About us

Veg Out was formed by Debbie and Howard Smith in 1996, and we’ve been delivering our organic veg box to customers every week since then. Starting on a set of allotments we realised that a box scheme was a viable way of making a living, selling direct to customers locally all year round.

Organic veg box

With Howard’s background in farming and horticulture, and Debbie’s in gardening and floristry, we set up the business and registered land with the Soil Association. Our first ventures included cattle and sheep, but it was vegetable growing (using the valuable by-product from cows) that went on to be the organic veg box mainstay of the business. We rented land in Birdham, and in 2000 took on just over an acre of glasshouses. This we converted to organic status by 2002.

The following year we expanded our outdoor operation by renting 6 acres of land at Rookery Farm in Flansham, near Bognor Regis. This land was already organic as the land is used principally for free range organic egg production. We fit into the rotation following behind blocks of land where chickens have roamed. All the time we were renting, we yearned to have a holding of our own.

This became a reality when we purchased Three Oaks Nursery in Sidlesham, 2.5 acres of land with 0.3 acres of glasshouse. This became fully organic in 2008, and in 2011 we moved out of our house in Hunston and into a mobile home on site. Planning permission was granted in 2013 and in spring 2016 we finally moved into our new house 20 years after we started.


Our story


We have produced and delivered our own organic vegetables for over 20 years.

We currently deliver more than 150 bags and boxes weekly and supply local shops and box schemes with our produce.

What is organic?

Organically grown produce is grown without the use of synthetically produced fertilisers or pesticides and relies on cultural methods of maintaining and improving soil fertility. It requires much higher levels of skill and judgement to cope with plant diseases and pests and produces a product that is nutritionally superior, tastier and healthier to the consumer than the synthetically produced alternative.

Our ethos

We follow the teachings of thousands of years of organic husbandry. The beauty of organic horticulture is that all the science involved works. This includes applying manures or composts to the soil, growing green manures for reincorporating into the soil, rotating crops and plant families to deter pests and diseases. It flies in the face of modern practice which is towards monocultures, specialisation and reliance therefore on the chemists box of tricks. Modern agriculture and horticulture has had a catastrophic effect on our environment and wildlife and continues to do so. Organic production seeks to develop healthy soil which is the building block of all higher ecology be that soil bacteria ,soil fungi, invertebrates, birdlife, plant life and indeed the actual crop we are trying to grow.

What do we grow ourselves?

Just about everything with a few exceptions. We are blessed with good soil and high light levels, mildish winters and just about enough rain. This enables us to grow all year round. We always have some of our own produce in our boxes even in February. Where we have short falls we buy in from other registered organic producers. We also sell our excess produce locally.

At Three Oaks Nursery, we grow all our early season crops (March/April/May) such as early lettuce, salad leaf, fennel, mange tout, celery, parsley. These give way to French beans, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, cucumbers, basil etc. Outside we grow lettuce, squash, courgettes, runner beans, leeks, spring onions, celery, fennel, chards, as well as beetroot and lots of green manures.

Our winter crops are grown at Rookery Farm. Here we grow our potatoes, cabbages, purple sprouting, broccoli, cauliflower and an assortment of different kales, swedes, turnips and more beetroot and squash. Our soil doesn’t lend itself to growing good carrots and parsnips so we leave this to growers who are in a better position to grow these types of veg.