Produce Delivery Services & CSAs
Looking for recommendations for an organic produce delivery company that delivers in the Berkeley Hills. I have never used box delivery services before, and love to do my own shopping, but due to time constraints I am looking to sign up with a good delivery service that has comparable produce quality with farmers' markets. Ideally they should be all-organic, not too pricey, sourced from local farms, and hopefully have some good variety. Thank you! elena
We have recently started receiving a produce box from Farm Fresh to You and have been very happy. You can go on line and change or cancel a delivery date, you can see what will be in all the different types of boxes and if you give them 48 hours notice you can pick any box you want online, or ask not that your box not have a certain item you know you do not eat. It is all much easier than I thought it would be. They also have farm days where you can go visit their farm. We haven't tried that yet but I look forward to doing that and being able to show my child where her food comes from.
I highly highly recommend Full Belly Farm. I researched a lot of CSA and CSA-type organizations that claimed to deliver local organic produce, only to find out that their definition of ''local'' meant ''all of California.'' Full Belly does actual local, seasonal produce. Yes, eating seasonally means you get some same items for a while, but that's what eating seasonally is all about! The produce I've gotten from Full Belly has been AMAZING. Fresh, beautiful, delicious. I've had fun coming up with new recipes that taste good and are healthy. It's $17/wk, extra $7 for delivery. Also, I recently found out Full Belly is used and recommended by Michael Pollan (author of Omnivore's Dilemma). Corinne
I have nothing but the highest of praise for Albert & Eve. They are an organic delivery service that sources most of the produce locally, delivering it directly to your home/office. As a result, the produce is super-fresh and high quality--it's as if they cut out the middle step of the supermarket--the produce goes from the farm, to them, to your door, without languishing on the shelves first, so it lasts longer than what I get at our natural grocery store, and it costs less, too!
We were CSA members for two years and I found myself frustrated with the unpredictable quality, not so with A produce is always of the high quality I would have picked, if I had time to do the shopping myself! I also like that I get a choice of what I want (and don't want!) delivered each week in my fruit/veggie mix (no CSA does that!) & I know enough ahead of time to plan my menus around the delivery. It also comes with a cool newsletter, with a story about a featured local farm & recipes. Using A has cut down on our produce bill (delivery is free!) and makes life so much easier! Plus, it makes great, no hassle organic baby food for my little one.
I LOVE this service and think you will, too! LPH
Does anyone have experience with an organic fruit and veggie delivery service that will deliver to our door (North Berkeley)? I am looking for a company that gets their produce from local farms, has good variety, has good quality standards, and is still reasonably priced. Hopefully that's not asking too much. I have read previous postings on organic deliveries but the latest ones date from 2004. Any feedback and recommendations for what's currently out there would be much appreciated. Thank you. Alina
i use albert & eve - http://www.alberteve.com/default.asp yes, occasionally they're screwed up on the order, got a few subpar products, but they were quick to make up any snafus with future deliveries, it's mostly fantastic and reasonably priced. the produce selection changes weekly, so you must allow some flexibility. but it does force you to try some new stuff. i almost cancelled because of the screw-ups (the order system was a tad confusing too), but i'm glad i didn't because now i love it!! even my toddler looks forward to the arrival on delivery day. housebound but well-fed
I have used Planet Organics for years. I like that you can custom order your box each week. Lisa
We've been using Farm Fresh to You for about a year and have been super happy. My 3 year old loves to open the box with me and check out the delicious new produce. They have their own local farm (Capay Organic) but usually include some produce that wasn't grown on their farm but was grown locally. (In fact, from what I can tell, they are the only produce delivery service that has their own farm. March 13th is their next Farm Day - kids activities and such, lots of fun.) So far there was only one time that we got something that was overripe - I emailed them and the next delivery they included a replacement. Check them out at http://www.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php. Christine
We love farmfreshtoyou.com and we look forward to our delivery every other week. You can customize everything. Local, organic, and very good quality. happy eaters
Farm Fresh to You is terrific and deliver right to your door or porch. I signed up for a promo where I get ten bucks off my first three deliveries. Look up their website and good luck! Stephanie
Farm Fresh to You delivers great organic produce at a reasonable price. Some of what they provide in their ''regular'' boxes is trucked in from other states, but they also offer ''Capay Valley'' boxes with more local produce. www.farmfreshtoyou.com. Farm Fresh to You Customer
We have 2 years experience with Full Belly Farms and recommend them for quality, value, and integrity. They deliver to your door (for a few more $) or to local pick- up sites. happy it's asparagus time
I love my box from Riverdog Farm http://www.riverdogfarm.com/ They offer seasonal vegetables from their farm, and often include ''surprises'' like sun-dried tomatoes or almonds or occasionally herbs. They also sell their pastured pork and chickens. jj
Thinking about getting/picking up an organic fruit/veggie box. Anyone recommend any particular service/farm for any reason? Anything to look for or avoid? I'm in Oakland, Crocker Highlands area if that makes a difference. Thanks!
