Review: 10kg Produce Box from Bondi Fruitologist

One thing you should probably know about me by now is that I’m a massive sucker for daily deal websites such as Living Social, Groupon, Our Deal, etc. I’ve eaten out a few times using daily deal vouchers, and bought a fruit and veg box from Doorstep Organics as well (with mixed results).

Just recently, I snapped up yet another deal for a fruit and vegetable box – 10kg of fresh produce from Bondi Fruitologist for $49 (normally around $100). I’m so glad I didn’t learn from my negative past experiences. I was really impressed with the contents of the box, and the service as well. I just called up on the Friday morning to order the box, and it was ready for us to pick up on the Saturday morning – with a free 2litre bottle of fresh orange juice thrown in as a freebie!

bondi-fruitologist

Included in the box was:  A small mixed salad, four carrots, three potatoes, four brown onions, four zucchini, fur tomatoes, four cucumbers, one head of broccoli, two handfuls of green beans, half a celery, two corn cobs, four bananas, four apples, four peaches, four nectarines, four oranges, a punnet of strawberries, a punnet of blueberries, a bunch of green grapes, half a rockmelon, half a pineapple, and the bottle of orange juice. Whew!

I was really pleased with the quality of the produce overall. Unlike some of the produce I received in my last fruit and veg box from Doorstep Organics, everything was still super fresh and firm – nothing was going soft and mushy, and I can see most of the produce lasting the full week (we eat a lot of vegetables and snack on a lot of fruit – at least three pieces each every day!).

I’ve already used a lot of it for a dinner party we held over the weekend. The celery, two tomatoes and an onion went into the base of an Italian-style sauce that I made for a slow-cooked chicken drumstick dish. The potatoes, carrots, zucchini and two other onions were used as sides for a roast dinner. For dessert, I served up the rockmelon, strawberries, blueberries and nectarines as a fruit platter.

Well done Bondi Fruitologist, this box was really impressive and great value. If I didn’t live on the other side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and was actually closer to Bondi, I would come back and buy a lot of my weekly produce from your store!

Doorstep Organics Vegbox: Summary

I purchased a $65 Budget Box of organic veggies from Doorstep Organics last week, using a $35 Living Social voucher. Having never used a doorstep food delivery service like this before, I was interested to see what it would be like. My unwritten criteria for judging the box is based primarily on value for money, and quality of the produce. In particular, the question of “is this cheaper and fresher than what I would normally buy from the local fruit shop” was foremost in my mind when I was preparing meals.

I made four main meals and one main side dish out of the box:

We snacked on the fruit in the box for our morning and afternoon teas, plus as a dessert option at night. I also cut up the celery into sticks, and had them as an afternoon snack with peanut butter.

Disappointingly, there was some produce that we needed to throw out before we could consume it – half a head of cos lettuce that went limp and slimy, and some peaches that wrinkled and melted within four to five days of receiving the box. I also mentioned in earlier entries as well, that the bananas were brown within two days, and the avocado wouldn’t have lasted more than two days as well.

This is actually the main reason as to why I might hesitate to buy another vegbox in the future – I like to pick the produce myself to ensure it lasts the week. For example, if I buy bananas, I’ll buy two ripe bananas, two less ripe bananas, and two green bananas. That way, I get consistently ripe bananas to eat throughout the week!

Overall, I also thought that the box wasn’t great value. Don’t get me wrong – for the $35 price I got, it was fine. The quantity of produce we received was on par what I could buy at my local (non-organic) grocer. However, if I was to pay the full $65 price every week for this produce on top of other groceries I buy from week to week (meat, grains, dairy, etc), I’d be paying around $1500 more each year. It’s not sustainable and not an attractive option either, when you consider that the extra $30 a week could buy you a reasonably nice meal out each week. There’s so many great cheap restaurants in Sydney that I haven’t yet tried that an extra meal out each week would really help!

I may try my luck at another vegbox option in the New Year. Someone put me onto Aussie Farmers, and their fruit and veg box for couples looks like it might be a good basic box that you could then supplement with a few produce specials from the supermarket.

Does anyone else have other suggestions for vegbox suppliers?

Review: Doorstep Organics VegBox

I recently bought a $35 LivingSocial voucher for a $65 Budget Box of organic fruit and veggies from Doorstep Organics. A few people I know, both in Australia and overseas, use these home delivery services and report good experiences and benefits including the opportunity to try produce they wouldn’t normally eat. More importantly to me, the option of a week’s worth of veggies at half price was appealing!

I knew the first hurdle of getting things delivered would be the delivery itself. I live above a shop, and the entrance to my apartment is from behind the shop, through a large parking garage, up a few flights of stairs…it’s convoluted! I left as precise instructions as possible for the delivery driver and hoped for the best. They did well – I was delighted to find a large box of produce waiting for me on my front step when I got home from work!

The box included: one large bunch of silverbeet, half a celery, one cos lettuce, one bunch of asparagus, one bunch of broccolini, two carrots, two zucchini, one corn cob, one cucumber, one avocado, six potatoes, two handfuls of green beans, two handfuls of rocket, half a dozen kiwi fruit, three bananas, three apples, four peaches, and three oranges.

The quantity provided is about correct for a week’s worth of vegetables for K and I (providing we eat out at our usual rate), though realistically with more variety than we normally buy (e.g. I don’t think we’ve ever bought silverbeet). However we normally eat a lot more fruit than what was provided as we snack on fruit during the day and usually finish our evening meal with a light serve of fruit as well.

I’m already starting to mentally plan our meals for the week based on these ingredients. I’ll let you all know what I end up cooking from the ingredients in this box, and perhaps share a few new recipes as well!