Fresh organic food in winter

It’s been about a year now that I’ve belonged to an organic food delivery service. I took a break from it for a few months, and we’re back getting our orders twice monthly (or rather, bi-weekly, which isn’t quite the same thing), and I have to say I’m very glad.

foodbanner

Although I don’t shop with organics specifically in mind, if there is a small price difference between an organic item vs a ‘traditional’ item, I tend to reach for the organic one. I know, partly from my own research, and partly from educational dialogue with my Naturopath doctor, that not all items we consume must necessarily be organic. For example, squashes don’t need to be certified organic. In the case of squash, I go for local (grown nearby, in my own backyard, or at least in my province) rather than, say, imported from Argentina. (Why do we need to import squash from there? We have plenty of squash in Canada). Same with garlic, although non-pesticide garlic is extremely hard to find in Ontario in winter. Garlic grows like weeds….don’t need spraying, and you can eat the shoots that come up and curl.

Garlic_scape

Yet for some reason, the bulk of Ontario garlic is imported from China. Didn’t China recently make the news about their air pollution problem? So why are we eating Chinese garlic? I grow garlic in my backyard and if I don’t keep on top of it, the entire garden would be infested with garlic. That’s how easy garlic can be grown in temperate climates like ours. (freezing cold winters, sizzling hot summers, and everything in between).

There’s another reason why I chose to get a food delivery service: I’m sick and tired of grocery shopping.

There. I said it.

So anyway, I get this box delivered every other Tuesday, and it looks something like this:

organicsbox2

I get the standard, basic box, which means they select what I get. They send a lovely little email, twice before my delivery date, to remind me that I can modify and add items to it (for additional pay). But mostly, for the $37 I spend every other Tuesday, I have been happy with the produce I get. The picture above was a delivery sometime in January I think, but my last two deliveries have had a lot of greens in it (which is what we’re out of constantly), as well as fruit. This is a big fruit eating family, so that’s been helpful. (Organic fruit in February is not cheap so I do tend to purchase my own bulk apples and other fruit that are not organic, and just wash them really well.)

In the past few times, I’ve gotten something interesting that had met thinking of doing my own sprouts. One item was called Organic Live Kale and it was basically kale grown as sprouts.

livekalesprouts2livekalesprouts1

You just snip them into your salads, on top of sandwiches, as eatable garnishes….

The live container I got last Tuesday was pea shoots. The idea is ingenious and you can grow them yourself. All you need is a flat container with sides, some sterile earth (or possible even just cotton), seeds, and water.

I really like the box delivery. The service I use is called Front Door Organics, but there are many different ones, and I recommend it for people who love their fresh food. Shopping isn’t eliminated, I still need endless other stuff, constantly, it seems, but it certainly has helped keep us fed well over the dull winter months. And the surprises like the live trays of sprouts has been a great addition to our dinner table.

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6 thoughts on “Fresh organic food in winter

  1. We get all our dairy and bread delivered direct from the farmers. We get fruit and veg delivered weekly via our co-op.

    I DESPISE shopping. Nuff said!!!!

  2. How nice for you to have access to the farm fresh stuff. My box helps as they get the stuff directly from the farms in the area, saving me the drive from the city, plus they label what is local and what came from another province. For example, when peach season hit in late summer last year, we received British Colombia peaches but they attached a note saying that because of the wacky spring weather our province Ontario had experienced, there was a very small amount of organically grown peaches available, hence they looked elsewhere to provide peaches for their customers. One could argue that BC is still Canada, so local in a sense, even though certain north-eastern States like New York or places on the coast in New England are physically closer to Toronto than any place in British Colombia.

    Where do you get meat? We strive for properly raised meat (not factory meat) and succeed 80% of the time (although it may not necessarily be certified organic).

    Thanks for the comment Leah!

  3. Hay Claudette,

    We get our meat from the farmers too. It’s called Aussie Farmers Direct. It sounds like a similar setup to how yours works. They source directly from local suppliers where possible and venture further afield as required. It feels great knocking out the soul destroying market chains that are decimating the profits of hard working farmers. Our two major supermarket chains sell permeate-FILLED milk for $1 a litre and the farmers they buy from get 25 cents a litre. The pressure on these farmers to submit to such low prices is compounded by the fact we have a comparatively small population of 26 million people in our country. It’s a reasonably small market with a few dominating providers.

    Aussie Farmers Direct have knocked out the middle man somewhat. We pay more for our dairy products but they taste great AND it feels GOOD knowing the farmers are getting a fair slice.

    Check out their mission statement here: http://aussiefarmers.com.au/who_are_we/

    • leah, that is great! I will have to do some research for meat, since our butcher died it has been difficult to get reputable meat.

  4. I’ve often thought of doing this, but I’m always afraid of potential waste – that we’ll get things we can’t use, don’t like, or (most likely!) just don’t know what to do with. Do you find there are unusual things sometimes that you just don’t use? How often does that happen? How do you get your kids to eat things like kale sprouts?

  5. Lynn, with soup weather on, waste is minimal. And both DH and I are great veg eaters, and the kids have their phases…:)…. My mom comes once a week and is often happy to take part of a particularly large bunch of something off my hands, as is a neighbour…and then there is the freezer, too. Or the guinea pig…:)

    The amount in the box serves us well for 2 weeks but I do have to supplement.

    And one more thing, the company I use has a great system in place where you only pay for what you get, you are not locked in, and you have even an option to skip dates, or modify your box. Don’t like kale? Put it in the system and they make replacements.

    Some companies have trials too….hope this helps. I may start purchasing eggs from them soon, and maybe take advantage of their monthly specials.

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