I have been a user of Planet Organics for years and love the fact that I can get all my groceries from them - the organic produce, local Marin Sun meats, fresh fish, my coffee, etc. But a friend of mine who just wanted fruits and veggies discovered that Planet Organics has a new discount service - organicdiscounters.com - offering produce only at better prices, so if you are just looking for just organic fruit and vegetables- and want to pick and chooose exactly what you get - this is a great way to go. michelle
I have been getting produce from Riverdog Farm for a few years and it is really great. There is a lot of variety each week, it's fresh, and it's local (Capay Valley). They have a great website (riverdogfarm.com), and a nice newsletter every week. I really like having a connection with a particular farm and the seasonality of the produce in the box. I'm pretty sure Riverdog has a pickup in Crocker Highlands too. Riverdog Fan
We've been enjoying our Riverdog Farm (riverdogfarm.com) box for ten years or so! Family farm, $20 a week, seasonal freshest veggies and some fruits, pick-up on Longridge (near you). I highly recommend! Kristie
We've really enjoyed Planet Organics for a organic produce box. The #1 reason I chose them is because they allow you to pick your own box contents for no additional cost! I am a bit of a picky eater, and also I tire of all the tomatoes and kale that seem to fill the boxes at various points of the year. Planet Organics has been great for us. Before I became a SAHM, they even had a key to my house so that they could put all the produce in a cooler for me while I was at work. Loving the Variety
I've been getting a weekly organic box from Eatwell Farm for the past several years and have been very happy. The fruits & veggies are excellent, they're extremely responsive to any questions/concerns and they're wonderful people. They also have several farm events each year where you're invited to go for the day or overnight camping - all for free. Check out their website at www.eatwell.com, which also has a blog as well. They also offer eggs (optional) and will soon offer chicken too. Happy customer
I had Riverdog farm for awhile and liked it. There are a few others mentioned in the archives. For those, you can go to their website and some of them give you ideas of what you'll get in each box. I liked Riverfarm's website the best as they put up the weekly newsletters that they enclose in their vegi boxes, so you get a REAL idea of what's included in a box. Choose one where you think you'll eat the food. Some farms offer food that other farms don't offer. Then maybe you want to pick one where there is no committement. (Yet another reason I went w/ Riverdog) anon
I'm looking for a CSA that delivers and that lets you make choices about what they send. I can get carrots and oranges that taste just fine from Farmer Joe's. I'd like to get peaches, tomatoes, melons and other produce whose flavor suffers when it is picked somewhat green so that it can travel. Plus my family is big on fruit but so-so on veggies, and won't eat winter greens. I looked at Eatwell, Full Belly, Farm Fresh to You, Spud, and some others but none of them let you pick what you get. Any other suggestions? Dawn
Dawn, CSA that allows you choices: Another option is planetorganics (you can google it to find more information). The food is great, you can also purchase many other products. They have a menu online- you can pick and choose what you want as well as the quantity. Check it out. Zariah
I am looking for organic produce delivery or pick up services. We have used The Box in past years Any other recommendations? Full Belly? I live in Oakland. KAtie
We used to use The Box. I did not like that the produce was not all local. We now use Farm Fresh to You - www.farmfreshtoyou.com. It is an organic family run farm in Capay, CA. They have farm days when you can go tour the farm (we have). There are options for box delivery size and contents as well as how often. A newsletter with recipes accompanies each delivery (and the website has many more recipes). My family has been very pleased with Farm Fresh to You. a better box
Farm Fresh to You. Family owned and operated organic farm located in the Capay Valley, locally grown certified organic fruits and vegetables since 1976, delivered to your home or workplace. I think it's $29/box. a
We got a box from Full Belly Farms for many years. We were very happy with it for a few reasons.
-The produce is really inexpensive and very good quality -We liked the idea of supporting this wonderful farm -Our shopping and cooking life were pretty flexible, so it didn't really matter what veggies we received. Things have changed for us and the disadvantages of this box became more prominent -We almost always had to supplement with salad and cooking greens and fruit, which we never received enough of -We received more nightshades during the summer than we were interested in eating -We wanted a more diverse selection of produce and larger quanitites
We have been receiving a box from Planet Organics for several months and we are very happy with it. The quantities of produce and the fruit-to-veggie ratio is fully customizable, as are your preferences. And once your order has been placed, you have a chance to modify the order and add groceries before it is sent out. It is much more expensive than a CSA or the Farmer's Market, but less expensive than Whole Foods. Besides the cost, the only downside is that some of the produce is coming from larger farms, but I think they do a good job of trying to get small, local sources and keeping us informed as to where things are coming from. DeAnna
I really like Planet Organics. http://www.planetorganics.com I've been getting a weekly delivery for about 4 years now. You can set it up to get a box every week, different sizes and different vegi/fruit proportions of what's in season. But what I like most about it is I can also order groceries - milk, bread, cheeses, meat, Annie's, etc. It's about as close to Webvan as I've found. Prices are similar to Whole Foods, so not cheap, but the quality is very high. Ginger
We've used Farm Fresh to You for years and even have a small stake in their farm by way of a community loan. You have the option of choosing items to skip or get extra of. Here's their website: http://www.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php organic delivery fan
We'd like to join a CSA and don't know which one to try. We live in East Oakland, and would like to get a box once a week if we can afford it. The reviews in the archives seem very old!! Can you recommend your favorite CSA and tell us why you love it? Thanks! --Want more locally grown fruits and veggies.
