A couple of years ago, I succumbed. I had a nice house, good job, decent car, and I therefore felt it high time for a box of mud-encrusted organic vegetables to be delivered to my door in a bio-degradable box on a regular basis.
A little shopping around revealed there was only really one contender for my supplier: Abel & Cole, the giant of the vegetable box world, pretty much had the South Manchester market sewn up. And indeed, this relationship has proved both amicable and rewarding, encouraging me to eat more vegetables and to become increasingly creative in the kitchen (you try making a satifying repast out of half a carrot and a kohlrabi.)
But then I was unfaithful. A chance meeting with the Riverford Organic folk at the Nantwich Food Festival has led to a clandestine supply of another, rival box; I blame the copious amount of alcohol samples proferred at this kind of shindig. So now I'm spending a vast sum every month on veg while I try to decide whether to stay with my first love, go with the new, or maintain a tricky relationship with them both.
The balance has started to swing towards Riverford though. Purely based on quality of produce and friendliness of service, you understand; nothing whatsoever to do with the lovely free evening they put on in Cheadle the other night, where much cheese was consumed and many lovely recipes demonstrated....