When you sign up you choose what size bag you’d like to order and start paying by monthly direct debit. Payment for the bags is taken monthly in advance at the beginning of each month (note most monthly payments will be for 4 bags but some months have 5 weeks, so the payment amount can vary). When you first sign up we take payment for bags until the end of the first month. Holidays registered correctly (see 'what happens when I am on holiday' below) are credited to your Lee Greens account and reflected in the next month's payment.
Organic vegetables are ordered fresh from farmers every week. Most veg is harvested early in the week, delivered to us on Wednesday or Thursday. Our team of volunteers pack the bags during our Thursday pack morning. All bags are then distributed to all our pick-up points in the Lewisham and Greenwich area on Thursday afternoon where you can collect them at a time that suits you. Bags are cleared away and disposed of after the cut off day and times shown in our pick up points page - this is for health and safety reasons at our pick up points. We advise that you collect your veg as soon as possible after Thursday delivery for maximum freshness. See our How it works page for more details.
All our produce is organic (see below), and we pay a fair price to local farmers. We operate on a pick-up basis so there are minimal delivery costs. Our prices are comparable to other veg box schemes and provide good value compared with supermarket organic produce. Details of our prices can be found here.
Bags will contain a selection of seasonal produce. For example, a small bag might contain potatoes, carrots, onions, broccoli, squash and spinach. See the veg bags page for what's in this week's bags.
Bags are available at different sizes but in order to keep our prices low we cannot offer bespoke bags. You may be able to swap one item for another at our larger pick-up points where a "swap box" will be available and there is suplus veg that week.
In order to reduce food miles (protecting the environment), keep costs down and support local businesses the scheme will deliver bags to a number of designated pick-up points each week. These might be pubs, cafes, local shops, schools etc. The bags are delivered on Thursday afternoons and you can collect your bag at a time that suits you according to the opening hours of the establishment or 24 hours a day in some cases. If you are interested in serving as a pick-up point please contact us.
If you are on holiday or cannot pick up your bag, you can ask a friend to pick it up on your behalf. Log in and select holiday by Thursday 10am the week before the Thursday delivery and we'll cancel your bag. If you let us know by this time you will not pay for the bag.
You can do this by going to the homepage, click on 'log in'. Use the email you signed up with and password. Select 'forgotten password' if needed.
If you forget to register you holiday in time we can donate it to the AFRIL charity for refugees in Lewisham. Email us any time up until Wednesday (the day before delivery) and we'll donate it for you. Why not donate a bag from time to time rather than take it as holiday?
You can sign up and complete the direct debit online. Provided you complete the direct debit instruction by Thursday 10am, you will get your first bag of veg the following Thursday. There is no lengthy contract period but when you sign up you commit to a minimum of 1 month. After that, if you wish to stop we request that you finish at the end of month paid up to, ideally 1 month's notice. You can pause or cancel your subscription online by logging in to your account.
We are hoping to start fruit bags in the future. For now we occationally add a UK seasonal organic fruit into the bag, to add some variety and when UK veg stocks are low. We also add herbs and pulses from time to time in the larger bags.
Most of our veg will be grown by our farmers who are located in Kent, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgshire and Sussex. At certain times of year we will need to supplement local produce with items from other UK farms and occasionally from near Europe. We are committed to supplying veg that is as local as possible but we also want to give our customers an interesting variety. We work hard to get the right balance at a good price. We never use air freight and our use of pick up points rather than delivery to homes keeps our carbon footprint down.
The veg we supply comes from farmers who farm using organic principles - they work with nature, protecting the health of the soil and ecosystems of which they are a part. However, not all are registered with an organic certification body such as the Soil Association. Some farms are registered as Biodynamic. See the "Our Farmers" page for further details for each farm.
One of aims of the scheme is to support small farmers by giving them a regular income so they can plan and scale their planting and operations. This requires a certain amount of commitment from Lee Greens and our customers and therefore we can only offer weekly bags.
Login using your username and password to access your account page. Click edit a current order in the top right. You will not be able to change an order for a week that is already in progress i.e. after Thursday 10am for the following Thursday.
The carrier bags we use are made from recycled plastic and we ask that our customers return them so they can be reused as often as possible. We use plastic bags because they are robust enough to hold the weight of the veg, waterproof and durable for customers to carry home in all weathers.
Our suppliers sometimes use polythene bags for certain leafy greens. We are encouraging them to minimise using them and to use biodegradegable bags or other non-plastic materials to keep them veg fresh. Again we ask for them all to be returned for reuse.
Plastic has the ability to preserve most veg such as leaves, maintaining freshness for the period from packing until pick up. So are working closely with our suppliers to source useable, practical and enviromentally sound alternatives to the current bags.
We ask our customers to either decant their veg into their own bag at the pick up point and leave our bag (and tag also) or return our bag the following week so we can re-use it.
For further information about the general use of plastic related to schemes like ours and the environment issues involved see what Growing Communities has said here.