Full Belly Farm is the best. We love the variety of the box and it definitely gets us eating way more veggies. Meredith
We get our box from Riverdog Farms. It is $16/ week, and I am always thinking to myself that we could never get this amount of organic produce at the store for the same price. We generally get 5-7 items, sometimes the basics, sometimes stuff we have never even heard of. We have been getting 1-2 lb of heirloom tomatoes/box all summer long, which has been wonderful. During the winter we get amazing greens. The pickup is convenient too. veggie mama
I've been enjoying my Eatwell Farm CSA box and if you are into farm eggs, their's are excellent. I've also bought produce from Riverdog Farms and have never been disappointed so would imagine a good csa box from them, too. organic locavore
I really love Full Belly Farm. We have gotten a box from them for about 7 years now and I love it. They are incredible people who bring awesome and inspiring food to our table every week and I am happy to support them and have them support us. I briefly had a box from Terra Firma farm and found that it was more expensive and that the customer service was not great. Full Belly has many drop sites in Oakland and I am sure that you can find one near you. The cost of a box is 16.50/week if you pay by the quarter and 17.00 if you pay per month. We get around 7-9 things in each box and it's all great. I have also heard great things about Riverdog farm and Eatwell farm. Good luck and happy eating! Annie
We use Terra Firma Farm and have been fairly happy with them, although like everything else the prices have gone up. But we're thinking of switching to the People's Grocery Grub Box -- it's grown in right here in Oakland and at a farm in Sunol, and your subscription helps subsidize a subscription for a low-income family. More info: http://www.peoplesgrocery.org/article.php/grubbox Trying to Eat Locally
We belong to Full Belly Farm CSA. Their website is: http://www.fullbellyfarm.com/csa.html We are pretty happy with it. There's not as much fruit as I would like and we had a run of eggplant that drove me nuts, but the quality of the produce is excellent. It has all been delicious and, for the most part, blemish free (with the exception of the recent corn - a couple worms munching away on the kernals when I pulled back the husks - gotta love organic produce!!!). The produce seems to keep well when stored properly, too. We also seem to get enough for a full recipe or for at least 2-4 servings. The customer service has been excellent too. We highly recommend it. our belly's full of full belly goodness
We have been members of Full Belly (http://www.fullbellyfarm.com/) for, gee over 10 years. I don't think you can go wrong, you just have to assess the cost and the volume you get from each box. And the pickup locations. I think Full Belly has a bit more variety and more fruit now than they did a few years ago. They also offer optional items to buy, like wool, flour, boxes of tomatoes, etc. We don't get too much that is ''exotic'', although we got purslane this spring for the first time. The orange watermelon was great. And now that I think of it, we have not been inundated with summer squash this year. Just enough to keep up. Bryan
I tried Farm Fresh to You, and you can't beat the their produce if you are looking for the prettiest locally grown produce. Their produce tastes great, and it's a definite plus that they deliver right to your door. The downside? It costs $29 for a box, and it barely feeds my family (of 2 adults and one carb-only eating toddler, so really only me and my hubby!)...we definitely need to supplement the produce. We are now using Terra Firma Farms, and they have three box size options, sm, med, and large. After trying them for two weeks w/ a med box, I had to upgrade to a large box. Plenty of fresh produce, once or twice we received a produce item that tasted less that fabulous (we nor-cal'ers are so spoiled, though!) The pros: the box size options, great produce the cons: our pick up location is a b*@$%! to find parking, and when you are schlepping around a toddler and an infant and the heavy produce box, this matters!, and the cost of a large box is around $31...I don't know...maybe I'm cheap, too used to BBowl deals, or in denial, but still seems a bit pricey for what/how much I get. Still, I'm committed to using a CSA because of the principles supporting it and I want my family to eat great good food. I'm not interested in trying another CSA for now, because it's kind of a hassle to keep switching...and I'm pretty pleased with Terra Firma, so I'm sticking with them!
We started with Riverdog Farm this May. For about a month we got a lot of stuff I don't eat. Just never could figure out how to cook kale properly. But the summer has been better. Lots and lots of tomatoes.
What I liked about the farm is that they've got a great website which makes it easy to navigate and find out what they produced last year. Gives me an easy way to see what might be coming. It's really easy to contact customer service by email to stop pickups during vacation. There is no obligation to subscribe the whole year.
In terms of produce, I cook a lot of Chinese food so I find that I still shop a lot at super markets. But I like the different produces we get. And if you like cooking, it's really great being exposed to food you normally don't eat. I like trying out new dishes. I find that one box is enough for 2 people for 3-4 days, depending on what they give you.
There has been instances when the vegetables are unusable. Sometimes they quality of the items don't seem as ''pretty'' and are much smaller than the ones you see in grocery stores. Don't know if that's just a function of organic food. Fruits are not necessarily always juicy and ripe, even after days on the shelf. But they're definitely fresh as they keep way longer than grocery store produce. anon
We use Full Belly Farm, they deliver right to Rosa Parks School in our neighborhood and the produce is alwys great and fresh. For a family of 3, the box lasts for a week, usually, and we look forward to fresh greens and onions,are forced to try new veggies, good thing we are a vegetarian household! The fruit is great also and it ia a real bargain at $68 a month. Check out their website and sign up online. tora
We'd like to get some fresh, organic produce delivered to our home in North Oakland on a weekly basis. Can anyone recommend a company/service/store that has worked well for them? Any pitfalls we should know about? Thanks! JILL
www.planetorganics.com. I have been a customer for five months and am very pleased with their service. anon
I really like Planet Organics. I've been getting a weekly box for about 2 years - 2/3 veg, 1/3 fruit. Most weeks I add stuff to my box using their website ordering forms, but if I don't have time or I forget, I know I will always get a nice selection of in-season produce. You can specify things you don;t like (for me, beets - yuck) so the default box will not have things in it you don't eat. You can set up recurring orders for items - I always get eggs and yogurt. They are not cheap, but their produce is pretty gorgeous, mostly from local farms (they tell you where it comes from). One thing I really like about them is that they carry a lot of other items that I use, such as local cheeses and dairy products, meats, breads, etc. Never had any problems with failed delivery or mashed tomatoes or bad-looking produce. The very few times I've had a complaint, I sent email and they corrected it immediately. You can go to their website and check it out. Ginger
About a year ago my CSA closed down (Happy Farms in Clayton), and I have been sad ever since. Happy farms was a really unique CSA in that we were able to volunteer at the farm (we went twice a month), got really great sprouts, and they delivered to drop-offs in the Diablo Valley. I am not the kind of person that would go to a farmers market or whole foods and think, wow just what I was craving - BEETs! But found myself quite happy to eat what I was given as long as it was seasonal and there was some variety. I'm not sure that there are any CSAs out there that would recreate this experience, but the advice on the website looks fairly dated (5 years ago?) If you have any advice about full belly, Eat well, eat outside the box, or any other local CSA that delivers to Berkeley, or the Diablo Valley, I would love to hear about it. I would particularly like to know if there is another coop out there that would allow us to participate in raising and distributing food. Beth
We've been getting a box from full belly for over 10 years and do like it quite a bit. I don't know how often you could be out there on the farm working, but you could ask them. You could participate be making your house a drop off site one day a week. Perhaps a current house needs to stop after years of volunteering their front porch. PErhaps you could help sell at the Tuesday farmers market?
