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Frequently asked questions

Got a question? Check here first!

We have put together a list of our most frequently asked questions, so take a look at the info below and hopefully you will find the answer you’re looking for!

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes!  VistaVeg Ltd is our registered company name and we’ve been growing veg and running a box scheme in the Eden Valley for over fifteen years.  Home Grown Here was a project led by us and funded by the National Lottery as part of Zero Carbon Cumbria. The project’s aim was to reduce food miles and food waste by increasing vegetable (and fruit) production in Cumbria by encouraging more farmers to grow field-scale vegetables.  We re-branded our box scheme Home Grown Here in 2022 to better reflect the influx of new growers as a result of the project.

It depends what you define as organic! At our VistaVeg sites in Crosby Ravensworth, although not accredited, we follow organic growing principles and ensure that we grow as sustainably as possible, by hand weeding our crops, using permanent beds in our fields & a no dig system in our polytunnels, not using any chemicals on crops and using green and animal manures. We encourage the farmers that grow with us to use minimal intervention methods and grow as sustainably as they can at field-scale – and we’re always encouraging our growers towards more responsible growing practices. We decided, early on in the life of VistaVeg, that we prioritised lower food miles and seasonal produce over certified organic veg that was imported or grown further away.

We deliver across a large area of the Eden Valley, including Penrith, Tebay and Brough and also Kendal and immediate surroundings. Click here to see a list of the current areas we’re able to deliver to – if you’re within five miles of one of these, and you’re willing to encourage some neighbours to sign up as well to make the trip feasible for us in terms of carbon and cost, then please get in touch!

If you’re further afield (Sedbergh, Windermere, Ulverston, Keswick, etc), don’t lose hope – we’d love to get to the point where we can deliver to your areas too! Keep an ear and eye out to hear about further expansions of the veg box scheme.

Every week (or fortnight, depending on what you choose when you sign up), we deliver a lovely jute bag of seasonal, locally grown veg right to your door. The veg in each veg bag is chosen by us according on what’s available and ready to harvest.  It always includes potatoes, carrots and onions plus five other seasonal veg that we’re growing at the time. A winter veg bag generally includes leeks, root veg & some greens; a summer veg bag will include salad leaves, tomatoes, courgettes, peas & beans although this changes from week to week. A veg bag usually feeds between two and five people, depending on how much veg you eat!

You’ll receive an email each Monday telling you what’s coming up in the bag that week. You then have until 9am on Tuesday morning to make any changes or additions by logging in to your online Home Grown Here account to swap or buy extra items.

Whether you make any changes or not – please remember to leave your empty veg bag out for us to collect!

When you sign up and activate your account, you’ll see a section for “exceptions” – this is for veg that you never want to receive. If you have an allergy, or you really don’t like something, or perhaps you’re growing it yourself, choose it in this section and we’ll never send it to you. Every time that vegetable is in your bag, you can either choose to log in and swap it for a double of something else (e.g. if you don’t want carrots, you can choose to have double onions instead), or you can leave it up to us to give you a “Surprise Me!” – a different seasonal veg that’s not in the bag.  A veg box scheme is an opportunity to try veg that you might not ordinarily buy, so we’d encourage you to not swap but to broaden your culinary horizons and try something new!

If you see that there’s a vegetable coming up in your bag that you don’t like, already have too much of, or simply can’t stand another week of – don’t worry! You can easily log into your account via the website and tweak your veg bag to remove that vegetable and choose to swap it for a double of something else, or a Surprise Me instead. But please do remember that we’re not a supermarket, and that we crop plan carefully to have sufficient for all our customers, and to avoid waste! If you’re unsure about something, please try it before you choose to swap it.

Once you log into your account to view your veg bag, you’ll see a SHOP tab at the top of the page – check here to see what extra seasonal bits we’re selling! We supply eggs year-round from Will Patterson’s farm at Coupland Beck near Appleby as well as apple juice throughout the year, either from our own orchard or another Cumbrian producer. During the summer months, we’ll have everything from salad bags and cucumbers to strawberries and herbs. You can also buy extra portions of staples (onions, carrots and potatoes) here, veg bag vouchers, and even a whole extra veg bag in case you’re entertaining a crowd!

Unfortunately, the answer tends to be no, although do ask us.  We crop plan based on growing veg for a known number of customers and that those customers will receive a veg bag at the frequency they signed up for (i.e. weekly or fortnightly). We understand that you may need to cancel the odd bag, but we really encourage all our customers to sign up intending to receive a veg bag every week or fortnight.

We’re unable to offer different sizes of bag due to the way the operation runs and how we portion our veg. However, if you’re struggling with eating a whole bag of veg each week, drop us a line and we can easily switch you to fortnightly delivery. Or why not try sharing with a friend or neighbour?

