Category Archives: Veggie box schemes

The BEST PYO in Oxford

Pick your own (PYO) is a wonderful way to get really fresh local produce on the cheap. It’s also a fun afternoon out for the family. Here’s my top places to PYO in Oxford –

1) Peach Croft Farm

Peach Croft Farm OxfordPeach Croft Farm rear award-winning geese and turkeys, so are especially busy at Christmas time. Their Farm Shop stocks soft fruits, vegetables, cream, free-range eggs, free-range poultry, cakes, pies, preserves, fruit juices, and honey.

If you’re looking for something fun to do during a Summer weekend with the family you could try a tractor trailer ride to the pick-your-own fields. The also have a lovely little cafe that serve light lunch using their produce. Delicious!

What’s for picking?
Asparagus – mid-April until mid-June.
Strawberries and other berries are available from the end of May.
Peas and broad beans, available from the end of June.
Runner beans are available from August.
Pumpkins are available from late September to October, in time for Halloween.
Potatoes all year round.

Peach Croft Farm PYOWhere?
12 Acre Drive, Radley, Abingdon, OX14 2HP
01235 520094 / 01235 535978
Opening hours: Farm and Farm Shop open Mon-Sat 9.00am-5.30pm.
Also open Sun 10am-4pm in season (mid-May to August). Wheelchair friendly.

2) Medley Manor Farm

A beautiful small, family-run farm within the Oxford ring road, Medley Manor Farm provides pick-your-own as well as home made ice cream and honey made on the farm. A lovely walk from Jericho or Wolvercote (or a much shorter one from Botley) across Port Meadow. There’s also a cafe open every day serving light lunches (with soft drinks or wine or beer) and afternoon teas.

What’s for picking?
Asparagus: late April – mid June.
Strawberries: mid June – early July.
Sweetcorn: August – late September.

Where?
Binsey Lane Oxford OX2 0NJ Website Tel: 01865 241251
Opening Hours: Check out their website or call to find out if they’re open when you want to visit. Wheelchair friendly.

3) Q Gardens
Q Gardens signWorth a visit to see the proud home of the Harwell cherry, Q Gardens has a wonderful farm shop, which stocks deli and butchers selling cheeses, pies, sausage rolls and home made ice cream made from their own fruit! It’s open 9am-6pm daily and the tea room serving hot food until 2.30pm and tea and cake until 4pm.

What’s for picking?
Their website offers information and advice about the pick-your-own. The asparagus season begins in April – Mid June to be bought in the shop only. The other soft fruits (cherries, raspberries, currants, plums, damsons are ready towards the middle of June for PYO.

Where?
Q Gardens, Milton Hill
Steventon, Abingdon
Oxfordshire, OX13 6AB
01235 820988
info@qgardensfarmshop.co.uk

4) Rectory Farm
Strawberry picking at Rectory FarmRectory Farm has grown in stature over the past 2 years. It’s Country Cafe and terrace area has been extended and the shop is well established. Always a fun afternoon out for the family. A wide variety of PYO followed by tea, a delicious selection of home made cakes and a bounce on their bouncy castle (sorry children only).

What’s for picking?
Asparagus season begins end of April and has just finished for the year.
The main pick-your-own and the farm shop are open from the 15th May to the end of August every day, 9.30am to 6pm; the Country Café is open 10am – 5.30pm. PYO crops include strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, whitecurrants, blackberries, asparagus, broad beans, carrots, beetroot. Lots of potato varieties.

Where?
Pound Lane, Stanton St  John, Oxford, OX331HF
01865 351677
Wheelchair friendly.

5) Millets Farm
Millets Farm PumpkinsA huge, rurally situated farm centre with large farm shop, garden centre, craft and art gallery, cafe/restaurant, summer maize maze, falconry site, farm zoo and playground. Large selection of fruit and vegetables plus dairy products, fish, patisserie, wine and meat.

What’s for picking?
Open for PYO from June to September 9-5.30pm. A massive choice of over 30 different fruits and vegetables can be picked throughout the warmer months and many new varieties of certain crops.

Where?
Kingston Road
Frilford, Nr Abingdon
Oxfordshire, OX13 5HB

The Farm Shop: 01865 392200
The Restaurant: 01865 391169
The Garden Centre: 01865 391923
Pick Your Own: June to September – 01865 391555
Maize Maze: July to September – 07826 132416

Do you know of any other PYO’s in Oxfordshire? Please drop me a line in the comments below or and email at carolinementzer@gmail.com

 

Cultivate Oxford Veggie bag

Cultivate Oxford £12 veg bagThis week I’ve been trialling a new and wonderful veggie delivery scheme from Cultivate Oxford.

If you live in Oxford you’ll know who I mean, as you’re bound to have seen their VegVan situated at various points around the City from Thursday – Sunday offering local, seasonal and organic fruit and vegetables. Well, the same motivated people are now offering a delivery service to various pick up points (PODS) over Oxford.

Cultivate is a cooperative organisation which is owned and funded by the community. They have an established new market garden on 10 acres of land just outside of Oxford on the Earth Trust farm. Here they grow the majority of the fruit and veg found on their VegVan and delivery fruit and vegetable bags.

