Now that my 4-week subscription with Food Connect is complete, it is time to see what other fruit & vegetable suppliers have to offer.
Trawling the web, Farm Fresh Central
came up as a Brisbane grocery delivery service that sources from local farmers. They also offer a wholesale service to businesses and schools. Besides the fruit and vegetables, their product range includes meat, seafood and diary.
As per the challenge, I ordered the small mixed box, which is $30/delivery. It is advertised to potentially contain: beans, broccoli, capsicum, carrots, celery, cucumber, eschalots, garlic, lettuce, brown onions, potatoes, pumpkin, sweet corn, apples, bananas, mandarins, grapes, oranges, kiwis, rockmelon and pears.
But what did we really get?
In our first Farm Fresh Central
small mixed box:
- Beans x1 bag
- Broccoli x2 heads
- Carrots x3
- Celery x1 bunch
- Cucumber (lebanese) x1
- Lettuce x1 whole
- Onions x4
- Potatoes x4
- Pumpkin xquarter
- Spring onion x1 bunch
- Salad leaves x1 box
- Tomatoes x5
- Apples x6
- Bananas x4
- Kiwi x2
- Orange x2
- Pears x2
The produce is fresh and was still cool to the touch in their styrofoam delivery box when we opened it. The variety (ie. the species) is the same as those found in major supermarkets and fairly large in size with limited blemishes. We haven't eaten anything from the box tonight, but will keep you posted on the flavours.
The box they came in is massive (and well-sealed)! While I can see how this might beneficial if you order seafood and raw meat, I'm not too sure about this being necessary for fruit and vegetable deliveries. There was no mention if Farm Fresh Central would want the box back to reuse either.
And according to the sticker, the produce is packed in Gatton, 1.5hours from Brisbane city.
However a couple of things have irked me.
While Farm Fresh Central have a farmer page
, they do not list their vegetable or fruit farmers, so it's difficult to tell where the produce in our box comes from.
I tried to organise an automatic delivery for 4 weeks via their website. They ask if you'd like any of their extra items (bread, juice, cheese, etc) and if there's anything you have allergies towards/don't like to omit from the box (thumbs up for this option). Then the confirmation page comes up, which does not allow you to amend the number of deliveries you'd like. Instead they state a staffer will be in touch within 24 hours to confirm set up of your order and discuss payment arrangements.
I received the phone call and the lady ran through my order manually. I requested that our delivery be made to our home, with very specific instructions on where to leave it (since apartment living means we share garage spaces). She took it all in stride and confirmed everything, including our credit card details.
And that was it. I wasn't told how much delivery would cost or how much our credit card would be charged. I thought perhaps it would be sent via email or included with the delivery, but it's been 2 days and nothing.
Also unlike Food Connect's online ordering system, once an order is placed, Farm Fresh Central unfortunately does not allow you log into view your order history. So I honestly have no idea how much we've been charged for our order.