Julie is the author of a number of guidebooks, including 'Melbourne's Best Bush Bay and City Walks' & 'Melbourne for Dogs' (with RSPCA). Read more of her adventures at her walks blog: walksmelbourne.com
Want more time to get out and about or to relax on the weekend? Hate the argy-bargy of the Saturday morning/Sunday night supermarket? These days there are plenty of services around to make your life simpler and give you back your hard-earned leisure time.
I am a big fan of home delivery fruit and vegetable boxes. When I lived in London in the '80's, there was a great local organic green grocer who used to drop off a box of all things seasonal and delicious each week, and I never got past the feeling of getting excited at what goodies were landing on my doorstep. Sad but true.
So as an exercise in both nostalgia and also practicality, and also as a personal rant against the might of the supermarkets and what they are doing to our local producers, I recently decided to try out the Melbourne fruit and veg delivery scene.
A friend introduced me to Aussie Farmers Direct, who cut out the middle man and deliver twice a week, direct from the farmers to the consumers. They have fantastic introductory specials for new customers and provide everything from weekly fruit/veg seasonal boxes, to milk, bread, meat, eggs. The quality of their produce is generally really good and their service is terrific and very friendly. I also like the fact that they include a recipe in each of the weekly boxes using whatever produce they have sent out. I love the unpredictability of not knowing what you might get each week, as it inspires me to cook new and interesting things. But if you prefer to know what you are getting, you can order by individual items as well. You can set up a standing order so you don't have to think about it, or do it as and when it suits you. The fruit and veg boxes start at $26 for a couple or $36 for a family and if you prefer organic they are $36 for a couple or $56 for a family. They also have a listing of what's in the weekly boxes.
If organic is really your thing, you can also try Victoria Organic Delivery who deliver next day and provide a wide range of organic produce, bread, milk, eggs, pastas - all sorts of other foods and even household cleaners. Their seasonal fruit and veggie boxes come in a range of sizes, from $40 through to $100, and again you can choose your own items, or let them select them. They are very amenable about tailoring your order to your needs, and also offer an excellent 'Busy Box' which includes fruit and veg, milk, cheese, bread and soup for $68.
Market Runners mixed box of yum
There are other excellent locally based suppliers, such as Frootsalad, who have very flexible delivery schedules to fit in with busy working lives, and The Market Runners, a 4th generation fruiterier family who have a very classy operation offering, amongst their wide range, classic fruit/veg boxes delivered in reusable wooden crates which include organic milk and a loaf of Phillippa's bread for $39.90 per week.
So, try a box or two, become more sustainable by shopping locally and supporting our local producers, celebrate the flavours of fresh seasonal food and enjoy the extra time you will save to get out and enjoy the Weekend.
We get our seasonal box of fruit/veg delivered by Kelly-Bros www.kelly-bros.com.au). Delivery is included in the box price for $28 and the box arrives at 5am so I can unpack it in the morning before I go to work. the box is returned for recycling - great mix of seasonal produce!
We have been eating Kelly Cube Wholefood Meal Kits. AMAZING. Sourced from local farmers, they are healthy, fun and such good value.www.kellycube.com.au My favourite is the Harissa Chicken with a Summer Pearl Cous Cous ahhh so delicious