How can I be sure that it is really organic?
We have held the Soil Association Symbol of Organic Quality for over 30 years. We are one of the longest established organic vegetable farms in the country. Our production system and accounts are monitored annually to ensure that we adhere to their high standards. Every year we hold several open days, which you will be invited to attend, so you can see for yourself the vegetables growing in the field and walled garden. Since before the BSE crisis we have been moving towards operating a completely animal free system. We do not bring any animal manure on to the farm, relying instead on a comprehensive system of green manure to maintain fertility. This is working very well and we have visitors from many overseas countries interested in this system. We are now considered pioneers in this area of production and are regularly featured on TV.
How can I join the scheme?
Place your first order on our website, using the Ordering widget in the Box Deliveries page. Providing that you live within our delivery area (central and east Reading, Pangbourne, Whitchurch-on-Thames, Wallingford, Abingdon and Oxford area), we will pick up your order and assign you to a local Neighbourhood Rep. We will be in touch by email. You join by picking up your first order and paying for it in advance by bank transfer.
You do not have to keep to the same size bag or order each week, just place an order for the next week with your Rep when you collect, or tell them if you are away. Please return your empty bag if it is re-usable.
Most Pangbourne and Whitchurch-on-Thames customers benefit from door-to-door deliveries. They are not assigned to Neighbourhood Reps and are dealing with Tamara or Lin from our office.
Can I choose the contents of the bag?
Unfortunately not – if we were to pack to individual requirements it would double the cost. Many of our customers have told us how they enjoy the element of surprise, that our scheme frees them from having to make decisions, and that it has encouraged them to become more adventurous and creative with their cooking. Most of the winter vegetables will keep a long time if kept cool and dark. People will sometimes swap items with each other in groups, depending on personal preferences. Over the course of the year there will be over 80 different vegetables in your bag. Some items you may not have seen before, so we try to include occasional recipes. There is an Extras list on our website,from which you may wish to order additional items. To keep you in touch with what happens on the farm we publish an occasional newsletter – The Onion Oracle
What happens about the packaging?
To reduce waste and conserve resources we ask you to fold the bags neatly and return them to your neighbourhood rep. If they are damaged and not re-usable please ensure that you put them out for recycling.
Why can’t you deliver to our door?
Because delivering to your door will increase the cost, and increases the carbon footprint of our produce. We also feel having a system of neighbourhood reps improves the social aspect of food distribution.
Most Pangbourne and Whitchurch-on-Thames customers benefit from door-to-door deliveries.
Do you grow your own fruit?
Occasionally throughout the year we have some of our own fruit to go in the bags, for example we sell strawberries from May-July. But on the whole most of it is bought in from an organic distributor in London. Wherever possible we buy fruit from the UK, but sometimes our first choice isn’t available and in this case we are occasionally sent produce from other European countries. The bananas are always from the Caribbean but we can assure you all imported fruit comes by boat. We don’t buy any produce that has been air freighted.
Are there any allergens in your fruit and veg bags?
According to new EU regulations, celery, celeriac and mustard are considered allergens. We sell celery stalks, celeriac and mustard leaves in our salad mixes. We do not have to label our bags, as celery and celeriac are obvious in bags, but we will be labelling our salad mixes, when containing celery or/and mustard leaves.