Farm fresh, organic, local home delivered produce (week 1)

So, earlier this week, my “tiny” box of produce was delivered to my front door. Fresh from local farms, organic or natural (aka awaiting organic certification but following pesticide and chemical free practices and sans the use of GMO seeds), it was left in a shady spot by my front door in a white cardboard box with an ice pack in it.When I opened it the ice pack was still cool and still a bit firm and despite having been in the sun for at least 2 hours, the collard greens were fresh and not wilted.

Here is what I was in the box this week : Veggies from delivered organic loacl produce

  • A gorgeous, healthy purple-red cabbage,
  • 2 Silver Queen corn
  • 3/4 lb of yellow wax beans
  • A couple of red beets
  • A bunch of collard greens
  • Almost 1 lbs red creamer potatoes
  • 3 patty pan squash (they are adorable looking!)
  • 2 Garnett yams
  • 3 white peaches
  • 2 oranges

We have already had the wax beans oven roasted (click for recipe), the potatoes oven roasted, the squash oven roasted and the collard greens sautéed with garlic and lemon juice. The peaches are much too firm for my liking (same thing I disliked about having produce delivered a couple of years ago) but the oranges will be had this week. I will oven roast the yam and beets, cook the cabbage Indian style and steam the corn for the kids for lunch tomorrow. One box of produce, finished in a few days. Will post in the coming weeks as the vegetables get delivered.

What I like: wax paper wrapping on the greens, fresh, local groceries delivered to my doorstep, the chance to try something I might not otherwise find or pick up at the grocers

What I don’t like – plastic bags wrapping some of the food, too firm fruits (jury is on hold until I see how quickly this ripens this week).

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Home Delivered Produce from a local co-op

So, a couple of years ago, I tried and blogged about a local co-op from which I had produce home delivered. I stopped it after a couple of weeks because I wasn’t excited by the unripe nature of the food and that I didn’t have the patience to wait for it to ripen. I also said I’d start it up again in the summer when I have a better chance of the fruit ripening faster.

To that end, I am now subscribed to the co-op and will get my first box of “tiny” produce early next week. Currently, “Nature’s Garden Delivered” has their co-ops in two states only – Arizona and Georgia. If you are in one of these states, you can try them; else, look for another in your area. Do you want to give it a try? Here they are at http://www.naturesgardendelivered.com – go ahead and look through it – account set-up is fairly easy – the most time-consuming part is determining exactly which variety of their various fruits / veggies you want or don’t want.

There is no commitment and you can cancel at any time should it not work for you. So, give it a whirl and post a comment on what you think!

Web Deals – multiple

I was at a dinner party last evening and the topic turned to blogs. I brought up My Fav Eats as a place I have been using for a few weeks and how it has worked out. I thought I’d now share a couple of other sites I use and have been using, more or less this year.

Groupon sends you daily e-mails with their Deal of the Day. You register and choose your city (you are not restricted to deals in your city alone…once you have an account, you can choose other cities and get the deal if it works for you) and you’ll get information about deals in your area. On my first day, I snagged a 50% off annual membership to a local Museum and more than made up for the money I spent in one single visit.

Half Off Depot works on the same principle as Groupon and I have been using that for a while as well.

Restaurants dot com allows you to purchase certificates good for dining at places you choose – typically, the certificates have no expiry, you can choose any city and restaurant you like, and there are an umpteen number of choices. Why pay full price at an eatery when you can snag it for a lot less. Their list of restaurants is extremely large and the deals are really good. I have purchased a $10 certificate for $0.80; however, they do have a small catch – when you buy a $10 certificate, you have to buy at least $20 worth of food. However, in the end, you pay $10.80 for $20 worth of food, so it is almost a 50% off deal. You can buy certificates in various denominations and as long as you go out with another person (or eat a tremendously large amount of food), you’re in clover!

In addition, here is a site that I heard about last night but have yet to use:
Living Social has locations across Northern America and the UK

Do you know of any others? Do add them in your comments on this blog!

Disclaimer: I do not get a kickback from any of these sites for mentioning them in my blog, and what I get is what you’d get if you decided to try these web deals.

