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Jul 27, 2009 04:55 AM

Best fruit/veg delivery in Toronto?

Does anyone have a fruit/veg box delivery service you can recommend?

It's the only way I can be sure I always have enough fresh produce at home for us. (Too busy w/ work.)
Thank you!

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  1. I have been using Mama Earth Organics for almost a year now. I get their "small basket" for $25/week and find its the perfect size for myself, my husband (not a huge vegie eater)and my 3 year old. You can also customize your basket each week for an additional $2 or add additional items to be included. They are also very pleasant to deal with and will more than compensate you if there is anything in your delivery that is not up to par.

    Mama Earth Organics
    1510 Birchmount Rd, Toronto, ON M1P, CA

    12 Replies
    1. re: swissmissy

      I too use Mama Earth and echo your praises. My roommate and I get the "regular basket" as we are big veggie eaters.

      1. re: JaclynS

        That's good to know. We have a share from Plan B Organics this year and have not been overly impressed.

        1. re: EarlyDrive

          hi earlydrive,

          i was looking into plan b but have decided to wait until next year.

          can you please elaborate on your thoughts about your share??


          1. re: lilaki

            Hi Lilaki, sorry I didn't respond to your email earlier --just came back to this post.

            I find the Plan B share to be uninspired. Every week, we receive 3 greens: always one salad greens, usually a romaine, and either a spinach or kale. There are sooooo many different greens at the farmers' markets this summer, that I would have hoped to see something a little more interesting.

            Ohter than the greens, we have also received: strawberries, potatoes (delicious), lots of zucchini (delicious), and mushrooms. And that's pretty much it.

            I find the markets so much more inspiring and varied so basically, I've paid for a share and then spend as much again at the farmers' markets on the weekend.

            I am disappointed because I really wanted to support Plan B and the CSA model but I don't think I'll be doing it for another year.

            1. re: EarlyDrive

              hi earlydrive,

              tks for the review ... i'm wondering if the uninspired crops has to do with the cool/wet summer we've had so far?

              would you mind coming back to post a thread about plan b once the season is done?


          2. re: EarlyDrive

            EarlyDrive, I've been disappointed in my Plan B share this year too. We had a share last year and loved it. We got so many delicious and unexpected things, all kinds of different greens like purslane and mizuna, zucchini and summer squashes, watermelon, peppers, tomatoes... There was always at least one sexy veggie.

            This year it's been meh. Cabbage, potatoes, salad mix, repeat. I don't know if the cold weather has been difficult for their crops, but there has been no expectation setting and no communication with CSA members.

            I don't really want to do a food delivery box because I really like the CSA model, but there are so few CSA options in Toronto, I feel like it's basically Plan B or nothing (especially if, like me, you don't have a car).

            1. re: fitzlicious

              FoodShare has been working directly with local farmers for produce as well. It's not a CSA per se, but they are making a contribution. As well, there are so many drop-off points in Toronto, you'll probably find one close to you. No car needed.

            2. re: EarlyDrive

              i wonder if there is a connection between quality and location?

              my hamiltonian friend has been with plan b for two years now and absolutely loves it. she's also been sending me the regular e-mails she's been getting from them (pictures, box contents, recipes) to give me an idea of what is going on every few weeks. she just got mizuna in her box this week.

              perhaps the toronto boxes are different?

              1. re: lilaki

                We got mizuna this week in Toronto too. The boxes do, however, seem a little bit less exciting for me this year. This is the risk you take when participating in the CSA model - one of the key aspects of CSA is that you are sharing the risk with the farmer that the crops will be plentiful. The whole point of CSA is moving away from the model where the farmer is the only party who absorbs the loss during lean years. It is therefore theoretically possible to buy a share and then receive nothing if the crops totally fail or the farm is mismanaged (hence the importance of going with a reliable farm).

                This is not just another green box delivery service and it is not suited to people who are looking for that, although I think Plan B could do a better job of getting that across to shareholders.

                1. re: basileater

                  hi basileater,

                  tks for confirming mizuna in the toronto boxes.

                  i am really interested in the CSA model because i want to support a farm ... we've been doing the farmers market this summer and it's been good (although, pricey) but i'd like to do plan b next year...

                  so far, do you have any other comments re: your plan b boxes this year? how long have you been with plan b? are you going to do the fall/winter share with plan b too?