There are two regular events a year when folks visit the farm. One in june and a big one in the fall, the Hoes Down. THen around the holidays there is a wreath-making class. Also there is a summer camp for kids - a few sessions each summer. I recommend that you give them a call and ask them your questions directly and see if it is a good fit. You can find them on the web (which would probably be better than dropping in unannounced for a long talks at the farmaers market when they are busy working.) I have found full belly folks to be great. Works for us! Mom
I have read the archives and the most recent recommendation I could find for organic food delivery is 2001. It seems there are a lot more farms out there and I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. Any recommendations for a group that offers lots of variety, great food and reasonably priced? Linda
PlanetOrganics.com The quality of their produce and attention to customer care is outstanding. Feel free to contact me with any questions. Shawnee
We've been getting a weekly produce box from Full Belly Farm for several years, and we love it. The mix of veggies and fruit is great, and there is always a lot of variety in the box. We love the summer corn, tomatoes and peaches that we've been getting in our box for the past few months. The boxes can be picked up at several locations around the east bay, and I've found the customer service to be efficient and responsive. The price is quite affordable, and you get a discount if you pay for several months at one time. Also, there are a few times a year (including one coming up in OCtober) where you can visit the farm, which is about 2 1/2 hours from the east bay- great for kids! They also have a good website, which lists the contents of the box each week: www.fullbellyfarm.com. We are very happy customers! Anon
I highly recommend Planet Organics. They not only have great, varied produce but they also have a nice grocery selection. It is nice when you just need a loaf of bread and toothpaste thrown in! Their prices and service are excellent too! It is $28 a box. You can select weekly or bi-weekly delivery. They also can do a vacation hold if you need to. www.planetorganics.com
I've used several different ones and have found that Farm Fresh To You is the best if you are willing to just get a big box full of whatever is freshest at their farm.
I've also used Eatwell Farms which had uneven quality and they make you order and prepay like 10 boxes at once (you can't do just one week at a time).
I also tried Planet Organics which is also great and they do good community work and lots of produce donations, and you can choose what you want.
The Box, from what I understand (this could be old information though), isn't necessarily locally grown produce and carries the kind of stuff you could just buy at Whole Foods.
I tend to like the challenge of cooking whatever comes and whatever is locally in season rather than choosing stuff that might be coming from hundreds or thousands of miles away. Alissa
I can't say enough about how wonderful Full Belly Farm is. You don't get a ''choice'' of what you want in your box, but you get a wonderful array of fresh, seasonal produce. And I think they are the best for the money as well. You can either have your box delivered for 5 extra dollars or you can pick it up from various drop sites in the east bay. I had a box from another farm (Terra Firma) and it was much more expensive and they were very unresponsive when we had a problem with our drop site (they were power washing the house where we picked up the box and every week there were paint chips and sawdust being blown *into* the boxes and they basically shrugged it off and blew me off after repeated messages, they basically said it was my problem, but why would you get organic produce with lead paint dust all over it?). Anyway, Full Belly has been nothing but fabulous. I pick my box up at the Berkeley Farmer's market on Tuesday's and then I am able to do any other shopping that I need for the week. If you ever have any issue with anything they give you they are more then generous about fixing it. I think what I like the most is that they are genuinely wonderful and caring people and that translates into opening a box filled with love. It's a true gift every week. Annie
We use Farm Fresh to You (Capay Farms). Food is usually very fresh, variety is good, the recipes they send are good. Cost is $27 per half-bushel delivery, and you can do it every other week if you wish. Jen
since it has become a non-pleasure to take my 22 month old to either the grocery or farmers market I would like to sign up for veggie/fruit delivery service. I checked out the companies I found in the archives and am wondering if The Box is really the only company that lets you choose what you don't want. I fear getting weekly boxes of green peppers... thank you! gael
Re: Delivery service where I can choose what I want? (Oct. 2002)
2001 The following is a list (out of date, but many of these are still active) of California CSAs - it specifies which are organic. http://www.caff.org/farms/final/csas.html Charis
After trying several organic delivery services when I was in a cast 9 months ago, I realized nothing was better or CHEAPER than shopping at farmer's markets, Monteray Market or Berkeley Bowl for organics. The boxes I rcvd from the delivery companies were light in number of items and variety for $25-30/week. It was just not worth it.
Organic Express The BoxMay 2004
Does anyone use the Organic Express, also called ''The Box''? I'm tempted to give it a try but would like to hear any first- hand experience. How timely is the delivery? How is the produce? I'm kind of particular on how I pick out my fruits and veggies at the supermarket...will I receive all quality produce in the box? If I don't think the quality is up-to-par, how's customer service? Is it too much produce for a couple and 1 year old to consume before it spoils? (The smaller box) Any input is appreciated.
We have been using the organic box for over a year now & are very happy with them! The produce is great, the delivery is always on time & their customer service has been great! We get the every other week box & find that works best for us. I am sure you can always change your delivery if you find it's too much/ too little. The VERY BEST part is being able to go online & CUSTOMIZE your order!!! I love this option! I can go online & pick & choose my fruits & vegetables. ALSO they have groceries on the website that they deliver with your produce order...enjoy!
