The last month or so I've been exploring a couple of produce deliveries. I adore fruits and vegetables, but I'm occasionally too lazy to go to the grocery store. I have no issues getting up at 7 a.m. for yoga, but for some reason, mundane errands like grocery shopping or getting a flu shot escape me entirely.
There's definitely a premium when it comes to ordering anything in -- nothing will ever be as cheap as corporate-sponsored, genetically modified and economically optimized produce that you go and get from No Frills, so let go of the idea that this is saving you money on a unit-by-unit basis. Where this does provide me a little economic benefit though, is that I'm more motivated to cook and I'm less inclined to spend $30/day on a takeout burrito and pizza delivery.
A few things that affected my decision-making:
- The produce has to local, or as much as it can be. I'm all for supporting your local economy, and because I can't get out to the farmer's market every weekend, this is a great way to access Ontario farmers.
- It should be organic. If I'm going to do this in the name of health, I might as well spend the extra money and ensure that I'm not eating pesticides. That and I'd rather support a small organic farmer than a corporate giant.
- No commitments -- not interested in binding myself to several months of produce. Players gotta play.
Fresh City Farms
This is a local urban farm just north of Toronto that grows all of their own food. The idea of urban farming is insanely cool to me -- the fact that it's so sustainable and such a positive effort is super attractive. Their 2-3 person fruit and vegetable bags cost $28, and they charge a $3 delivery fee. If you live close to one of their several pick-up spots, you can even skip delivery! The image on the right shows how much produce you get. I find that I have to be super committed to finishing all of the food -- it's definitely enough to last me the whole week, with a little extra to feed my freezer. What's great about this service is that in addition to letting you know what you're receiving each week, you have a list of "Never Sends." Since my apple-picking adventure, I've asked them not to send apples EVER, so they replace them with something else (I chose oranges).
Good Food Box
This box is developed by FoodShare Toronto, a non-profit organization dedicated to encourage fruit and vegetable consumption in Toronto families. They don't offer delivery, but they have a number of volunteer pick-up locations across the city. You don't know what your'e getting until you receive, but this has actually opened my eyes up to a few vegetables that I would have never purchased. Case in point: I'm now obsessed with acorn squash. They have several versions of the box, including non-organic options, but the image on the left shows the produce you receive in a $24 Small Organic box. You'll need to bring your own reusable bag to bring your groceries home though, so don't forget that!
So far, I'm really enjoying receiving groceries on a weekly basis -- you know how you were really excited to get mail as a kid (I assume no one reading this received bills as a nine year-old)? This is kind of like that. Except you get to eat your mail.