Oxford cultivate veggie bag £12I was extremely excited to pick up my veggie bag from my local POD in Florence Park on Thursday, and find out what goodies were in it.

There was a cauliflower, a large bag of Spring greens, leeks, carrots, Swiss Chard and a huge bulb of garlic. All the vegetables were vibrant, lush and fresh, as though they had been picked that morning. Perhaps they had?

I always plan my weeks menu around my veggie delivery and I was thrilled so see the makings of some wonderful family meals.

I made cauliflower pizza crust with the head of the cauli, spicy spring greens spaghetti, a garlicky Swiss chard omelette, carrot and cauliflower leaf soup, honey glazed carrots with my roast chicken and I’m planning leek and chicken pie for tonight. Absolutely plenty for many delicious dinners.

The new delivery PODS stretch far and wide over Oxford. Here are the locations – Abingdon, Charlbury Green Hub, Kidlington, The Deli Sandwich Bar (Didcot), East Oxford – Florence Park, Rose Hill, East Oxford, Rusty Bike POD and SESI Refill POD, North Oxford – Summerhill Road POD, Warborough and WOCA POD (West Oxford). There’s bound to be one near you.

CULTIVATE-Oxford logoAll you need to do is go online here from Monday to Wednesday and place your order. Then by Thursday or Friday (depending on your chosen delivery POD) your glorious fruit and veg order will be ready for pick up. Easy!

If you would like to contact Cultivate Oxford you can do so here –

Email: info@cultivateoxford.org
Address: Pipers Wait, The Ridings, Stonesfield, Oxon, OX29 8EB
Website: cultivateoxford.org/

Riverford Oxford

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been trialling all the local veggie box schemes in Oxfordshire. They have all been fantastic and I recommend you read my reviews on each one, which can be found at the following links – Westmill Organics, North Aston Organics, Veg in Clover and The Market Garden at Eynsham.

RiverfordIt has been brought to my attention however, that some locations aren’t covered by these veggie box schemes. If you fall into this category I’d like to recommend Riverford Organics which, even though they are a National Company, use local Oxfordshire Farms as much as possible to supply this county.

Before I trialled our local veggie box schemes I was a long standing customer of Riverford. I’ve always been impressed with the quality of their fruit and vegetables, as well as recipes they supply on the website. The ordering system is extremely easy to use and you can add to or change your order each week if desired.

This picture is a typical Riverford box. It’s a large fruit and veg box less roots costing £19.65 for 3-4 people. They do offer smaller boxes with prices starting from £10.35. I purchased the sprouts additionally – although now I’m learning to sprout myself I don’t need to! Read more on how to do that here. Their salad bags are really good with delicious cherry tomatoes, lettuce leaves and avocados. You can also get eggs, meat, cheese and array of other delicious organic fare. Their website is worth a visit, even just for the recipes! – Riverford Organics – Tel. 01803 762 059.

North Aston Organics Veggie & Fruit Box

We’re trying out North Aston Organics £10 Veggie & £5 Fruit Box this week.

North Aston Organics Veggie BoxI had to pick it up from a secret location in Cowley last night which was exciting. You get a 50p discount if you collect.

I was over joyed to see lots of beautiful greens and lettuce in the box. We’ve been craving salad these past few weeks. The box also contained parsnips, carrots, 1/2 a cabbage, 1/2 a pumpkin, true spinach, 1 large lettuce and a bag of mixed lettuce and herb leaves. The fruit bag contained oranges, apples, pears, bananas and a kiwi. I like the idea of 1/2 portions of larger veg as I often struggle to use a whole cabbage! Very sensible indeed.

I’m planning a Roast on Sunday so will probably keep the parsnips and carrots for then. I’m also thinking about making home made pesto with the spinach, some roast pumpkin soup, bubble and squeak with the cabbage. Plus I’ve been sprouting chickpeas this week for the first time and they’ll make a lovely accompaniment to the salad leaves with some crumbled feta, olive oil and lemon juice. It’s also fantastic to have a variety of fruit as we’ve been living off satsumas and apples for the past few weeks.

Here are the details

North Aston Organics Veggie Box 2There are four different sizes of veggie box priced at £6.50, £10, £14 and £18.50. The £10 box is good for 2 adults and the £14 box would suit a small family. You can also get a small or medium fruit bag for £5 or £6 respectively which usually contain apples, oranges and bananas plus two other fruit. Organic eggs are also available. One plus is that you can also tailor your box to your likes and dislikes.

75% of the box contents are grown on the Farm. Other produce is bought in from other organic growers so that a wide variety of specialist items can be provided. They have a no air freight policy.

The drop off points in Oxford are Wolvercote, Marston, Cowley Road, Magdelen Road, Jericho, Botley, Summertown and St Clements, as well as delivering to towns and villages throughout northern Oxfordshire.

If you’d like to order a veggie box visit their website here. Alternatively call on 01869 347702  or email info@westmillorganics.co.uk and ask for Mary.