I briefly used organic express and was not happy. I admit that I am a total produce snob so my experience may be unique. However, I was extremely disappointed to be receiving a box with root vegetables and oranges in the spring when the farmer's market was full of beautiful strawberries and asparagus. I switched to the Full Belly Farm CSA and have been happily receiving their beautiful, seasonal produce for three years now. They have a website www.fullbellyfarm.com and will deliver to your house for an extra fee or you can pick up at one of their many drop-off locations. We get a box on Tuesday and have generally eaten everything by Saturday (two adults and a 2 year old.) Farm Girl
We have been using ''The Box'' for about 6 months now. I was initially sceptical, because I am very picky about my produce, but I have been very impressed. We get the small ($25) box once a week for 2 adults and 2 kids, and it is always waiting for me when I get home from work on Thursdays (my delivery day). Initially, we went with the standard box for the week, but were getting more spinach and chard than we could use in a week. So now we customize it - a great feature on the website. I find that I alternate weeks for things: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots one week, salad the next, etc. That keeps us from getting bored, and gives us time to finish things up before the next box arrives. You can also have delivery on alternate weeks. There have only been 2 times that the delivery was incorrect, and they readily credited my account after I phoned. Barbara
We actually have tried organic express and westside organics. The quality of the produce of both is very good. What I don't like about the box is that you get items like bagged lettuce sometimes. What I don't like about westside organics is that it seems a bit pricier. I highly recommend that you give it a try. You can always cancel. It has changed our eating habits pretty dramatically though and we love it. There is also farm fresh to you and planetorganic.com. Go to their websites and see what is in this week's box to get an idea of what each is like. love the boxes
[Editor: Three people recommended Planet Organic instead - see below]
Re: Delivery service where I can choose what I want? (Oct. 2002)
We recently stopped using the Box. We just weren't getting enough variety and value for the price we were paying. We're back to buying at the grocery store and Berkeley Bowl. I think the Box can work if you 1) have a young enough child that they don't have a fixed view of what they will eat and won't eat 2) have an open and receptive partner to new foods. We found that we ended up changing the whole box around anyway, and ended up with tons more carrots than we wanted. YMMV. Myriam
Re: Delivery service where I can choose what I want? (Oct. 2002)
I received deliveries from The Box for about 9 months, and I was satisfied with the service before I cancelled. I like how you can select the items you do not ever wish to receive, and you can personalize your order online every week. They also have a limited selection of groceries to choose from. However, they did occasionally slip something unwanted in my box by accident, but it didn't really bother me. Unless I personalized my order each time, they would send me an abundance of items I wasn't too thrilled about. For example, they burned me out on oranges and potatoes. I recently cancelled my service simply because I just can't eat 25 pounds of fruits and vegetables before they spoiled. Leslie
Re: Delivery service where I can choose what I want? (Oct. 2002)
We used The Box and found them helpful and flexible. You can specify what fruits and/or vegetables you don't want, and they'll delete those from your delivery. We actually found ourselves exploring some dishes we wouldn't otherwise have prepared, because they involved vegetables we weren't in the habit of trying, and that was fun. They do include recipes for their fruits and veggies, which was very helpful, although I wish they had provided more recipes, and done it more often. They also provide storage tips for their produce, which is really helpful. Nice people, too. Thumbs up from us. Bob
Re: Delivery service where I can choose what I want? (Oct. 2002)
I get fruits and veggies from organicbox.com. They let you customize what you get. They have some groceries, too. High quality food with less packaging. sunsol
I recently started receiving delivery service from The BOX (Bay Area Organic Xpress). I've had two deliveries to date and have been very pleased with the service and the quality of the produce. I have not had this type of service before so I don't know how The BOX compares to other services. It does have the option of fruit only, veggies only, or both. I have the fruits and veggie type. They do tend (so far) to have more veggies than fruits, but I don't find that to be a problem for me. Call them at (415)695-9688 and they'll send you a brochure. They say they serve the entire Bay Area. Victoria
I highly recommend the Bay Area Organic Express (aka The Box). We've used them for 2 years and they are wonderful. You not only get wonderful service (always come at the same time, on the same day every week), they also include recipe suggestions. The produce can be delivered weekly or biweekly; and you can choose a large box, or a regular-sized box ($25 or $35). They give you the option of choosing all 14-16 types of fruits or vegetables, or you may choose to exclude items your family doesn't like. The staff there is always polite and accommodating, too. The price is great - cheaper than the store - and it gets delivered right to your door. Best of all - it is organic: better tasting food and better for your health. Our kids love to paw through the box and see what yummy stuff they'll get to sample for the week. Give them a call at 415-695-9688. Laura
We use The BOX -- Bay Area Organic Express -- and love them. They are very reliable, the food is great, and the people are quite nice. In fact, I've become good pals with the truck delivery guy, who always stops to chat and tickle the baby and will carry the box in for me if my hands are full. They are based in San Francisco and can be reached at 415/695-6988. Tell them we referred you! Colleen
I live in San Francisco and have been using the following service for the past few months: The BOX (Bay Area Organic Express): tel# 415-695-9688. They have been in business for several years, but it was just recently that my lifestyle and family size necessitated this service. I am very happy with their approach (generally no packaging, veggies and fruits are loose in the box - strawberries and beans are packaged out of necessity), quality is exceptional, quantity is fine (however for the three of us, I need 1 mixed $25.00 box every week and an additional $25.00 pure veggie box every other week), and the variety is good - based on what's available. I love the service because it bills directly to my credit card, I don't have to pick the produce (but you can customize if you like), and every Monday like clock work, my home has fresh ingredients delivered to my door. We maintain a healthier diet, eat out less and stress out about shopping less! I am very happy. Good luck! Eileen
I have used The Box for the past year - the Bay Area Organic Xpress for home delivery of organic fruits and vegetables. I also live in Berkeley and have never had a mix-up or a problem of any kind, and the produce is fantastic. You can reach them at 415-695-9688. Ann
I've used both the BOX and Full Belly Farms, and am still using the Box. The Box includes more fruit, and you can tell them what you like or dislike and they deliver to the house for no extra charge. Myriam
Try The Box (415) (415) 695-9688. They deliver throughout the Bay Area. They replace/or make up (in the next week's delivery) for anything that is bad. We've been using them for about a year, and have been generally pleased with their service. The folks that answer the phones are nice. River
