One of the few good things about this trash fire disaster of a year is that it’s forced us to think outside our usual routines. One of my favourite discoveries so far has been getting vegetable boxes from local suppliers that would normally be filling up office fruit bowls or stocking restaurants with produce.
Because even in the parts of Australia that are living in Covid normal, more people are working and eating at home instead of going to offices and restaurants. So, lots of farms, market stalls and suppliers have had to get more creative in their offerings.
While Woolies online is trying to sell individual apples for 65c each (in Melbourne, at least), you can get a massive fruit and veg box that’ll feed a family of four for $70 delivered. Heck, in some parts of Australia you can get a similar amount of food for $50. Some companies will also include milk and eggs in some packages. The main fruit and veg box my family got at the beginning of lockdown 2.1 would sometimes include jams and egg noodles.
With these kinds of boxes, the produce is usually much fresher than what you’d find in the supermarket because it’s handled and transported fewer times. It also tends to have a little more variety (depending on which one you choose) than you’d grab from the supermarket. That’s great, because it broadens your food horizons and lets you try things you might not feel comfortable picking up in the supermarket because they’re usually expensive and you don’t know how to pick them (looking at you, eggplant). It can make every week like the best kind of MasterChef mystery box challenge.
Of course, if you prefer to stick to your usual staples, a lot of places will let you make requests to stay away from certain things, or only include the essentials.
You get that warm glow that only comes from supporting small, local businesses and farmers. Plus, if you’re still feeling a little nervous about going to the petri dish commonly known as a ‘supermarket’, getting one of these fruit and vegetable boxes will reduce how often you need to go, or at least how long you need to spend there.
Some of the places we’ve tried include Novafresh, Bring Me Home, Melba & Me, and Grampians Produce Co. But it’s definitely worth having a look around your local area and seeing which places do stuff you like.