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I tried the Farmer's Cart organic delivery service

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For all of you who were looking for delivery services, I got my first shipment from the Farmer's Cart organic delivery service a few days ago. They deliver on Wednesdays to the downtown/Silver Lake area and surrounding neighborhoods. I got the $39 box which is the large size. They make the selection for you which is a little odd, since I've never bought radishes in my entire life and now I have a whole bunch of them. But I thought it would be fun to try something different.
I got apples, bananas, broccoli, cucumbers, bagged salad, tomatoes, potatoes, etc. Nothing very exotic. Quality seems pretty good. But it's hard to see how you'd want to receive vegetables you don't pick out yourself week after week -- I guess some services offer more customization. It seems like mainly a convenience for downtown loft dwellers who just can't get to a market.
http://www.thefarmerscart.org/
Coincidentally the same week I got a brochure from Organic Express, which is now delivering in L.A. Has anyone tried them or L.O.V.E. (Los Angeles Vegetable Express) delivery?

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  1. Cool. You'll have to let us know if it's worth it over time, or if it's just as easy to buy $39 worth of random organics at the farmers market. The SO and I contacte LOVE a while back, but they told us they were too busy to take on more deliveries! They did have an "exclusion list" you could fill out for things that you would never consider wanting in your home. Maybe we should re-visit. I kinda like the idea of surprises at the door.

    P.S. I never do radishes either but had several bites of one today between tacos and they do act as a pretty good palate/hot sauce cleanser!

    1. I did that for a while about a year and a half ago. I can't remember the name of the service, but it might have been Organic Express. I liked it sort of, but not enough. It was very repetitive from week to week, there was nothing exotic, and although I was able to tailor the contents to some extent, they still managed to send stuff I just wasn't in the mood for. And it wasn't necessarily at the peak of ripeness, either. It was basically grocery store stuff. I'm waiting to see a service that brings me special stuff, or especially delicious stuff. That I would be glad to pay for.

      1. I tried LOVE for a while and was pretty disappointed with it. The produce was no better than Whole Foods and there certainly wasn't anything exotic. I like the idea of a delivery service that specializes in high quality, in season stuff from local farms with an emphasis on the unusual. But it doesn't seem to exist in LA as far as I can tell.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Dylan

          Had a similar experience with organic delivery although I can't remember the name of the service, in all fairness. We had the $25 option and for that we had a paltry serving of the ubiquitous radishes (which we buy all the time at the Mercado for five for $1); four small potatoes, two or three zuccini and some crinkly lettuce which showed its organic pedigree by not being trimmed. I felt ripped off and after two deliveries, cancelled this. Felt Whole Foods was much better and since I like to have the illusion we eat fresh vegetables, make at least a couple of trips to the market a week. Somehow I don't think this works in LA because of the availablity of markets who have very extended hours.

          1. re: ZoeZ

            Yeah, I think that's what I'm concluding. Most people who cook enough to really benefit from this want something besides potatoes and carrots. I need my broccoli rabe, my red peppers, etc. to cook a good meal.

        2. I have friends in other cities that get organic deliveries, and they're generally pretty happy with what they get. But judging by these posts, LA's options don't look too good. Plus, the top poster here writes there were bananas in her package, which is unlikely to be grown locally. "Organic" is all well and good, but what I'm looking for in a delivery service is a way of tapping into produce from local growers.

          4 Replies
          1. re: jake

            That's exactly what I'm searching for: Local grown organic produce delivery! Has anyone found anything worth while on that front? I'm actually more concerned about food miles than organic if I have to make the trade off. Therefore, I'd prefer locally grown foods to organic but ideally would love to have both. The local farmer's markets are great but not always convenient for my schedule. Thoughts, experience?

            1. re: amuffinmama

              sorry-- i'm an outsider to the board, but thought i'd drop this csa link off

              http://www.localharvest.org/search-cs...

              1. re: soupkitten

                That's an excellent link, I found out about the South Central Farmers Co-Op via Local Harvest. Thanks!

                www.southcentralfarmers.com

                1. re: originhistoriccore

                  you're most welcome!

          2. I did Organic Express for a couple of months. They offer plenty of customization, and you can add grocerys. I agree that most of the items you can easily pick up at Whole Foods, TJ's, or even your local grocery store. Just out of curiousty I logged onto their site just now. The most "exotic" offering in their fresh produce box would have to be shitake mushrooms (oooh! fancy! not.) Otherwise, it's gala apples, bananas, chard, eggplant. Yawn. The service was quite good though. But really, unless there's some reason you can't get to the grocery store on a regular basis, I don't see the point.