I love getting The Box (Bay Area Organic eXpress). It is $25 a week for small box which is usually enough for my husband, my 18 mo old daughter and me. Their customer service is great and the produce is too. Call 415-695-9688. Lisa
We get the Box (Bay Area Organic Express) once every two weeks. (It's available every week or every other week.) It's a mixture of in season fruit and vegetables. They have been completely reliable, and they deliver to your house so there isn't a pick up issue. The contents have always been very fresh. I have to say we get more kale than I know what to do with in the spring/winter, but I guess it's good for us. (You can designate items you don't want.) They deliver to us in Berkeley, but as I remember only certain days were available. You could give them a call at (415)695-9688. Karen
Re delivery of organic produce. Give the BOX a call Bay Area Organic Express. They are in the phone book in SF. Michael
The Box, (415) 695-9688 Produce Delivery - Organic fruits and vegetables from a variety of local farms, delivered weekly. $25 a month for a large amount. You can designate favorite or disliked items. Natasha
We like Eatwell Farms (www.eatwell.com) or 800/648-9894. They deliver a half-bushel basket of all-organic produce that they mostly grow on their farm near Davis. They also have a stand at the Embarcadero Farmer's Market in SF and are known for their tomatoes, so we've been getting some really great heirlooms & cherry tomatoes lately. Unlike some delivery companies they deliver to a central location near your house & you go pick it up, but this hasn't been a problem at all. They also don't offer the option of customizing your basket but since most of their produce is really delicious and very seasonal it's okay. We tried another service briefly (the BOX) & didn't like them much--they kept giving us apples, carrots and cauliflower in the middle of summer! Eatwell has given us peaches, tomatoes, plums, green beans and corn lately, which makes much more sense. My only quibble is that we get chard too often, but that's a personal opinion. Valerie
Farm Fresh To YouFarm Fresh has a website here: http://www.farmfreshtoyou.com/
For organic fruits and veggies, we have enjoyed Farm Fresh to You produce out of the Capell Valley. I believe that they have a website. We were getting a box of produce every other week and paying ~$20/box. The produce was excellent and with a wide variety. Trish
Re. Webvan and other home-delivered food options: For an additional eprspective, there was a piece in the East Bay Express about Webvan in the last two or three weeks. I haven't tried it, but my new yuppie neighbors who, like me, have a two-year-old, swear by it. I do most of my grovery shopping with my daughter's daycare fundraising scrip, so I guess I would have to give that up if I used someone like Webvan. I get my organic produce delivered weekly by a fantastic service called Farm Fresh to You (sorry, no website). I share a bushel box with another single friend, and we get about 10 different fruits and veggies every week for $20 ($10 each). Another vegetarian friend gets a whole box a week just for herself! There are several of these services (another is called The Box), and the chief complaint I've heard is that from some of them some weeks you might get all kale, and the next week all broccoli! Also, depending on the delivery time, keeping stuff cool can be a problem, though not with the weather we've had lately. Nicole
Farm Fresh To You, (800) 796-6009 or fax (916) 796-3344 Produce Delivery - Organic fruits and vegetables. $25 a month for a half bushel. Recipes included. Natasha
Full Belly FarmsRe: Organic food store for family shopping (July 2002)
This won't help you find all your organic groceries in one place, but I wanted to let you know about a wonderful organic farm that delivers to the East Bay. It's called Full Belly Farm, and it's a community supported agriculture (CSA) co-op. My family has been very happy with the quality of the produce we receive from them every other week (you can sign up for weekly deliveries, too). It costs $13/week for a box that feeds 2-4 people. Yesterday our box contained peaches, two types of tomatoes, potatoes, basil, cucumbers, and green beans. The farm is on the web at http://www.geocities.com/fullbellycsa/ or you can call them at 510-528-8630. Kathryn
I have used Full Belly Farm, a community supported farm, to deliver my organic produce for the last year and am very happy with them. It cost $13 a box plus $5 to deliver to your home ( you can also pick it up at various locations in Berkeley and save the $5). The quality of the produce has been consistently high and I always look forward to receiving their box every week. This week I received basil, asian pears, corn, beans, cucumbers, onions, peppers, a fantasic melon and always terrific tomatoes. The only (small) complaint I have is that sometimes they get on a streak of sending something that I just don't have the time or perhaps recipes to use, like beets or cabbage. Their phonenumber is 510-528-8630. Emily
I've used both the BOX and Full Belly Farms, and am still using the Box. Full Belly Farms was good, and I liked that I was supporting a family farm, but found that having to pick it up or pay a pretty steep premium was a hassle. Additionally, I found the variety in the winter left something to be desired. I will be a happy camper if I never, ever, see Red Russian Kale again. It appeared week after week and I ate it for a long time, but eventually gave up. Myriam
We have picked up our Full Belly Farms produce on Fridays for four years now. We love it. I know they do Tuesday home deliveries. I don't know the cost. You can look them up on the web, or go and see them at the Tuesday afternoon & evening farmers market in Berkeley (near Iceland).
Full Belly Farm delivers boxes of produce, fruit and nuts to several neighborhoods in the Berkeley/Albany area once a week--I thought that the quality was always very good. You can't select what you get but it forced me to try new veggies or ones that I hadn't eaten in awhile. They also provided a newsletter with recipes. J.K.
You'll hear this from many, but Full Belly Farm is great! A summary of the plusses:
- excellent quality and quantity for the price
- good variety
- the produce is *local* (not true for all box subscriptions) and *seasonal*
- the farmers are active role models and teachers in the sustainable agriculture community
- the farm workers are treated like family
- it is a family farm, not a corporate farm
- the farm works hard to foster a relationship with members
- for a bit extra you can have it delivered to your home/office
- there is some fruit but we still need to buy more each week
- as with any local, seasonal box it is easy to get tired of your least favorites when they are in season
- the amount in one box requires a lot of cooking to keep up with! (this is also a plus, from the health and economics perspectives) Here's the website for Full Belly: http://www.geocities.com/fullbellycsa/index.html As far as I know there is no waiting list now. You can get a preview by visiting them at the Tues. Farmers Market in Berkeley. -Charis
Full Belly Farm delivers to local pick up points through the area. I don't know if they deliver to homes. My pick up day is Wed. at the Chinese church on Virginia between MLK and Milvia. There is a pick up, I think, on Friday in Albany. I've been subscribing with them for 6 or more years. There has never been a mix up, the quality of the produce is always great. You can pay per month or quarterly. They periodically have cooking classes or pot luck get togethers in the area and also come and farm days at the farm in Guindon. Each October is a fabulous harvest festival called the Full Belly Hoes Down. The local number to call is 528-8630 June
One source for an organic produce subscription is Full Belly Farms. The contact person, Beth, is in Albany, or you can talk to a Full Belly worker at the weekly Berkeley Farmers Market downtown. The Full Belly isn't listed, I just called information.
