Now that the Maplewood Farmer’s Market is closed for the season, here are a few purveyors that provide fresh, organic produce during the colder months. We all know the value of putting nutritious food on the table every day, but sometimes it’s difficult to find a place that meets your high standards when it comes to pesticides and other potential food contaminants. While you may have relied upon the farmer’s market for purchasing quality fruits and vegetables, we’re here to give you a few alternatives for the off-season.
Here is a spotlight of convenient organic produce options:
Door to Door Organics
One alternative to the farmer’s market that’s been pioneering the way customers interact with the organic foods industry, is Door to Door Organics. As one of the most mainstream food delivery services in the business, any order is just a couple of days away. Dedicated to providing vegetable options year round, this service is perfect for Maplewood residents who won’t take no for an answer when it comes to the quality of food they’re putting in their bodies. To place an order, all a potential customer has to do is select a produce box from their website and set a delivery date. It’s really that simple. You can customize what comes in your box, and you’ll welcome the influx of fresh produce making its way into your home. If your kitchen welcomes variety, it’s hard to go wrong with a service like this, and the advantage is difficult to beat.
Another service that’s similar to Door to Door Organics is Farmbox Direct. With this online service, users log on to the website and place an order for one of their package options. Choices range from the “All Natural Small Box,” which contains essential fruits & vegetables perfect for making 3-4 meals a week, to more robust orders like the “Only Organic Large Box.” Simply put, customers have the ability to prioritize organic vs all natural produce during every order. Don’t like everything in your box? Farmbox Direct lets you review what’s going into a shipment before it goes out, and you can switch out up to five items per delivery for other substitutions. One feature that you’ll find unique is their green, orange, and red juicing boxes. They provide the perfect blend of fruits and vegetables for all of the dedicated juicers out there.
Purple Dragon Co-Op
One more addition to the mail order method is the Purple Dragon Co-Op, which kicked off the trend toward community-based health initiatives focused on produce in Essex County. Founded in 1987, the organization prides itself in providing top-notch fruits and vegetables to partners at a reasonable price. Their model is based on a collective wholesale method. Every two weeks, members are charged a flat rate based on where they live and how much they volunteer their time to help the co-op. This money is then compiled to purchase food wholesale, at a considerable discount. A variety-pack of fresh food is then distributed back to the team (and even delivered straight to your door). Every delivery is a little different, but the entire process is fairly convenient. The great prices are a nice change, too.
Organic Lifestyle Foods
Taking the Purple Dragon model one step further is Organic Lifestyle Foods, a food delivery service that provides fresh and flash frozen meat, fruit, and vegetables that are naturally and/or organically sourced. Unlike the Purple Dragon Co-Op, you get to specifically choose your groceries rather than receive a surprise bundle every service period. All you do is go online and pick out the items you’d like to buy. Pulling from both local and national farms, the company is able to operate year-round and provide quite the cornucopia of options. Definitely something to consider if you don’t want to compromise on substance, but still live a busy lifestyle.
Whether you’re after the all-in-one store, or in search of a more small-scale approach, there are plenty of places where you can find organic produce in the Maplewood area. If you’re like us, and need a reliable grocery supplier until the farmer’s market opens back up, we’re confident you’ll be satisfied with the options around our great town. With that said, bon appétit! We wish you many memorable, healthy meals around the table this winter.