City Hippy

The diary of our struggle to live a green and fair life.

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Monday, May 22, 2006

FEATURE: Box Scheme Brighton

I am very pleased that for my first Brighton & Hove (B&H) post you find me doing something both green and local! For the first time ever, after saying we would do it for ages, my husband and I have signed up to an organic box scheme – and it’s based in East Sussex too.

The company is Real Food Direct. I found out about them through my sister (living here for 3 years, she is my font of all Brighton-based knowledge and will probably crop up in this blog quite a lot) who kindly included their details in our ‘welcome pack’!

We are already much better placed than we were in London for shopping local. During the week we were living in a food desert, with only a Tesco Express for company! At weekends, we joined the rugby scrum at the organic veg stall in Spitalfields market (well, my husband did – I stood back at a safe distance!), which is great (if stressful) – but if we were away at the weekend we missed out.

Now our local supermarket is the Co-op and there is a busy independent grocery as well; our corner shop even has an organic section! So call us greedy, but we want a box too!

Ok, the box has arrived and the nice delivery man has given me a card which says if I make two more orders I get £10 off my third – excellent!

The Real Food Direct site lets you pick and choose what you put in your box (including things like organic shampoo and Ecover cleaning products) or you can let them get on with it and just pick a mixed fruit and veg box – which we did.

There are all sorts of things in here but I think I can identify most of them. Beetroot (do you just boil it? And can you eat the leaves? Help please!), carrots (I’m ok with these thanks), organic eggs (didn’t order those!), cress from Holland (not sure about that – can’t you grow it on your windowsill?) wow, really peppery rocket!

By the time we finish examining the contents it’s getting pretty late so we plump for something simple: pasta salad with tons of veggies. It’s yummy – and I have some left over for my lunch tomorrow!

There is a big local food and drink scene here in B&H (yep, part of the reason we moved down!) and I will no doubt be blogging about many more markets, box schemes, restaurants and cafes in the months to come (if there are any you want me to try, I will be more than happy to do so!) but to give you a taster of what’s out there, check out Brighton & Hove’s markets – there’s a fair trade one, a farmers’ one, a vegetarian one – I’m sure any one of these will be enough to help you resist the lure of the ‘super’ one!

And not forgetting of course the Brighton Food and Drink Festival from 1-30 September. In the interests of investigative journalism, I will be there!

Take care


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At 1:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cut up your beetroot (about a mugful), get an equivalent pile of carrot chunks, fry them off with a teaspoon of cumin seeds for a few minutes in a little butter or olive oil and then add stock and simmer them until soft. Push through a sieve or whizz through a blender and it makes a very nice soup.

At 7:50 PM, Blogger Katie@ethicalweddings said...

Thanks! That sounds great - will try it! (can I use the leaves too?)

At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never tried adding the leaves to soup, but don't see why not. If they're young enough you can eat them in salads.


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