We subscribed last summer. The peaches were heavenly (no, earthly!), the weekly price was very fair, but we had more string beans than we could possibly consume, or even manage. That's a lot of string beans. Good luck. Claire
There may be more than one farm/collective that delivers produce, but a good one is Full Belly Farm, (510) 528-8630. There's more information at http://www.foodfirst.org/sfcsa.htm. Jane
The name of the group we belong to that delivers organic vegetables is Full Belly, and the Albany organizer is Beth Levine at 524-6108. I got that number from the phone book so if it isn't the right person, you can call me and I'll put you in touch. The cost is $12/week and $13/week in the summer months for a large box of wonderful organic produce. This cost is if you pick up the box at appointed places around Berkeley/Albany\\Oakland--the cost is higher if home delivered. I highly recommend Full belly. M.
Planet OrganicsMay 2004
I have not tried the The Box but I did try Planet Organics for about one month, I just cancelled my service. I should have read up more about Produce Delivery on this list ... because it's true the best deals/most produce for your money is probably the local farmers market. Of course if you don't live near a farmers market than a delivery service might be of help. Also many grocery stores carry organic vegetation. I did notice that Planet Organics was giving me stuff I could easily by at Safeway -- earthbound brand. Tasha-Castro Valley
Re: The Box
We subscribed to The Box for years and I was *swimming in potatoes* all the time until a friend recommended Planet Organics (www.planetorganics.com). You can customize your weekly or bi-weekly produce order on their website, so beyond having a ''please don't ever send scallions, we hate scallions'' list, which is what The Box will do, with Planet Organics you can actually change the number of various fruits and vegetables you're getting, or order something that isn't included in the regular box. Friends coming for dinner? Order more! Planning to eat out a lot that week? Maybe just order more fruit, less veggies. The produce itself has usually been lovely. We did get some sketchy mangoes once. They also have a growing selection of grocery items and I think they sell free-range meats as well but I don't eat meat so I haven't really checked that out. It's worth looking into, we love it. (And because we can customize the order, we almost always get through the bi-weekly box - 2 adults and one toddler.) Happy (lazy!) Vegetarian
Re: The Box
I found the BOX's customer service pretty unhelpful and the selection of produce quite limited. We switched to Planet Organics a year ago and think they're excellent. You can order over the phone or via the website, and can be very particular about what you'd like (red peppers but not green; bosc pears but not d'anjou, etc). They also provide much more info than the BOX did about where the produce is coming from (US, Canada, etc) and provide recipes for unusual items. They also have a huge assortment of organic groceries and household items (dairy products, baby foods, diapers, cereal, etc). I haven't been to the grocery store in ages! Happy with Planet Organics
Re: Delivery service where I can choose what I want? (Oct. 2002)
I would think that most fruit/veg companies now allow you to state ''no'' preferences. Planet Organics has done this from the beginning (I believe I've used them for a year now). But the exciting thing is that Planet Organics now lets you customize your entire box! My delivery day is Tuesday, so from midnight Friday till 9PM Sunday, I can log in to their site and basically build my own box. I get the $25 box, so I'll never pay less than that; I usually try to stick to that figure when adjusting amounts, deleting items, and adding others. I have to say, I *adore* this system of theirs. I've been extremely happy with Planet Organics. Tell 'em I sent ya! I don't think it gains me anything but it would make me happy. http://www.planet-organics.com/ Jennie
Planet Organics http://www.planetorganics.com lets you specify what you don't want. You can also custom order whatever you DO want, but that costs about 5% more than just taking whatever they give you that's not on your ''reject'' list Deborah
Re: Delivery service where I can choose what I want? (Oct. 2002)
We actually use another service called Planet Organics. They operate out of San Francisco and we love them. I have done some comparison and find that Planet Organics actually have more products than The Box, such as organic meats and a more comprehensive grocery list. You can also customize your order every week so if you are a control freak like I am and don't really enjoy ''surprises'', it's ideal. Definitely check them out at the following link : http://www.planetorganics.com Good luck. amy
Re: Organic food store for family shopping (July 2002)
You might try Planet Organics delivery to meet some of your needs. www.planetorganics.com You can custom order as much fruit/veggies as you want as long as it's over $25 and they also have lots of ''dry goods''--pasta, coffee, etc. Also Niman ranch meats which are not organic. You won't be able to get everything from them but since they deliver that saves a trip to the store. I've been a customer for a couple years and am quite satisfied.