            1. I use LOVE delivery each week and I am generally happy. There were a couple issues with the peaches/nectarines going bad but I've had the same problem with ones from the farmers markets and Whole Foods so I don't think it is an issue specific to LOVE. They are really great about allowing you to customize from week to week and I think the variety is generally good - it is a product of seasonality/availability. For someone that works full time but still needs to have fresh produce all the time for his/her family, this is an excellent option. I only have to go to the grocery store once a week to supplement my LOVE delivery, while before I was having to find the time to go to the grocery store 2-3 times a week, which I found difficult since Whole Foods is only open until 10 each day and isn't geographically convenient for me.

              1. i have done organic express. my experience is that they had many of the same branded items (cascadian) as WF, but OE seemed to be fresher and last longer than what i was buying at WF (which i love).

                i wonder if the farmers cart is a not-for-profit (NFP) as it's a dot-org.

                we get most our fruit/veg from a NFP, CSA, biodynamic sustainable farm called TIERRA MIGUEL near oceanside. organic and they compost, so the soil is rich and the produce is incredible. you can pick at many sites around l.a. once a week or once every other week.

                this week my box has basil, bok choy, carrots, eggplant, romaine and red leaf lettuces, jujube, okra, red onion, red potatoes, bush delicata and kurobota squash, and tomatoes (cherry, celebrity and heirloom -- all taste homegrown).

                you can volunteer at and visit the farm as well.

                there are sign-up windows and it is a non-refundable pledge for the year.

                www.tierramiguelfarm.org

                1 Reply
                1. re: revets2

                  Tierra Miguel Farm looks incredible and exactly what I'm looking for: what they call community sustained agriculture, basically local grown and supported farms. And they deliver, however, not to Silverlake/Echo Park area - at least not yet! Thanks for the info - very useful.

                2. We have gotten LOVE delivery for the past three years. We "subscribe" to the small box, every other week, and I love not having to go to the store to supplement my veggies and fruits for at least a week. I get to customize my order as well -- options of course are due to what's available in the season. Sometimes I feel like the quality is not as good as if I myself went to the farmer's market to pick the produce out - but on the whole it is fine and well worth saving time and money -- unfortunately I don't always have the time to go to the farmer's market or to whole foods. This past week for $29 I got: pears, apples, oranges, oyster mushroom, squash, tomatos, potatos, plums, grapes, dates .... and other stuff that I can't remember. I think it's well worth the price -- I'd be spending more at whole foods.

                  1. Maybe you can make little tea sandwiches with butter, radishes and salt on white bread. Not what you were posting about, but yummy, pre-dinner treat in France.

                    1. Bananas? in Southern California? It doesn't sound like they are buying from local farmers? What next the famous pineapples of the Salton Sea?

                      1. FWIW I grow bananas in OC and I see a bunch of other people doing same. they're quite easy to grow organically to be honest. I'm not saying they were local but that it's not impossible.

                        1. i don't know if any of these services claim to be local or sustainable. TIERRA MIGUEL is the only one i know that is semi-local if you call oceanside/pauma valley local.

                          1. I tried Organc Express and was disappointed. To echo what a few other posters said, their variety of fruits and veggies were repetative from week to week and nothing was really special--very pedestrian fare. I also had a few times where the produce was rotten when I got it and while I probably could have gotten it replaced, it was too much of a hassle (read: I'm lazy). I think you're better off at frequenting a farmer's market or going to a good grocery.

                            1. I use ParadiseO.com and am very happy with it. I've been using it for 5 months now, although I have to admit, if tierra miguel had a drop off near me I'd rather have that, mostly because it is locally grown. With paradise o, quality has been excellent and there is enough variety for me... I have to agree with the others about organic express. Not enough variety.

                              1. Community Services Unlimited
                                This is an organization that operates out of South Central. Is local and organic. They don't deliver but have a farm stand open once a week close by USC. They will pack up a bag for you to pick up for a very cost efficient price. Super cool organization.

                                http://www.csuinc.org/

                                1. I talked to LOVE on Sunday, and as for local produce, they have the same providers as Spud (formerly Organic Express)does, so either of those might be a good option. I'm going to try LOVE next week.

                                  1. I was just talking about this with a friend of mine and I guess his girlfriend uses Green Spring Organic (I think that's the name), she lives in hermosa beach and I'm not sure exactly where they deliver, but he says that she's really happy with their quality and price. Just wanted to share my two pennies.