When you log into your account via the website, you’ll see Future Deliveries in the left-hand menu.  If you go to this page, a list of future dates will appear with the option to either cancel or donate your veg bag on this date. Donating your bag means that we make it available to Upper Eden Foodbank instead.  We’ll charge you for it but will deliver fresh veg to someone who really needs it.

Whether you choose to cancel or donate, it really helps us if you do this as far in advance as possible! We often receive cancellations on the Monday after we’ve published the veg bag email for the week, and it can affect our crop picking quantities quite a lot.  We are always trying to minimise waste so, if you do have to cancel or donate your bag, please do it before you get a reminder!

We collect payment by direct debit but we don’t take payment ahead of you receiving any deliveries.  We issue an invoice at the end of each month for everything that you’ve received, including any extras or veg bags you’ve donated, throughout that month.  On signing up to the box scheme we will send you a direct debit mandate to complete which will allow us to collect the correct amount of money each month.  If you haven’t received anything then we won’t collect a payment.  We use GoCardless for this service and the payment is collected mid-way through the following month. GoCardess (company registration number 07495895) is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Services Regulation 2017, registration number 597190, for the provision of payment services. 

If your bank account details change you will need to send us a message, and we will send a new direct debit form to complete. If you prefer you can also pay by bank transfer once you have received the invoice.

As well as the veg box scheme, we also sell our veg at Orton Farmers Market on the 2nd Saturday of the month, and Kendal Farmers Market on the last Friday of the month – but only between the months of June and December! Earlier in the year we need to focus on getting seeds sown and crop in the ground, and we rarely have any excess veg.  Keep an eye out for us as well at events like the Forty Farms Fair at Rheged Centre!

We supply to several pubs, including the White Horse in King’s Meaburn and the Butcher’s Arms in Crosby Ravensworth; independent greengrocers, including Stephensons of Appleby and Eden Valley Produce in Kirkby Stephen; and farm shops, including Low Sizergh Barn, Owen’s Farm Shop and Tebay Services Farm Shops; and the Food Hall at Cranstons (Penrith) and Pioneer (Carlisle). We also supply local schools and community events.

We do use plastic bags; we don’t like doing it and we try to minimize their use as much possible.  Green leafy veg such as salad and spinach will wilt too quickly unless it is sealed in a bag.  We are constantly on the lookout for a better way of doing things and we have tried compostable plastic bags, but we found that they didn’t perform very well and didn’t keep the contents fresh for very long.  Until we find a better solution we will keep using them – however please take them to your local soft plastics recycling centre to recycle rather than throwing them away as waste.

We’ll be sorry to see you go! Please drop us an email giving us as much notice as possible and we’ll end your subscription to the box scheme. You’ll need to return all our empty veg bags so we’ll deliver your final veg bag in a carrier bag. You’ll receive one final invoice at the end of the month, so please keep your direct debit in place until the end of the following month so we can collect that final payment.

Yes please! If you’re leaving the box scheme but still have our bags, we’ll make a special trip to come and collect them from you (yes, we value our bags that much!) so please remember to leave them out!

A co-op is a business or organisation that’s owned and controlled by its members, to meet their shared needs. VistaVeg Ltd is a grower’s co-operative in which the growers, packers, delivery drivers, admin staff, etc all have a say in how the co-op is run.  Co-ops focus not solely on making a profit, but how they make it and what they do with it to bring value to their members and community.  Whilst VistaVeg Ltd is profit-making, we are not profit-taking, and use our income to improve our produce and service for our customers and members.

Our Delivery Areas

Eden Valley Area:

Crosby Ravensworth, Mauld’s Meaburn, King’s Meaburn, Morland, Cliburn, Reagill, Sleagill

Temple Sowerby, Culgaith, Langwathby, Little Salkeld, Skirwith, Blencarn

Milburn, Knock, Dufton, Long Marton, Kirkby Thore, Bolton

Appleby, Murton, Hilton, Sandford, Warcop, Heights, Burrells

Great Asby, Little Asby, Crosby Garrett, Soulby, Great Musgrave, Little Musgrave

Brough, North Stainmore, Brough Sowerby, Kaber, Winton

Kirkby Stephen, Nateby, Mallerstang, Ravenstonedale, Newbiggin-on-Lune

Tebay, Gaisgill, Raisbeck, Orton, Greenholme, Roundthwaite

Shap, Bampton, Helton, Askham, Tirril

Pooley Bridge, Dacre, Stainton, Penruddock, Troutbeck, Greystoke

Penrith, Carleton, Eamont Bridge, Clifton, Melkinthorpe

South Lakes Area:

Grayrigg, Mealbank, Skelsmergh, Garth Row, Burneside, Bowston, Staveley

Kendal, Natland, Oxenholme, Endmoor, Gatebeck

Old Hutton, Millholme, New Hutton, Levens, Sedgwick, Preston Patrick 

Coming soon:

Newton Reigny, Johnby, Ellonby, Skelton, Catterlen

Plumpton, Lazonby, Kirkoswald, Great Salkeld, Edenhall