After moving from California to Florida earlier this year, my family has struggled to find really good organic produce at our local grocery stores. In Los Angeles we were spoiled with so many options, from the local Whole Foods to Trader Joe’s to even a respectable collection of organic offerings at Ralph’s. Now, here in Orlando, our local Publix always seems to have a very limited, very expensive and oftentimes not-very-tasty selection of organic produce. Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are a bit of a drive away from us so that doesn’t work either.
One thing we enjoyed in LA was a biweekly organic produce delivery service. (We used Farm Fresh To You.) I decided to try to find something similar here in Orlando.
The first option I found – and the one I’m reviewing here – is Orlando Organics.
The way Orlando Organics works is that you signup for weekly or biweekly produce delivery. Depending on where you live the delivery will come to your doorstep on either Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Your initial registration and first delivery requires a $15 “one-time activation fee” and then you pay only for the produce “blend” that you’re interested in. Prices range from $24.99 to $44.99 and they charge your subscription to a credit card that you provide by phone to them after you signup.
Here are the basic produce package choices:
- Harvest Blend – A varied mix of fruits and vegetables, available in Basic, Regular, and Deluxe sizes.
- Salad Mix – A bag focusing on vegetables to help make tasty and nutritious salads.
- Fruits Only – A bag featuring only the freshest and tastiest in-season fruits.
- Vegetables Only – A bag with all kinds of vegetables to help feed your family.
For our first delivery we selected the “Basic Harvest Blend” ($24.99) and the “Fruit Add-On” ($10.00). With the $15 activation fee that made our first delivery cost $50 total. A bit steep but considering everything’s organic and it includes delivery, it was worth a try.
Orlando Organics sends you a reminder email two days before your delivery. In it they provide tips and a link to their site to view “this week’s bag” and allow you to make changes or additions to your order. They also recommend that you leave a cooler out on your doorstep for them to leave the produce in.
Here is what our first delivery looked like, in the cooler:
And here’s what it included when we unpacked everything:
So, as you can see, our first delivery included:
- 2 ears of corn
- one bag of carrots
- one bag of potatoes
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 bag of grapes
- 1 bag of oranges
- 1 avocado
- 2 pomegranates
- 1 bag of apples
- 1 bag of pears
Again, remember that we did the “Fruit Add On” which is why we got so much fruit.
The fun of the delivery is that you never quite know what you’re going to get. The Website does publish a list of what’s included in each week’s delivery but it’s still sort of a surprise package when it arrives.
For me, the highlights were the tomatoes, pears and grapes. My kids love red grapes and I cringe every time I have to feed them the non-organic, over-sized ones that we’ve purchased from Publix or Target. These sweet little devils were awesome. Perfect and sweet. I only wish we had more of them!
The tomatoes were also a very welcome addition. I love a good Caprese salad and the key to that, in my opinion, is having perfectly ripe, organic tomatoes. They are always so much more flavorful than the conventional tomatoes. Some mozzarella, a sprinkle of basil, a dash of salt and a drizzle of really good balsamic vinegar made those tomatoes into a perfect “mommy” lunch the next day.
The pears, of course, are also a fall favorite. Having a whole bag of them to snack on after school was a great treat. Much better than the kids’ usual pack of “fruit snacks.”
Now, to be honest, the pomegranates are still sitting on my shelf 10 days later. I’m not quite sure what to do with them. This is the weird side of produce delivery. You always get one or two things you’re just not too familiar with. Sometimes I embrace the challenge and find a new recipe online – but sometimes the poor lovely things just sit on the counter wasting away. (I think pomegranates do have a nice, long shelf life though – and I imagine the answer is to “put them in a salad” but my 6 and 2 year old kids are not really “salad” eaters quite yet.)
It was also a little disappointing to only get two ears of corn. We’re a family of four so getting enough for everyone to have one would have been better. In the end I just cooked them up, cut the kernels off the cob and mixed them in with slices of the boiled carrots. That said, mixing bright orange carrots with little yellow corn kernels did make for the perfect fall side-dish for the kiddos!
All in all, we were happy with our produce delivery. It’s great to have a whole selection of organic options available. It makes me feel good as a mom to be able to give my kids higher-quality, safe vegetables and fruits and it’s easier for them to like vegetables and fruits when they’re really sweet, tender, and ripe – the way they’re supposed to be.
On the day of our first delivery my son happened to be home when it arrived. Like all kids he loves getting packages so he couldn’t wait to open up the delivery and see what’s inside. I peeled him an orange and he ate it right up. He said it was “sooooooo good!!!!!”
We’re signed up to receive another delivery from Orlando Organics this week. This time, however, after reading the weekly produce packing list, I switched our subscription to the “Harvest Blend Regular” option. I’m looking forward to the rainbow carrots! I even ordered an extra pound of them, which is another cool option with Orlando Organics. Add on more produce of any kind, or organic eggs, orange juice or tofu, and they’ll include that in your delivery too.
For more information on the Orlando Organics delivery service, visit OrlandoOrganics.com.
Oh and as a side note, there are other organic produce delivery options out there in the Orlando area, too. There’s currently a Groupon deal for SpaceGirl Organics (click here for that offer, if it’s still available). We’re planning to give them a try on one of our “off” weeks from Orlando Organics.