Finding a fresh produce delivery service that works for you is the most genius idea right now — as in, one that specializes in just fruits or veggies or both. If you’re in an area where you can still safely visit your local supermarket, they may not have the best options. Or, for those of us leaning harder on delivery…well, same.
(Aside from the fact that I have to stay up past midnight in the first place to maybe access a grocery delivery slot through my app of choice.)
So our team put our heads together and thought it would be helpful to share some fresh produce delivery options that are worthwhile to consider right now.
I mean, as much as those frozen berries and bananas are fabulous in smoothies, there’s nothing quite like biting into a sweet, crunchy, fresh apple these days or getting out some pent-up energy by tasking your kids with pounding out homemade mashed potatoes.
-Be sure to double check any services and be sure they’re all available and still delivering. Everyone is still figuring things out and services may be subject to change.
-Remember to tip delivery folks extra extra well right now.
-Be patient! Things arrive late these days and that’s just how it is, and so we have to get used to it. And this is coming from a New Yorker. So if I can do it, so can you.
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Try: A dedicated produce delivery service
My friend Dara highly recommends Farmbox Direct for fresh produce delivery, and has been impressed with the quality of her boxes. You can choose from “organic” and “natural” (i.e. regular non-organic) produce boxes in three different sizes. You can also choose to receive either fruits, vegetables, or a combo box of both.
Considering it arrives once monthly, I’d imagine most families will need the medium to large box. And it may not give you everything you need for the whole month, but you will get some great stuff. For example, you might get 8 apples in the large fruit-only box — that gets us through less than a week in our home these days!
Bonus: I like that you have the ability to change up 5 of the selections each month, say someone has a kiwi allergy in your home, or you just don’t like kale. 2020 foodie blasphemy, I know
I am also looking into Fruit Guys which is dedicated to fruit only, all sourced from small farms. You can get a single delivery, or choose weekly deliveries, every-other-week, or every-four weeks. You can choose from 8 different kinds of fruit box, in 3 different sizes that offer between 16 and 50 servings of fruit.
And hey, they’re also offering 25% off right now through end of April, 2020 so it’s worth looking into!
Other services to consider: Farm Fresh to You, Raw Generation, and From the Farmer.
Try: A CSA Share with Delivery
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, that supports a local farm or a group of them, which is always a great thing to do. You’re essentially prepaying for a “share” of the produce each week, and also opting in for a small amount of risk — that if the farm doesn’t harvest a lot in a particular season, you continue to support them, but that in part is what makes it a community effort that benefits everyone the long run.
You can find a local CSA with recommendations from friends, a quick Google search, or find a local CSA with fresh produce that delivers by using the search tool at localharvest.org
When researching the one that’s right for you, you’ll want to look into whether you get a choice of items or can exchange for others; whether you can add on items like bread, cheese, eggs, or tofu for an additional price (fresh eggs are a nice bonus!); and of course determine what size “share” you’ll need.
Also make sure that they are delivering right now; CSAs typically send you to a destination like a church or a meeting hall that you’d visit to grab your share each week.
For example, Flocktown Farms (shown here) is a a well-reputed CSA in NJ and NY with delivery, but they currently have a waitlist. Still, the site offers a lot of great info if you want to generally see how a CSA delivery work, even if you’re not in the area.
Try: “Ugly” Produce Delivery Services
We’re all fans of so-called ugly produce delivery services which cut back on food waste and save you money, by sending you “imperfect” but totally, 100% edible fruits and veggies.
Ever seen a bell pepper shaped more like a banana? Or a potato the size of 3 potatoes? Stores and farms can’t easily sell those, so these services do — which means you’re helping farms with more income, too.
We previously wrote about companies like Misfits Market, Hungry Harvest, and Imperfect Produce, describing how they work and what you can expect. For example, Misfits Market (shown here) sells a box of 18-22 lbs of mixed organic produce for $35, that might ordinarily be around $65 at a store. Kristen even shared an unboxing video, so you can see just what she got in her own box — including “perfect avocados with ‘ridges’ in the skin.” I’ll take ridge-y avocados for less, any day!
Try: Food Gift Basket Companies or Fruit-of-the-Month Clubs
Hey, why not! A single fruit basket may not be affordable as a cardboard box full of produce from local farm stand — in part, you’re paying for the beautifully wrapped gift crate or basket — but many offer fruit and/or veggie of the month clubs which are reliable, and they’re probably well-stocked. If you just need one huge delivery of apples, or want something more regular, there are quite a few to check out.
Harry & David is always a good bet, and they have more fresh produce delivery options than you might expect. There are 8 different fruit of the month clubs (with additional discounts if you use the code FRUIT and/or sign up for emails) and even a veggie of the month club.
Shari’s Berries (now part of Harry & David) is another company we’ve had good experiences with, and they offer 10 different fresh fruit baskets. Again, you won’t get farmstead prices but you’re likely to get some really nice fresh fruit when you need it.
The Fruit Company offers 3-12 month subscriptions of HarvestClub Organic monthly fruit boxes in addition to three other monthly fruit boxes, like the HarvestClub Medley, shown above. This is probably. the most affordable option, because it’s less “gifty” — but they’re all worth a look to see what suits your needs.
Try: Contacting Local Farms or Your Favorite Greenmarket Farm Stands
Farmers definitely need help right now!
In NYC where I live, the Greenmarkets are still open, but GROW NYC (the folks behind 50 Greenmarkets here including the big Union Square Greenmarket) also put together a spreadsheet of a growing list of 120+ farms and small vendors with info on whether they deliver, offer curbside pickup to dedicated locations, or allow you to pick up at the farm directly. You can also order in advance through Fellow Farmer and pick up at the stand.
Definitely investigate the organization behind your own local farmers’ markets and see if their website provides similar information. You can also reach out to your favorite local farm directly, and see if they have any fresh produce available for delivery or pick-up or what they may be offering right now.
Time Out/NY also has a helpful article that describes how a farm like Brooklyn Grange is willing to create a CSA for you if you can get 10 families in your building to join. Perhaps you can do the same for your block, if you’re in a more rural area.
Try: Local restaurants
You know we’re completely into supporting our local restaurants with takeout and delivery. While yes, you can order a pizza or a few pints of ice cream, it’s also possible that your favorite place is willing to provide you with a fresh produce delivery, and they may even have some items that your local market doesn’t. Give them a call and see.
My tip: I prefer to call restaurants directly these days, even for takeout and delivery, so they don’t have to pay a surcharge to a delivery app. Plus it’s just nice to connect with your neighborhood businesses, and see how they’re doing these days. The produce delivery you score may even be second best to that.
Images: Gabriel Gurrola, Dane Deaner, Jeff Siepman via Unsplash