Westmill Organics veggie box

Westmill Organics Veggie boxI received a wonderful veggie box today from Westmill Organics.

It contained – 2 small squash, leeks, potatoes, onions, beetroot, spring cabbage, red peppers and beautiful yellow and purple carrots. It’s a good job it arrived today as my fridge was looking pretty bare. Now I’ve got some inspiration to meal plan for the frugal week ahead.

I’m thinking beetroot and smoked mackerel salad, roast squash and cumin soup with home made bread, Mexican chilli and cheese peppers, spring greens spaghetti and perhaps a chicken & leek pie with mash and steamed carrots on Sunday if the budget will stretch that far.

I’m feeling pretty smug this week as Westmill Organics offer one trial £10 veggie box for FREE. So we are eating all these beautiful organic locally sourced veggies for absolutely nothing this week.

Westmill organics logoWestmill Organics is located at Westmill Farm on the border of Wiltshire and Oxfordshire. They have been growing organic veg for over 16 years and have won numerous awards and recognitions for quality, taste and service.  They don’t use any pesticides or herbicides on the land and only fertilise soil with natural compost and green manures.

They offer four different sizes of veggie box, a small and large fruit box, farm eggs and a variety of wheat, spelt and rye sour-dough and yeasted breads. They deliver from Swindon to Oxford and all the villages in-between.

If you’d like to order a veggie box or get a trial £10 for FREE visit their website here. Alternatively call on 01793 783569 or email info@westmillorganics.co.uk

The Market Garden – Eynsham, Witney & surrounding villages

The Market Garden at Eynsham

£10 veg and fruit box from The Garden Market at EynshamI drove up to Eynsham to pick up a £10 veg and fruit box from the Market Garden Greengrocers yesterday. They deliver to Eynsham, Witney and surrounding villages, but not Headington where I live.

For £10 I got plenty of potatoes, a butternut squash, Cavolo nero (black kale), mushrooms, apples, onions, garlic and an assortment of purple and yellow carrots. All the produce was fresh, vibrant and of a very high quality. The £10 was very generous with plenty in it for several family meals.

The Garden Market at EynshamI am already planning carrot soup, sausage, mash and onion gravy, kale pasta pesto and roasted butternut salad as well as garlic mushrooms for a weekend breakfast with some eggs. If the weather remains cold I may even manage an oaty apple crumble – yum!

The shop was absolutely beautiful containing many locally grown produce at very reasonable prices – often more competitive than large supermarkets.

Jonathan at The Garden Market at EynshamI met Jonathan who was extremely helpful and knowledgeable about where all the local fruit and vegetables came from. There is a wide variety of produce in the shop which is very clearly labelled with the price and source.

I couldn’t resist buying some additional cherry tomatoes which are a favourite in our household. In fact I think most of them got munched in the car on the journey home. They also sell loose salad leaves which I am told are extremely popular.

Here are the details of their Fruit and Vegetable boxes

The Market Garden at Eynsham offer £10, £15 or £20 boxes containing a selection of seasonal fruit and vegetables, with an emphasis on local and British produce.

They deliver any day Tuesday to Saturday on either a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis, covering Eynsham, Witney and the surrounding villages. Boxes can either be a mix of conventionally grown and organic or purely organic, and are tailored according to customer feedback, including any particular favourites and excluding any dislikes.

If you’d like to find out more or order a box for delivery visit their website here. Call 01865 604571 or Email: shop@themarketgardeneynsham.co.uk

 

Veg in Clover – Central & East Oxford

Veg in clover £13 veggie box plus eggsFor the past 3 weeks I’ve been receiving Veg in Clover’s £13 vegetable box that very generously offers 9 different items including a dozen free range eggs.

All vegetables are certified organic, and the focus is on local organic produce. This week I received leeks, parsnips, carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, two swede, Brussels sprouts, celery and two big beautiful bulbs of garlic, all of which were very crisp and fresh. I’ve made leek and parsnip soup, baked sweet potato mash and bubble and squeak with the Brussels sprouts – delicious with a runny poached egg on top. The carrots and celery were so tender we ate them raw dipped in to home made hummus.

The eggs they supply are also awesome. Although they are not organic, they are large and free range and when cracked have a very healthy looking orange yolk; much better than any supermarket free range eggs I’ve found.

Veg in Clover also offer a £17 box with 12 different items for larger families. But the £13 box is perfect for a family of 4. Andy was very flexible when I asked for no potatoes and onions. I would love them to offer some fruit options as I’m sure they’d do just as well as the vegetable boxes.

veg in clover deliveryIt’s wonderful that Veg in Clover deliver mainly by push bike which is very eco-friendly. With 3 delivery men they cover a large area of Oxford including – East Oxford, Abingdon Road, Jericho and Park Town. Van deliveries stretch outside the ring road to Wheatley and Thame.

Payment is very flexible and they accept cheque, cash, transfer or standing order and is usually paid weekly or monthly.

I totally recommend you try Veg in Clover

To receive a box telephone Andy: 01865 427359 Mobile: 07931 109623 Email: veginclover@hotmail.com and for more info their website is http://www.veginclover.co.uk/