riverford Organic Farmers
Who are they? Riverford Organics have been growing fresh produce it since 1987 and offer a huge variety of fruit, veg and grass fed meat from their farm. Everything they grow and sell is 100% organic and they’ve managed to build a national reputation for their quality produce.
Where are they based? Buckfastleigh
What’s the Damage? Riverford offer smaller packages such as a weekly fruit bag for just £4.95. However, if you really want to get the most out of your subscription, expect to pay between £29.45 – £53.70 for their combined meat & veg boxes.
What do you get? What’s inside your box will vary from week to week, but in a typical Vegetable & Meat box you get: 8 varieties of veg (including potatoes, carrots and onions most weeks) 3 cuts of organic meat.
Where can I sign up? You can sign up to your first weekly box over on their website.
Who are they? Shillingford Organics is a family run business who are passionate about growing seasonal, organic vegetables, salad, herbs and fruit. Their aim is to give local people the chance to buy freshly harvested organic produce that is free from harmful pesticides and chemicals.
Where are they based? Shillingford Abbot
What’s the Damage? Shillingford Veg boxes start from £9 for a small weekly box to £16 for an extra large (which we think is great value for bigger families).
What do you get? The most recent medium sized veg box contained: Beetroot, Calabrese, Carrots, Mixed Chard. Red Oakleaf Lettuce, Onions, Parsley, Potatoes ( New Season ) & Tomatoes.
Where can I sign up? Shillingford only deliver in Exeter and the Teign Valley as far as Bovey Tracey, but they may be able to connect you to a Collection Point or collection from the Farm. For more info, visit www.shillingfordorganics.co.uk
Who are they? This organic family farm offers grass fed meat and veg boxes as well as a large range of local organic produce. They’re also Soil Association certified and they ship their boxes throughout mainland UK!
Where are they based? Okehampton
What’s the Damage? The vegetable boxes are incredibly affordable, starting from just £13.25 for a small box.
What do you get? Inside a medium sized veg box, you’ll get a real mix of vegetables, including: French Beans, Broccoli, Carrots, Cucumber, Red Onions, White Potatoes, Sweetcorn, Tomatoes, Portobello Mushrooms. Of course, this can change from season to season.
Where can I sign up? Find all the details you need to sign up at www.eversfieldorganic.co.uk
Veg in a Box
Who are they? Veg In A Box is a family run business, who started out by making up fruit and veg boxes for their friends using local produce from their neighbours farm. Now they put together boxes of all shapes and sizes to cater for all budgets and they even offer special themed boxes such as an Easy Peasy Recipe Box, that contains everything you’ll need to recreate tried and tested dishes at home.
Where are they based? Near Exeter
What’s the Damage? The Original Fruit & Veg cost just £30, but larger mixed meat & veg boxes can range from £35-£125.
What do you get? Contents change with the season, but in the Original Box, you receive a large variety of fruit and veg (which you can find more about here).
What we like about them: When we tried Veg in a Box we were really surprised by how far the produce stretched. We managed to make dozens of meals from our first box and all of the ingredients kept for days (which you rarely find with online supermarket orders).
Where can I sign up? Find out more at veg-inabox.com
Pipers Farm Meat Boxes
Who are they? Pipers Farm have earned an enviable reputation for the standard of their meats. They go beyond the ‘organic label’, by using sustainable farming methods with animal welfare in mind, and this is reflected in the quality of the finished product. They offer meat boxes to cater for all budgets and tastes and deliver all over the UK.
Where are they based? Cullompton
What’s the Damage? You’d be surprised by how affordable Piper’s Farm boxes are. A ‘Meat for the Week’ box is only £15, whereas Luxury Boxes can range from £40-£60.
What do you get? Last month’s seasonal meat box contained: 4x Grass-fed Lamb & Mint Burgers, 4x Free Range Turkey Burgers, 4x Free Range Chicken Drumsticks, 1kg Free Range Chicken Wings, 6x Saddleback Pork Sausages, 4x Saddleback Pork Escalopes for £30
What we like about them: We love the fact that Piper’s Farm is committed to practices that place animal welfare at the forefront. If you’re going to eat meat (and let’s face it, most of us are) then it’s important to ensure that our produce is sustainable and humane.
Where can I sign up? Visit pipersfarm.com for more information.
The Devon Box Meat Company
Who are they? The Devon Meat Box Company is the sister company to Veg In A Box above. Their aim is to bring the finest, freshest, tastiest quality sourced meat directly to your door. While they do not rear their own meats, they go to great lengths to source the best quality meat from butchers and smallholders in Devon, ensuring that all of their produce is sustainable.
Where are they based? Near Exeter
What’s the Damage? A large BBQ Sizzler Box will set you back £125 but something like a ‘Two Bird Roast Box’ is priced at £40 & The Devon Tiddler Box is great value for money, containing over 20 pieces of meat and additional vegetables for just £50.
What do you get? This totally depends on which box you order. But to give you an idea, The Devon Tiddler contains: Either a Whole Chicken, Joint of Pork Shoulder or Joint of Brisket, Bbq Spare Ribs, 2 Rump Steaks 9oz each, 4 Burgers, 2 Steak 8oz, 2 Lamb And Mint 8oz, 6 Butchers Sausages (Traditional Pork), 1lg of Local Devon Chicken Drumsticks, Diced beef & Diced Pork.
Why we like them: Like ‘Veg in a Box’ there are loads of themed packages to choose from. There’s a Slimming Box for those of you watching your weight, a Breakfast Box for lovers of the Full English, and even a Boom Kitchen Curry Box for when you fancy something spicy.
Where can I sign up? Find all the details you need at www.thedevonmeatboxcompany.co.uk
Do you know of another great food subscription service in Devon? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll add it to our list.