Update on Home Delivered Produce

We’ve tried the organic produce for two weeks now. There are many pluses (fresh, organic produce delivered right to your door), but for us we have found that in two weeks, we’re not using the veggies as quickly as we’d like. Somehow, I am loath to incorporate some veggies when I am not in the mood to cook them, but there they are, wilting away as I look reproachfully at them.

We also find that the fruits are much too unripe for us – it took about a week for 4 bananas to ripen, (which doesn’t work in our house as we consume 3-4 a day and I dislike having old and new bananas to keep track of) and the D’Angou pears weren’t ripe enough even after 7-8 days. The Bosc pears have been great as have the Imperial apples, the snap beans have been wonderful both weeks and the onion, yams and potato batches have all been good. Somehow, the large Haas avocados don’t seem to work for us – the taste is not as intense as the smaller variety, and the flesh is bland and watery; ergo, the guacamole doesn’t taste as great. We’ve decided to shelve the delivery of the produce for fall and winter and resume in the summer when we expect the fruits will ripen faster even they come in just as unripe.

Until then, adieu to the home delivery of produce and back to choosing the variety and ripeness of my choice!

Home Delivered Produce

Last month I signed up for a service that home delivers natural, organic and often local produce. After a few technical glitches, I had my first box of vegetables and fruits delivered at my doorstep earlier in the week. When you sign up, you choose the size of the box (they have a sample of contents for each box size along with the cost online).

A few days before your produce is due, you get an e-mail with details of what the contents of your delivery that week will be. You can then check and remove or add items if you’d like to the box. Items deleted are substituted with another to keep the price the same and added items are charged at the rate detailed on their site. You also get to customise your likes and dislikes from the fruits and vegetables that are delivered so on days that an article you thoroughly dislike (rutabaga anyone??) is on the list, they automatically substitute for it. The produce is left on your doorstep in a large plastic sac (with a cold pack for warm days) and all of this is enclosed in a sealed carton.

This week, my “tiny” box contained 4 bananas, 2 large avocados, 3 slicing tomatoes, 2 potatoes, 2 sweet potatoes, 3/4 lb green beans (so fresh that my kids have been crunching on them raw as if they were pretzels), 3 pears, 3 apples, 3 oranges and 1 large red onion. A tiny box is meant for a family of one or two people and a good starter size for skeptics.

The nice part of this is that you are not obliged to stick with the service, can cancel or change the size of the box any day before delivery, take a vacation break, unlike a co-op you get home-delivery, and you know exactly what you are getting. If they are not in your neighborhood and you can band together 4 people who are willing to collect it from your doorstep, then the company will consider delivery to your location.

The quality of all the produce this week has been amazingly good. By quality, I mean the taste, though it hasn’t been unattractive to the eye either. As one of my friends who swung by to take a look at it said, “Wow! It looks really good and not spotty like most organic produce”. As for price, I think $29 for the lot I purchased was more than comparable with what I’d find at my neighborhood grocers and it was conveniently home-delivered to boot.

I’ve signed up for a few months and if things go well, will extend my signup. More in the coming months on this topic especially if things sour on the deal!

How to eat something for free every weekday the Atlanta suburbs

I have been a subscriber to this website where, for the cost of nothing more than a free subscription, you can get a deal a day at a restaurant local to the Alpharetta area. Most of the times, the deal is coupon for a free appetiser, entrée, side or dessert with no catch *except* only one coupon is allowed per table and no other purchase is necessary. Sometimes, it is along the lines of a BOGO deal. The deal is available for one day, a daily e-mail is sent to your subscribed account and when you click on “Choose the deal” you’ll get an e-mail with the coupon code that you can save on your mobile or print. To date, all deals I have chosen to use have had coupons with a validity of 30 days, have had no other purchase required and have been for a free item.

This seems to be a fairly new deal-a-day site, and some of the local eateries have included “My Friend’s Place Deli”, “5 Seasons Brewing”, “Papouli’s Mediterranean Cafe”, “Cafe Efendi” and “z Pizza”. All in all, a great bargain at a price you can’t beat.

The link to place? http://www.myfaveats.com/ Do you have one where you live?

If you do subscribe to this, do post a comment to let me know you did…I’d love to hear about it.
Disclaimer: I get nothing out of this post – this is just a PSA!

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