With full-time work and running a teen taxi service every weekend, I no longer had the time to commit to our local fruit and veg consortium which required fortnightly 5am runs to the Sydney fruit and veg markets. So I succumbed to a supermarket home delivery service. It was a convenient way to get all the basics, including fruit and vegetables. Not any more though.
The moment of truth was when I chomped into a tomato that had just been delivered with the supermarket shop. It looked like a ripe, red, Roma tomato, felt like a tomato but tasted like nothing. Really, it was just... bland. Nothing like the tomatoes I used to get direct from the markets.
Until you've experienced a tomato fresh from the vine or a strawberry plucked from the patch, you can't appreciate the difference between fresh, seasonal fruit and veg and produce that has been artificially ripened or kept in cold storage.
Unfortunately, we've become accustomed to being able to buy all types of fruit and veg at any time of the year. Berries in winter - no problem. Swede in summer - sure. The thing is, there are good reasons to buy fruit and vegetables that are in season: they taste better, they're cheaper and you'll get more micronutrients from them, including antioxidants.
The bountiful box. Seasonal fruit and vegetables selected with care and delivered with some personal touches
The boxes are bursting with goodness and include not only the freshest produce, but also half a dozen eggs, a beautiful bunch of fresh flowers, herbs and a preserve or baked item (we loved our traditional Italian pomodoro sauce and spaghetti). You'll also receive a printed seasonal recipe (ours was for pumpkin and ricotta pasta bake) and cooking tips for one or more of the items delivered in your box.
This ticks the boxes for me. Fresh fruit and veg, supporting local farmers, shopped for by people with knowledge of and passion for food, delivered to your door. In fact, prior to establishing The Little Grocery Service, the owner of the business, Alison, worked for Vogue Entertaining and Travel in the food department. There, she wrote and tested recipes and now, with a family of her own to feed, utilises her knowledge and experience to source and deliver good, nutritious produce and inspiration to your door.
The Little Grocery Service delivers to the Inner West on a Tuesday, the Eastern Suburbs on a Wednesday and the Lower North Shore and Northern Beaches on a Thursday. Deliveries are also made to the Upper North Shore on various days throughout the week. Unlike some other similar offerings, with The Little Grocery Service there is no weekly commitment, - they just supply to you when you need it - whether weekly, twice a month, monthly or periodically. More information about the service can be found on the website.
As Julie Murphy, author of Nutrition Across a Lifetime said, "You are what you eat. What would you like to be?" For me, it's as simple as a tasty tomato. Anything more is a beautiful bonus.