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Sydney Fresh mixed box review

7 May

Although I said I’d finished this little home-delivered fruit and veg review, I thought it would be good to post about my most recent order from Sydney Fresh. You may recall that my review only included custom orders from Sydney Fresh (which were all outstanding). Last week, however, I decided to give their $35 mixed box a try. This is the smallest mixed box they offer and includes free delivery.

Although it’s a mixed box, you are able to customise it somewhat by specifying what mix of fruit/veg you want (I chose 75% veg but am thinking I’ll get a bigger box and go 50/50 next time), and also if there are items you never want included or favourites.

My box contained:

1/2 head cauliflower
Bunch of celery
3 carrots
2 corn cobs
2 zucchini
1 head brocolli
1/2 butternut pumpkin
6 mandarins
8 bananas
1 red capsicum
2 onions
2 green apples
1 sweet potato
1 bag rocket
1 bag beans
1 bag snow peas
1 bag chat potatoes
1 small bag button mushrooms (~8-10 I guess)

All the produce was in excellent condition. The mandarins and bananas have been delicious. My order arrived last Friday afternoon and 3 days on I am still impressed with the freshness and quality of what remains to be used. I think the volume I received was generous for the price.

Whilst it hampers my meal planning somewhat to not know what’s coming, I found this mixed box to contain essentially everything I would have ordered anyway (except maybe the bag of rocket…we don’t eat a lot of salad).

I will definitely order a mixed box from Sydney Fresh again and, as I said earlier, will probably try a slightly larger size with more fruit, especially as Angus is now eating more solid foods.

mixedbox

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Home delivered fruit and veg: the verdict

11 Mar

I undertook a small trial of various companies who home-deliver fruit and veg in the Inner West of Sydney. I don’t claim to have tried them all or to have equally compared them. I didn’t even try them all myself and based some of my decisions on other people’s experiences. But, hey, that’s life and how I roll so I’m calling this little experiment quits and awarding Sydney Fresh the winner.

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A brief summary of the experiment…

Coles Online: I do my general shopping through them every 1-2 weeks. This trial began because I was repeatedly receiving (what I consider) sub-standard fruit and veg. I also began to feel more and more strongly about sourcing my fruit and veg through the grocery super-power that is Coles, and from reading articles about the way they treat (ie. pay) primary producers. I appreciate that this trickles down to the other (non fruit/veg) items I buy but I’ve chosen to just fight one battle for now.

Woolworths Online: I’ve only done one online shop through Woolies but it was as dismal as Coles, plus they stuffed up several parts of my order so I’ve not gone back.

Aussie Farmers Direct: I bought a box on a start-up deal. Many items in the box were not things I would normally buy and I struggled to minimise waste. I was disappointed with the quality.

Box Fresh: reviewed by Meredith who continues to use them. She found their quality and variety to be excellent. I haven’t personally tried them because I’ve decided we get better value by using “pick your own” rather than a mixed box. Unfortunately Box Fresh doesn’t offer this as an option.

Galluzzo Fruit Market: fantastic quality and some items are very well priced. It’s great to know they’re down the road for last minute bits and pieces and will deliver if I buy enough (>$20). It’s hard to beat ordering online at the moment, though.

Sydney Fresh: I’ve now had 2 orders through them for “pick your own” and have been very impressed with the quality and price. Plus, is it too vain to say that I just love the fact they have a juicy passionfruit on their homepage?! Being my favourite fruit, I am easily seduced by their marketing. I may try a mixed box at some point.

I haven’t tried Abundant Organics, which was recommended by some. I’ll be honest, buying organic sounds great but when you compare the price it’s hard to make it work every week. I appreciate it’s expensive because it’s a niche market, and maybe I’m destining my family to doom by not going organic, but, well, that’s the decision we’ve made for now.

Another idea put forward was to join a co-op and participate in the buying of the fruit and veg every 6-8 weeks (or however many people you have). It sounds great, and very cheap, but at the moment, with a new baby/new job/new house, getting out the door at 4am (or whenever… even 8am is too early right now) is just not feasible.

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So there you have it, folks! My limited trial has come to an end, thankfully with a good outcome.

(All images from Sydney Fresh)

Galluzzo Fruit Market Glebe review

14 Feb

This week I decided to try a very local option for my fruit and vegetable shopping, on the recommendation of my friend Fiona.

Galluzzo’s opened in the 1930s and has a strong reputation for good quality F&V. In 2011 it won the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Shopping Guide “Best Sydney Greengrocer” award. It’s located on Glebe Point Road, near the intersection with Bridge Road. It’s about a 10-15 minute walk from our house.

