Green B.E.A.N. Delivery Review
In March, Green B.E.A.N. Delivery offered my family a chance to review their produce delivery service. I have been curious about their Biodynamic, Education, Agriculture, and Nutrition service and I eagerly said 'yes'. After an email exchange registering my address, we were set for delivery. The very next Wednesday, a green box arrived on the front porch. Lil helped me unpack the organic fruits and vegetables. She couldn't wait for the pictures to be taken so she could dive into the strawberries.
We tried the small size box, costing $35 per delivery. Customers can select a weekly or bi-weekly delivery. Delivery and the bin cost is included in the price.
The box is filled with a variety of organic produce selected based on seasonal availability. A wide selection of additional locally produced groceries, including Snowville Creamery milk, Blue Jacket dairy cheeses, Luna Burger patties, sauces of all kinds and humanely raised meat, can be added to the box.
General Manager John Freeland says "Sustainability and distribution are two big challenges we are facing head on. We want to create a food system that can be sustainable for many years into the future, and we want to create solutions for the distribution of that food, which has become a very big challenge for smaller producers over the last 35 years."
I recently met Richard Stewart, the manager of Carriage House Farm in North Bend Ohio. He is thrilled to partner with Green B.E.A.N. because they can distribute and sell his honey, micro greens, and other products. Their service allows him to focus on the growing operation and still feed customers across the state of Ohio.
The Green B.E.A.N. concept is growing. Originally only available in Cincinnati, now residents in Dayton, Columbus, Louisville, and Ft. Wayne have access to the delivery service. Freeland looks to more expansion in the future. "We are determined to become a strong, family owned and operated Midwestern company. We will continue to build our network of farmers and artisans year after year, further strengthening a food system that allows us to foster the success of small to mid-sized farms, while making those products convenient, affordable and accessible to the members of our communities," he says.
Of course, the big question on my mind was: "Is the bin worth it?" Keara and I headed to Whole Foods to check prices. Here's what we found:
Wed March 16: 1 bunch beets - 2.49 1 cauliflower - 3.99 (*) 2 pounds fingerling potatoes - 4.99 5 pink lady apples - 3.38 4 cara cara oranges - 5.00 4 tangelos - 1.33 1 pound mixed green and yellow beans - 2.99 (*) 1 pound strawberries - 3.99 8 ounces baby spinach - 6.38 10 ounces crimini mushrooms - 3.12 Total: $37.66
*=organic unavailable at Whole Foods, this is the conventional price
Wed March 30: 1 yellow onion - 0.56 4 braeburn apples - 5.00 1 lemon - 0.79 4 valencia oranges - 3.96 1 pound zucchini - 2.99 1 pound asparagus - 4.99 1 pound strawberries - 3.99 1 pint cherry tomatoes - 4.99 8 ounces salad mix - 6.38 2 large portobello - 3.99 Total: $37.64
As each basket costs $35, the Green B.E.A.N. delivery actually saves money, assuming you shop at Whole Foods. Cheaper prices could be found by choosing other grocery stores and shopping sales. We chose Whole Foods for the price comparison because we believed they would be most likely to have the organic fruits and veggies in stock.
Is Green B.E.A.N. right for you?
Our family loves fruits and vegetables but in the winter and spring, we sometimes struggle to find fresh organic produce. We often rely on our pantry stores of preserved produce which, frankly, get a little boring. The Green B.E.A.N. bin provided a welcome infusion of new flavors and we easily used up the contents of the bins before the next one was due to arrive.
The small size bin did not supply all of our produce needs, however. We had to supplement with onions, garlic, and ingredients we wanted for specific recipes.
Though our free trial is over, we remain subscribed to Green B.E.A.N. We like the convenient delivery of a random assortment of produce. Our diets enjoy the fresh organic fruits and vegetables in late spring, which will begin to come from local farms as the growing season begins. Most of all, we love supporting a business that helps solve the biggest challenges of the local food system by giving small farmers a retail outlet.
If you, too, enjoy locally-fueled eating adventures, I heartily recommend Green B.E.A.N.