The period right at the end of Winter when most of the hardy vegetables have been consumed, and before any of the Spring vegetables are ready is often referred to as "The Hungry Gap". Before the days of international air-freight this used to be a time when fresh vegetables were scarce. If we were relying on my garden as a source of fresh veg right now we would definitely be hungry.
Fortunately Jane has won a prize which convincingly closes the Hungry Gap for us (Brilliant timing, Jane!).
The prize is a large box of fresh vegetables every week for three months, delivered by Abel and Cole.
We are on our third week now and have been really impressed with the arrangement. Abel and Cole have been very efficient with their administration; their delivery drivers are prompt and courteous; and above all else the vegetables are excellent. The box always includes the three staples of potatoes, onions and carrots, but the other contents very according to what is in season and/or what is available (not all the items are locally-grown). The contents of each week's box is published on the Abel and Cole website, and you then have 48 hours to indicate whether there is anything you don't like/want, and arrange a substitution. (They even send you an email to remind you to do this!) You can also indicate any veg that you never want, and any veg that you particularly like (which is borne in mind when substituitions are made).
If you were to buy these boxes they would cost you £18.50 each, which includes delivery. Naturally there are several different sizes available, at different prices. The Large one is supposed to feed 4 people for a week, though I think if they were four people like Jane and me, then the box might perhaps be a little on the skimpy side. The quality and freshness of the vegetables though is first class.
There are some other aspects of Abel and Cole's service that we also like. For instance the smaller, more delicate veg are supplied in recycleable/compostable carboard containers (hooray, no plastic!), and the big cardboard box in which everything is delivered is easily folded up for storage until the following week, when the delivery driver will take it away for re-use.
Although it is unlikely, simply because we have a lot of home-grown veg, that this prize will convince us to purchase a regular weekly veg-box, I think we might be very tempted to have three months' supply every year to fill the Hungry Gap, and I have no hesitation in recommending the service to anyone who does not grow their own.
Thank You, Abel and Cole, for a really lovely prize!