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So much rain! Argh!

I wandered down there (in the pouring rain) with the boy in the pram and got out my shopping list…

1x bunch parsely
1x avocado
4x carrots
5x potatoes
1x ginger
3x bananas
1/2 bunch shallots
5x brown onions
250g button mushrooms
Handful rocket
Handful english spinach
Passionfruit

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For this I paid $22.30 and they provided free home delivery (I asked the man if there was a minimum spend for delivery and he thought for a moment then suggested “about $20”).

Pros:
Very good quality F&V
Friendly staff (I was offered a black tomato to try- very tasty)
Appeared to have a good range
Many products were labelled with where they were grown
Can actually see what you’re buying and choose accordingly (eg what size brown onions do I want?)
Best passionfruit I’ve ever tasted
Free home delivery in the local area
Support local business

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Poor kid looks a little overwhelmed

Cons:
Need to actually go there to shop
If it was busy it could be very difficult to move a pram around in there (I went at midday on a Tuesday and it was fine)
Potential to impulse buy (probably better to do this in a green grocer than in Coles but still…!)
Would be frustrating to need a particular item then get there and find they don’t have it
Possibly more expensive but I’m happy with what I paid

Conclusion:
I’m glad we have Galluzzo’s as a local fruit and veg shopping option, however I don’t think I will use them regularly. If I can find an online service with comparable quality (and so far I think Sydney Fresh is winning) I’m more likely to use it, especially at this stage in life when I need to negotiate the shops with a small baby (and especially at this stage in Sydney’s weather pattern of rain, rain and more rain).

Sydney Fresh review

6 Feb

At the end of last week I received my order of fruit and veg from Sydney Fresh. Instead of ordering a mixed box, I decided to just order specifically what we needed for the coming week. For $37 I received:

1
Pumpkin – Butternut – whole
$4.80 / whole
$4.80
3
Lemons
$0.70 each
$2.10
1
Broccoli
$2.20 / head
$2.20
1
Capsicum – Red
$1.20 each
$1.20
1
Capsicum – Green
$0.90 each
$0.90
1
Zucchini
$0.70 each
$0.70
1
Snowpeas (200g)
$2.60 / 200g
$2.60
1
Mushrooms – Button (250g)
$2.90 / 250g
$2.90
1
Avocado – Hass – ready to eat
$2.40 each
$2.40
1
Mushrooms – Swiss Brown
$4.20 / 200g
$4.20
1
Shallots (half bunch)
$1.20 / half bunch
$1.20
1
Basil – half bunch
$1.80 / half bunch
$1.80
1
Coriander
$1.80 / bunch
$1.80
2
Garlic (Sth America)
$1.60 each
$3.20
1
Eggs – Free Range – 700g
$5.00 / dozen
$5.00

To say I’m impressed with the quality would be an understatement! Wow! Everything looked bright and in good condition, and there was a great fresh smell when we carried the box into the kitchen.

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The box was packed sensibly (heavy items at the bottom, herbs on the top) and covered in a layer of brown paper. There was no unnecessary plastic packaging or wrapping.

The Sydney Fresh website was easy to use (compared with the AFD site which I found really cumbersome and frustrating). Their delivery windows for my area are two 90 min evening slots per week which works well for us. Delivery is free but the minimum order is $35.

I was impressed by the choices available (eg. six different types of mushrooms!) and that many items came in half or whole sizes. Most of the herbs are $1.80 per bunch which is approximately 70c cheaper than Coles Online (and based on this order, considerably better in quality- look at the basil and coriander!)

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I would certainly consider ordering a mixed box next time- the items included all look like things I’d use (no Iceberg lettuce but instead a bag of mixed salad leaf! Sensible!). I simply didn’t need anymore potatoes, carrots or onions this week which is why I self-selected. It is possible to enter preferences for mixed box items, though (“never” or “favourite”), and to even say whether you want only fruit, only veg, 75% fruit, 75% veg, or half-half, which seems very generous for a “mixed” box!

Based on this experience I’d definitely recommend Sydney Fresh and would be keen to try them again.

Box Fresh review by Meredith

31 Jan

This F&V review comes from Carrickature’s first ever guest blogger, and my good pal, Meredith! Welcome Mera, and thanks! (I told her my readership is very friendly so please give her a big friendly “hi”!)