                  1. re: lilaki

                    Hi, very sorry I am only seeing this now.

                    I have used Plan B for two full summers. Last year the weather was off so there weren't as many tomatoes etc., but there was always something else in there to fill up the box (e.g. tomatillos). I also did the fall and winter share last year.

                    I really like them and I'm going to keep ordering from them. There are times you get inundated with some produce because they've harvested a bounty, but that is part of the fun of the CSA model.

                    1. re: basileater

                      hi basileater,

                      no prob! thanks for replying!

                      we decided to go with wanigan ... i really wanted to support plan b but the pick-up option just doesn't work for us ... the pick-up depot isn't too far from our house but it is NOT on the way for us at all on the scheduled pick up day. hubby and i are always running in so many different directions, we decided that a delivery service would be better. since delivery with our weekly wanigan is already included, we decided to go with that. we've been doing it since november and absolutely love it. we are now debating whether we will stop our wanigan once the farmers markets come back or whether we'll continue and just supplement at the farmers market.

        2. Does any of you who have done these programs live in a condo? I'm wondering how to work around that...

          1 Reply
          1. re: chocabot

            Yes, I do. I found myself with an extra FOB that I left with Mama Earth delivery and they drop the box outside my door, I leave the empty one for them. Has worked like a charm so far! You only have to be there the first time for FOB hand-off.

          2. I've used Green Earth Organics (the small bin for $37) for years. They allow 4 subs (though they've been nice when I've wanted to do more). I'd say the fruits and veg are usually quite good; when I don't like something, they're good at giving me an extra pick for the next week.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ediblethoughts

              I've also used Green Earth Organics for about 6 years, the service is excellent and they are a great little business that has been around for 10 years, very consistent content and quality-I'm on the 24th floor, so I know they go to highrise condos. Though they are not totally local they do deal direct with organic farmers in the growing season.

            2. We've had fairly consistent experiences with Front Door Organics. $35/week (we do every other), $5 extra for unlimited subs, they're happy to give us a freebie the week after any bad item, very easy with their online system to manage vacations, etc. I wouldn't say that we've been elated with their produce, but it's very consistent and we've come accustomed to their procedures. They prioritize ON produce but are not exclusively local.

              2 Replies
              1. re: drjolt

                I'll second the Front Door Organics recommandation. I've used them for years, and definitely 'consistent' is what comes to mind. I've rarely been disappointed with the quality, the only thing I can really remember was a few batches of bananas that didn't ripen a few years ago. I find that there's enough seasonal variety to make it interesting (kale, chard, rhubarb, scapes, mango, sweet potatoes, and so on), while still counting on the basics to always be there (apples, oranges, pears, lettuce, mushrooms). A few weeks ago I got a potted basil plant! They have a huge grocery section, so you can add to your order also.

                Plus they're really nice. When I moved into a new building I tried having them drop off the bin in the lobby, then came home that evening to find almost all my produce stolen. They added a few free items in my next order, including a special item I had ordered previously. Now I've given them the code to the building, and they drop it off right at my door. You can also give them a key. On the whole, I've been very satisfied.

                1. re: sgogo

                  That's my problem: I live in a very large building (235 units) and leaving a nice box or basket at my door is too much temptation for people who pass by. i just don't know what to do. Too bad...

              2. thanks! deciding between mama earth and front door

                1 Reply
                1. re: melnumnums

                  I receive a box from Front Door Organics every two weeks. I love their customer service and the products they carry.

                  When I decided to start using them probably about 3 years ago now, it was because they had later deliveries. For my area the lovely lady delivers around 6pm. I am already home so no worries of anything being taken. She rings the bell when she is there so I know to come and grab my box.

                  They have a promotion that you can receive an all Ontario box with anything you chose for $35.00. I love it! They have some really odd veggies I find too. It is a great chance to try something I have not yet. For what I receive, I do not buy any other produce except what I receive from them. It lasts the entire two weeks if we do not eat it before then. We are a family of two though.

                  If you ever have an issue with anything, they will credit you for your next order and sometimes even refund it to your credit car.