Re: Organic food store for family shopping (July 2002)
We've been having great organic produce delivered from planet organics for several months. Check out their website at www.planetorganics.com They deliver one day a week to your door! You pick a box amount ($25, $35, $50) and can designate what you don't want, but can modify the box to exactly what you want online twos days in advance of delivery. They also have some great grocery items (organic pasta, sauce, juice, etc.) And, if you are signed up for escrip for a school or non-profit, they donate 5% to your group. The customer service has been excellent, the produce unreal, and the overall experience great. Jen
Re: Organic food store for family shopping (July 2002)
I just started using planet organics and you can pick what you don't want and you can even pick exactly what you do want. They also have a other non-produce items such as coffee and meat.The produce was really nice and I got some organic chicken sausage which were good as well. Lori
I have used Planet Organics for over two years now and have been very happy with them. I have always had courteous and reliable service. If there is ever anything wrong with my delivery there is a no questions asked credit policy which has really impressed me. I have used other organic produce company's in the East Bay and find that they do not have the variety of produce. In the last few weeks, Planet Organics has just added a feature to their website where you can customize your current order which is great! In addition,they have dramatically increased their volume with ex Web Van customers, so it is possible that,with both the new web site and much larger volume, their service has been compromised but I am sure it is only temporary. Margaret
I had a somewhat dissatisfying experience with Planet Organics, which I just cancelled. (mixed-up delivery location, dates, questionable quality produce included in most boxes, etc.). Susan
Riverdog FarmNov. 2002
Some time back, I recall that there was a discussion about veggie boxes (Community Supported Agriculture--CSA--weekly produce boxes). As we're getting ready to leave the Bay Area, we're realizing that we're going to miss our box even more than Berkeley Bowl (and that's saying something). Our weekly box reminds me of the wonderful bounty that came from my grandpa's garden (and he was a farmer). The veggies are fresher than fresh--it's amazing. Our toddler son is a veggie lover because of our box--he'll eat the turnips raw, they're that sweet and juicy. So if you're interested, I encourage you to sign up. Here's the info: Riverdog Farm, tel 530-796-3802, e-mail rive- @yolo.com. It's $14/week for box of beautiful, tasty, varied organic veggies and fruit. Kristine
Re: Organic food store for family shopping (July 2002)
I have been picking up an organic box from Riverdog Farm for a few years now and they're a great service, delicious seasonal (for Yolo County) produce and a nice family farm! They have various drop-off points and you go to the one nearest you. The cost is $14 per week, I usually pay each quarter. They also offer bulk fruit so all winter we eat delicious navel oranges to stay healthy. We've also gotten apricots and peaches. Tips for picking up w/baby...transfer the veggies into a handle-bag before you take them home. Also, my neighbor and I alternate months to pick up and bring back to the apt. Riverdog's # is 530-796-3802, email riverdog AT yolo.com Kristine
For the past four years I've been a subscriber for Riverdog Farm Weekly Organic veggie boxes. Riverdog Farm is also at the Berkeley farmers markets. The veggie boxes are delivered Wednesday to various drop-off sites in the East Bay. I believe there are about 6 different places you can pick up your box in Berkeley. The boxes cost $14/delivery. A typical box in July contains: watermelon, heirloom tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, peaches, basil and onions. Everything's organic, of course. The box usually has one or two fruit items and the rest are veggies. You can not specify what you want or do not want in your box. I believe you can get a box every other week, if weekly is overwhelming. Each box comes with a newsletter that talks about that week's veggies, recipes and what I enjoy the most, what's going on the farm. My three kids are always eager to see what's in the veggie box, and have become reasonable good veggie and fruit eaters. Riverdog Farm is a family run organic farm in Yolo County. You can reach them at 530-796-3802 or e-mail: riverdog [at] yolo.com Wilma
Terra Firma Farm1998
Terra Firma Farm, in Winters, brings boxes of organic veggies (and some fruit) to several pick-up sites in Berkeley, Oakland and SF (and I hope Wlanut Creek soon!). There is one that will deliver to your door, but I don't know the name of it and it's more expensive. If there's a Terra Firma pick-up near you or on your way it's really convenient. We subscribed for years (till we moved to walnut Creek) and I wholeheartedly recommend it. the produce is absolutely wonderful. It's $16/week for a good amount of produce. You don't get to choose what's in the box, but if there's an occasional item you don't care for you can either leave it at the pick-up site as a gift to another subscriber or give it to someone else (a friend of mine was delighted to get my rejected beets!). There's a newsletter every week that tells what's happening at the farm, what's coming into/going out of season, and a couple recipes. Also, they have a Farm Day every year where subscribers can come and see the farm. Their e-mail address is goldenbell [at] aol.com and phone # (530) 756-2800 Deborah
We sent in the signup this week for Terra Firma Farms. Our current pickup location is in Kensington (although they list it as North Berkeley) on Tuesday nights between 6-8. If enough other households in our area are interested in signing up they might set up a pickup in the North El Cerrito/Albany neighborhood we live in. I've asked them to send me flyers which I can distribute. Let me know if you are possibly interested in a delivery in our area. Terra Firma Farm is an 85 acre CCOF certified organic farms that grows fruits and vegies year round in Winters CA. Monthly cost for weekly box of organic produce: $66. There is also an option for every other week which costs $35/month. Boxes have enough vegies for a household of 4 non-vegetarians or 2 vegetarians. Sample box delivered in August: 2 yellow onions 1 bunch basil 4 ears sweet corn 1 lb mixed summer squash 3 lbs tomatoes 3 heads garlic 2 cukes 1 yellow/red watermelon 1 canteloupe year round: green or dried onions, green or dried garlic, potatoes, carrots, walnuts, seasonal herbs. summer: sweet corn, tomatoes, summer squash, basil, cukes, melons, assorted peppers, eggplant, pole and bush beans, cherries, figs, plums, pears. fall: select summer crops, winter squash, salad mix, spinach, beets, fennel, turnips, broccoli, sweet potatoes, persimmons, pomegranates and apples. winter: many fall crops, asparagus, carrots, cabbage, salad mix, baby spinach, strawberries, arugula, greens, gold beets, leeks, broccoli, garlic, daikon, fennel, oranges, tangelos, mandarins and kiwis. spring: select winter crops, snap and sugar peas, asparagus, new potatoes, lettuces, red chard, green garlic, strawberries, and heriloom variety apricots. If you want to call them to about signing up contact Valerie at 503-756-2800 or email tff25833 [at] aol.com If a lot of households in the area let me know soon that they are interested in a neighborhood pick up I'll contact her. As we are expecting a baby sometime in the next few weeks I may be out of touch suddenly. If someone else wants to help coordinate this I'd be happy to share it... Laurie