Last March 3, with three kids and all, my husband and I trooped to the South to pick up my first order from The Green Grocer, an online store selling organic vegetables, meat, poultry, dairy and grocery products. It was really challenging since our car is not yet fixed and the place was located in a village where tricycles are scarce; plus we were anticipating a lot of stuff to carry back home which always happens when we visit my parents.
But yeah, we survived the whole trip and I was so happy as I was checking out the items in the “basket.”
Let me slow down a bit for you.
Ordering from The Green Grocer
I found The Green Grocer while I was surfing for online stores that sell organic products. I’ve heard of online stores that sell and deliver veggies and stuff, so I thought perhaps someone with an organic head would think of doing it as well. And I was right. The Green Grocer wasn’t the only one, but their system is most convenient for us.
All I needed to do was go to their website, pick products I want to buy, choose my payment option (I’m so happy that they have C.O.D.) and choose a schedule for delivery.
For Makati area, their delivery schedules are Wednesdays and Saturdays, and the cutoff for the delivery for those days is set at 12 noon on Mondays.
Complete Farmer’s Basket
Since it was my first time, I decided to check out their list of special packages. These are assorted veggies and meat put together in one pack.
I was torn between the Organic Fresh Harvest Family pack, which consisted mainly of in season produce, and the Complete Farmer’s Basket, which was basically the Organic Fresh Harvest with eggs and some meat and chicken; and if you’re lucky, you get grass-fed butter or seafood depending on the availability.
I eventually decided on getting the Farmer’s basket because I wanted to try their “naturally raised” meat and poultry. I was secretly hoping for some of the seafood products, haha!
Now, for those who are not familiar with the term, I googled “Naturally Raised” and according to Mother Earth News, it means:
“…meat coming from animals that are raised in a humane way, never given antibiotics or added hormones, and fed a pure vegetarian diet.”
As you must know, all commercially sold meat and poultry products are not naturally raised. Of course what your meat takes in when they were alive also goes into the eater. That’s what I would think. At the rate health is going nowadays, I think it’s high time we start paying attention to the food we eat.
It’s important to understand the terms so you know exactly what you’re getting. For example, chicken products labeled “free range” are not necessarily organic. It only means the chickens were allowed to roam, but it doesn’t mean that they were not injected with hormones nor given antibiotics.
The difficulty of going organic
In the Philippines, especially in Manila, it’s a bit of a challenge to change this part in our lifestyle because even if organic harvest is more accessible now than it had been a few years ago, they’re expensive.
Plus I think not all products we normally use are regularly available. Much as I would love to go completely organic, I can’t because of such circumstances.
I try my best, though. We’ve been using coconut oil for cooking and we stopped using flavor enhancers already. I recently learned how to make our own tomato sauce for our spaghetti.
So for the meantime, I thought the Farmer’s Basket is a good way to inch closer to going all organic for us.
Anyway, I originally scheduled the delivery on a Wednesday. Unfortunately, we couldn’t follow through with it and had to postpone the delivery to Saturday. However, the terms and condition state that if you reschedule your delivery for another date after the cutoff time, you will get the exact same products that had already been intended for you – AS IS.
You see, The Green Grocer doesn’t stock on products to ensure freshness. If you can’t pick up your order, the next best option is to pay the 50% restocking fee.
I have no problem with this policy as I think it works best for the clients in the long run, that the company is strict with quality.
When I texted them regarding the changes in my delivery schedule, they reminded me of the quality and urged me to pick up the products as early as I can to make sure that they will not lose freshness. I appreciate that.
What’s in my Farmer’s Basket?
We picked up my order the next day. Although they give you a description of what would be included in your basket, they don’t exactly give you the specifics. It’s like a “surprise” box. You’ll never know what you’re really going to get except for the eggs. That, I think, is consistent.
Anyway, our pack had Kale, Green Rapids, Organic brown eggs, Oregano, Spinach, Squash, Zucchini, cucumbers, Liempo, Chicken Breasts, Grass-fed Beef stew cubes, fresh oyster mushrooms, and organic tomatoes, sugar beets, Okra, Carrots, Broccoli, Okra, Sweet Potatoes and green peas.
It’s a good thing that they gave me a list of what they put in my pack because I didn’t recognize some of them. I had to google some of the names and match them to photos online.
I’m sure I’ve eaten them in restos (I’m not a picky eater) but I’ve never cooked them at home. I found it exciting because it also meant trying out new recipes in my tiny kitchen — which I did!
So far I’ve cooked the Chicken Soup with Kale and Chickpeas, used the spinach on a rice dish, did a version of my favorite low-sodium beef strips salad but using naturally raised pork liempo slices instead.
(Read: Low sodium Beef Strips Salad)
I want to make Zucchini lasagna but I can’t find the recipe, grrr!
Would I recommend The Green Grocer?
Yes. I love the system, it’s so easy to place your order and I’m pretty sure that once they start delivering to my doorstep, it will be completely convenient for us. I’m very satisfied.
The downside to ordering the Complete Farmer’s basket is that since you don’t know what’s really going into your basket, it will not really be complete. I had to buy other things for the recipes that I tried making. But since the basket only costs Php 2,500, we had the remainder of the budget allocated for groceries to buy what we needed. It’s really a matter of planning and discipline. Stick to your menu!
For us, the meat and eggs that came with it was enough for our week’s meal. We had to buy more chicken, fish and lean ground beef from the supermarket for the following week.
I am really pushing for an organic diet for our family. We’re also preparing to create a little vegetable garden here in our balcony. Just some herbs and maybe onion stalks, tomatoes and chillies. The neighbor at the floor below us already had a headstart, haha!
I told my friend that I may not be able to take my kids out to the finest restaurants at the moment, but I want to be able to serve them delicious, clean and healthy meals here at home. I want to give them the best. For me, I think of it as investing on their health. I have faith that the good food they get to eat growing up will prove itself benefiting for their physical health when they grow to be adults.
The Green Grocer requires a minimum order of Php 1,200 and you need to pay a delivery fee. For our area, I will have to pay Php 50 for the delivery. For more on The Green Grocer, check out the following links: