“Earthy” is how you might describe the vegetables from Plantage. It’s no surprise: the organic produce from this co-op comes straight from the soil to a delivery point near you. While supermarket greens, tubers and fruits always look clean and perfect, they’re not always the freshest. By contrast, Plantage’s seasonal veggies are grown on land just an hour from Berlin before being harvested and packed in veg boxes. I tried it for six weeks, and was thrilled to receive several varieties of potatoes, pointed cabbage, kale, purslane, beetroot (red, striped and yellow), radishes and, on occasion, apples and pears. Their earthy appearance translates into flavor: these greens taste like greens should. Everything is grown organically without animal fertilizers before being sent to stations in Berlin for pickup on Wednesdays and Thursdays (I collect mine at Pomeranze cafe in Neukölln).
The boxes contain enough veg for a three-person household (though if you get one for yourself you’ll at least be eating a lot of vegetables!) The other bonus is you’ll have a more varied diet, with the likes of pointed cabbage which might not otherwise make it onto the dinner table. In addition to all the individual benefits, the scheme lets you be part of something bigger: after a six-week test phase you can sign up for a year as a member of the collective. The more households join, the wider and cheaper the selection of produce becomes. You can even visit the farm yourself and help harvest the crops if you like (you can check out the field here).
Text: Nina Trippel / Photos: Kateryna Firsova & Plantage