I talk about my Riverford veg box a lot, and my Mum has commented that there should be something similar in Christchurch (preferably set up by me, after I move back there – not happening!). Well guess what, there is!
My friends Hemon and Katie have tried two different box schemes:
1. Just Organic (warning: turn your sound down before clicking that link).
Unfortunately the designers of the site subscribe to the “more is more” school of web design and have put music, sound effects, and animated gifs on the site. Please get rid of these, Just Organic, and let the people browse in peace! Apart from that it looks very promising. I’m very jealous of all of the late summer produce on offer, like cherries and courgettes.
2. Stonecircle Farm
Stonecircle is a tiny little farm in Amberley, which is actually not far from where my parents live. Hemon says the service is really personal and lovely, and you certainly get that feel from the website. Under the “News” section, they have news from the farm (they have bees now!), a seasonal recipe and a list of what is currently available (zucchini flowers!) and the prices look very good. It would be nice if they had a news archive so you could read back a few months. Being a very small farm though, according to Hemon sometimes there’s not much available in the winter. They could certainly be worth a try if you live in one of their delivery areas.
Edited to add: Thanks Frank for mentioning the Canterbury Farmers’ Market at Riccarton House. I didn’t know it was running on Wednesdays now too. It’s such a lovely setting for a market – you can go for a walk in the bush or have tea and scones in Riccarton House after your shopping. There is also the Riccarton Market at Riccarton Racecourse. This is a massive market that has all sorts of stuff – junk, crafts, antiques, plants, food – but I’m fairly sure from memory that there is an organic vegetable stand or two. There’s also a stand selling slightly less common fruit, vegetable and herb plants. I bought a cape gooseberry (physalis) plant there once.
And if you fancy a drive (on the bus perhaps), the Lyttelton Farmers’ Market sounds lovely. I’ve never been there but I understand it has a very loyal following.