This week Mera decided to try Box Fresh. She ordered a small Mum and Baby box for $37 (plus an additional refundable $5 box deposit). Over to her…

Fruit-Veg-Box_medium

Small mum and baby box image from Box Fresh website

“I’ve been looking into options for years but never did anything, mainly for two reasons: 1) delivery to our area was Thurs/Fri and I didn’t want fresh stuff to go to waste as we tended to be out of the house over the weekend, and 2) there were limited options for picking your own stuff and after [a previous] experience where we got the same basic produce every fortnight I just didn’t want to get stuck with a cauliflower and iceberg lettuce every delivery (I know you know what I’m talking about).  But, like you, I’m eating at home more often these days and getting Coles online, so it seemed to make sense to start looking again.  I was happy with Coles quality but often found they sent items that weighed as much as possible in order to charge more and I only ordered the bare minimum as I wouldn’t buy what looked nice anymore because I couldn’t see it!  I started thinking the freshest stuff we can get is best for Billy now he’s on solids, and that Dave and I would eat more fruit and veg if it arrived on our doorstep.  I was also inspired by your post.

So, queue Box Fresh!  I chose it for the following reasons:

1) you can order one offs easily, it doesn’t have to be recurring,

2) I looked at the lists of the box contents and liked the inclusions and the variety in each box,

3) the concept of the mum and baby box appealed to me and seemed like they had done their research as a company.  I figured I could at least puree and freeze a lot of the contents, avoiding wastage.

4) you don’t have to be home for the delivery.   I was unsure about their delivery day of Friday to our area, and how that would work for us.

BoxFresh1

So my box arrived today as promised!  I ordered the small Mum and Baby Box for $37.  There is a $5 refundable deposit for the polystyrene box.

BoxFresh

I noticed that it was packaged with thought and the box was full and had obviously been refrigerated in the delivery van.  There was a lot of variety, much more than we got in [our previous home delivered F&V experience].  The quality was excellent.  I felt that it was quite similar to what I was promised on the website, and to what I expected.  The main downside was that there wasn’t much quantity of each item e.g. 2 plums, 3 apples, 3 peaches which is the flipside to variety I guess.  You can’t have it all!  The main problem with this is if you want to do a big batch of something then its limiting.  I would consider getting the $10 fruit boost in the future.  I guess the other option is to get the larger box.  Other than that I see no downside.  I realise I like a Friday delivery as I can plan my weeks meals for next week around what I have in my box, which is seasonal and interesting.  The best part: not an iceberg lettuce in sight!

The half cauliflower got pureed today, the grapes were nibbled on (delicious) and the mushrooms/garlic/tomatoes made a yummy pasta sauce for dinner.  I’m looking forward to next week’s box already”.

Well, there you have it folks! A very positive review for the Box Fresh small Mum and Baby box! Myles’ only question in response: do you have to be a small mother to order this box?

Aussie Farmers Direct review

25 Jan

I’ve been ordering my groceries through Coles Online for about 5 months now. It’s been tremendously convenient not having to leave the house to do the shopping and overall we’re spending less per week because there’s no temptation to impulse buy! The downside, however, has been consistently disappointing fruit and vegetable quality. To their credit, when I called Coles to complain about a bag of beans that was only 1/3rds usable they put $10 on my account, but that just doesn’t cut it when every week you’re having to re-plan meals because the ingredients aren’t up to scratch.

So, I put it out on Facebook that I wanted to try using a different company just for the F&V. I had lots of replies and suggestions and have decided to try each one once to get a feel for what they offer.

I registered with Aussie Farmers Direct (AFD) online last week and then received a phone call just “checking” to see if I wanted to proceed with an order. When the woman offered me $20 off a regular family size box as a start-up deal, I knew which company I’d be trying first.

Without further ado, I present to you the AFD regular family mixed box, normally $36 but I got it for $16. And, now, having unpacked it, I’m glad that’s all it’s cost me.

AFD1

AFD2

Issues with this box:

– what on earth am I going to do with all that iceberg lettuce?!
– we’re not that really into rockmelon or Red Delicious apples
– several of the nectarines are soft, with two having rotten patches
– the basil is in a sealed plastic packet and has sweated and gone limp and slimy (there goes Friday’s pesto dinner plan…)

AFD3

AFD4

I appreciate that maybe I was just unlucky this time, or that perhaps the AFD organic box would be better (some friends have said it’s great, however it is considerably more at $56). Also, maybe their pick and choose option would be better for us so we don’t get things we don’t like.

Overall, I’m not thrilled with what I got today though. It’s planted a seed of doubt in my mind about AFD quality so I’m moving onto another company for my next order. Stay tuned!