Ordered Online. Delivered to You.

By Jackie Walling | October 01, 2013
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map of places to purchase sustainable foods online

There’s something about getting up early on a fall morning to stroll the aisles of a local farmers’ market – it’s a sensory experience and also one of community. But for many of us who aren’t able to make a weekly trip, ordering online and having fresh food delivered just makes sense.

As a supplement to or the base for your food shopping, the ability to order online helps with meal planning. For those services that allow you to select your items, you can create your weekly menu from good-for-you ingredients, engaging your family in the process of food selection. With those that provide a pre-sorted basket, you can discover unique items that are new to you, and find ways to refresh go-to recipes and mix up your nightly meals.

Luckily, a handful of online options have cropped up that likely deliver in or near your neighborhood. These small businesses are working to support the local economy through buying food from area farmers, focusing on sustainable sources and even helping bring permaculture to fruition. They live and work where we do, and stress their commitment to bridging the disconnect between farmer and consumer. For those of us who love fresh and local, but let time get away from us, these online markets provide an easy way to purchase everything from greens to locally-roasted coffee. Check out the highlights below to see which style and location fits best with you. Enabling sustainability and eating fresh is just a few clicks away.

1. SOUTH | St. Pete Locally Grown

What can you get? In addition to chemical free, very locally grown fruits and vegetables picked as soon as 24 hours before delivery, you’ll find local dairy, grass-fed meat and seafood, bread from Clearwater, Tampa-roasted coffee, and more.

Where does it come from? Farms and small food producers within the Tampa Bay area, including from owners Tina and Nathan Levy who also offer monthly educational workshops related to permaculture.

Where can you get it? Homes, offices and other public spots in St. Petersburg, with one location in South Tampa.

How much? A la carte, and custom to you every time. Try two orders prior to committing to the annual $50 membership. Never a minimum order; order weekly or less, depending on need.

2. CENTRAL | Tampa Bay Organics

What can you get? Fruits and vegetables that vary weekly. Don’t like something? With a few clicks, you can indicate items you never want in your box.

Where can you get it? Homes, offices and co-op locations in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties.

Where does it come from? USDA organic, Florida farmers.

How much? Small ($35), medium ($45) or large ($55) boxes with add-on fruits and veggies available. Order as needed on a weekly basis with no delivery fee.

3. CENTRAL | Fruit of the Vine Organics

What can you get? Local fruits and vegetables that vary weekly, as well as eggs, bread, granola, and even wine recommended by a knowledgeable sommelier and tailored to compliment weekly recipes in their online newsletter.

Where can you get it? Pick-ups Mondays at CRU Wine Cellars, along with South Tampa deliveries.

Where does it come from? Certified organic, Tampa Bay-area farms that are called on weekly for what’s available. During the summer, when Florida’s produce is more limited, they look to nearby states for what’s fresh and in season.

How much? Bushel baskets ranging from $35 to $55 and a la carte items available.

4. NORTH | The Produce Fairy

What can you get? Baskets filled weekly with seasonal, certified organic fruits and veggies, with substitutions available.

Where can you get it? Delivered to homes in Dade City, Zephyrhills, Land O’ Lakes, Lutz, Odessa, New Tampa, Wesley Chapel, North Tampa, Brandon, Temple Terrace and Trinity.

Where does it come from? Always certified organic, sourced as much as possible from local Florida farmers and distributors, and supplemented by produce grown nationwide.

How much? No delivery fee; baskets range from $30 to $45, or four deliveries can be scheduled for a discounted rate.

5. WEST | Front Porch Pickings

What can you get? Select, sustainable fruits and vegetables in themed baskets available weekly.

Where can you get it? Deliveries within Pinellas County from Tarpon Springs to Tierra Verde.

Where does it come from? Organic, Florida farmers and some seasonal variety from other areas within the United States.

How much? $22 – $32 for themed baskets including Certified Organic, Green, Locally Fresh, Simply Salad, and Grab & Go.

6. NORTH / WEST | Suncoast Co-op

What can you get? Locally grown, chemical-free fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, milled products, flowers, candles, herbs, baked goods and essential oils.

Where can you get it? Weekly pick-ups available in West Pasco and North Pinellas counties.

Where does it come from? Organic, local farmers within and near the counties listed above.

How much? A la carte items; pay a $25 annual fee to be a member or a 10% surcharge on your orders for non-members. Cash only, at time of delivery.

7. EAST | A Simpler Place in Time

What can you get? “Farmstand bags” of local, seasonal fruits and veggies, as well as a la carte items, including eggs, herbs, dry goods, meat and beverages.

Where can you get it? Weekly Saturday deliveries in Hillsborough County. Or purchase in person at their Riverview marketplace and gardens (where some of the items you can purchase are grown).

Where does it come from? Organic, sustainable, pesticide free from local farmers and partners in neighboring regions. Origins and growing methods are listed to support a transparent food system.

How much? Order weekly, as needed, with a minimum $25 order for deliveries (no additional delivery fee). Or choose to place an order online and pick up at the marketplace to receive 10% off your order.

Article from Edible Tampa Bay at http://edibletampabay.ediblecommunities.com/shop/online-produce-markets-bring-local-sustainable-foods-shoppers
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