With the popularity of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, the documentary Food, Inc. and books such as Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food and Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, eating fresh, seasonal, organic, and if possible, local food is on our minds as we choose where we shop and the kinds of foods we serve our families.
There are many ways to get good, fresh food onto your family’s table: a grocery store that focuses on organic and/or local produce, such as Whole Foods or The Fresh Market, your local farmer’s market, or by becoming a member of a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).
In the last seven years I’ve used a combination of all of the above, and found each option to have its own benefits and drawbacks:
- I love shopping at Whole Foods and The Fresh Market, but rarely do I have the discipline to merely run in and get the few fruits and veggies I need. Instead, I love to wander the aisles, and before I know it I’ve got a cart full of delicious things and a hefty bill to go along with them.
- I also love my local farmer’s market. You can’t beat the prices, and I love knowing that what I purchase there supports local farmers and traveled a short distance to get to my plate. Unfortunately, here in Indiana, the farmer’s market is only an option May-October.
- I’ve been a member of a CSA, and I loved that option, too. I got to know a local farm family quite well, and every other week I had a box of fresh fruit and veggies that had often just been harvested hours before. As much as I loved the CSA, it had its drawbacks as well. Along with the limited season, the initial cost can be difficult to overcome.
Most programs ask you to pay up front at the beginning of the season, which can average $350-$550. Many programs do not allow for any substitutions, so if kale is in season (and believe me, it seems like kale is always in season!), then you’ll have to figure out what to do with it so it doesn’t go to waste. In some families, this might not be an issue, but with a fairly picky family I was often surrounded in veggies no one wanted to eat.
I found myself wishing that I could have the best of all the options rolled into one easy, budget-friendly choice. I thought I was dreaming, but in reality I was just unaware of Farm Fresh Delivery. Farm Fresh Delivery is a community network of local farmers and artisans. A year-round delivery service, Farm Fresh provides the freshest, and when possible, local produce right to your front door.
Along with produce they also offer milk, cheese, bread, eggs, frozen meats, and a variety of other products, the majority of which are from local artisans. Need some good chocolate along with your asparagus? Covered. How about some fresh pasta to serve with your salad greens? Not a problem. Need gluten-free products? They’ve got that handled, too.
Farm Fresh delivery works as a subscription service. When you sign up, you are presented with a few options to choose from, depending on the size of your family and what kind of products you’re most interested in purchasing. Different varieties of fruit, vegetable and grocery bins are available, ranging in price from $35-$49. After choosing your bin you decide whether you want it delivered weekly or every other week.
Just a few clicks and you’re set to receive some really delicious food! Farm Fresh sends you an e-mail the Thursday before your delivery week as a reminder and to let you know what to expect in your bin. You have between Thursday and the following Monday at noon to make any changes to your order or to suspend a delivery for that week. The newsletter includes a few recipes and also informs you of any new products available and lists the weekly specials.
How does Farm Fresh make my life easier and save me money?
- By using Farm Fresh I eliminate a trip or two per month to specialty grocers. Not only do I save on gas, but I also save by avoiding impulse buys in the store. The prices of Farm Fresh’s offerings are competitive with local grocers, so you don’t have to worry about paying a significantly higher price for the convenience of home delivery.
- Farm Fresh offers many items that, while available locally, are not all available under one store’s roof. I love that I can get fresh pasta from one vendor, bread from another, and jams and honey from another, without having to drive all over the city.
- Farm Fresh operates year-round. When local, seasonal produce is available, Farm Fresh sources their produce from local farms. During the leaner winter months they stay seasonal and choose produce grown in the USA. The only produce they sell that isn’t grown in the States are fair trade bananas and pineapples.
- Farm Fresh doesn’t require any fees up front and your are free to cancel the service or suspend a delivery at any time. If the food budget is getting tight at the end of the month, or if we’re going to be away, I just suspend my delivery for that week.
- I find that I have nearly zero waste with the Farm Fresh offerings. With the traditional CSA, you get what you get. If you don’t like something you either give it away or throw it out. Farm Fresh allows you to make substitutions for every item in your bin and gives you plenty of options from which to choose.
My family gets the small fruit and vegetable bin delivered every other week. It includes an assortment of fruit and veggies, plus I’m required to add $10 worth of produce or groceries from the Farmer’s Market. This week my bin included a dozen farm fresh eggs, a loaf of bread from Scholars Inn Bakehouse, a grapefruit, 2 Fuji apples, 3 Valencia oranges, one pound each of green beans, asparagus and zucchini, one head of Green Leaf Lettuce, a 16 oz. package of strawberries, and a couple of Portobello mushrooms. That’s some good lookin’ stuff.
If you thought putting local, seasonal, organic food on your table was something only those with an enormous grocery budget could afford, think again. Check out Farm Fresh’s options and see for yourself.
At this time, Farm Fresh Delivery is only available in the Indianapolis and Cincinnati areas.