A couple of weeks ago, I finally got around to ordering my first delivery from Green Earth Organics. It’s something I have been meaning to do for ages. The company has been on my radar for some time and I love the ethos behind their business.
Green Earth Organics is an organic farm, located just a short distance from Galway City. Anyone who lives close enough, can pop into the farm shop on Wednesdays from 2pm – 7pm and shop direct (though the shop is closed for now due to current restrictions). Luckily for the rest of us, it’s possible to order from the website and get farm fresh fruit and vegetables direct delivered to your door anywhere in Ireland.
As well as providing healthy, delicious and sustainable food, Green Earth Organics is striving to remove plastic from the food chain and has a zero waste philosophy. The website has well over 200 certified organic products on offer, including organic cheese, yoghurt, nuts, seeds and much more.
In supplying all these products, Green Earth Organics supports many other organic farmers and small business owners throughout Ireland too. Some organically certified fruit and veg is also imported, to ensure a full range of product all year round.
Now that I have received (and eaten!) my first order, I thought I’d share a review of my experience for anyone thinking of trying Green Earth Organics. There are a few things it may be helpful to know before you order for the first time.
Ordering from Green Earth Organics is Easy
Select a set box or build your own
As often happens with these things, when you sit down to do it, you find it doesn’t actually take that long. Then you wonder why you didn’t do it ages ago! Thanks to the set boxes on the website, ordering can be super quick and easy. There are a number of set boxes to choose from, depending on your budget or the amount you need.
I went for the Zero Waste Veg Box, the smallest veggie box, as there are just the two of us to get through it. It’s important to note that with the set boxes, what you get may differ from what is listed on the website. This depends on what’s available and in season at the time of your order.
So if you have specific recipes in mind and need certain items, then you can just build your own box instead. The website is really straightforward and easy to navigate so that actually doesn’t take much time either. You can quickly pop items you need into your cart with just one click and you’re away.
As the set box I chose was just veggies, I also added a Large Fruit Bag. It turns out that’s quite a lot of fruit for two, though we’ve been doing our best to get through it! There is a set box which includes both fruit and veg so in hindsight, that may have been a better choice for us. However, it also includes aubergine, which may have been what put me off!
Making Changes to Set Boxes
Which brings us to the next topic. Is it possible to make changes to the set boxes? Up to a short time ago, it was possible to modify the contents by excluding a certain product that you might not like (yes Aubergine, I’m talking to you!). However, given current circumstances, the demand on Green Earth Organics has peaked, so things have changed.
I imagine that it’s hard enough to keep up with orders, never mind making modifications. The website now advises that no changes are allowed to the boxes for the foreseeable future, which is understandable.
So you may just need to spend a couple of minutes figuring out which combination is better for your circumstances and tastes. Or just create your own box so you get exactly what you need and want.
Other Groceries Available from Green Earth Organics
One thing that really sets Green Earth Organics apart from lots of other farm delivery services is the incredible range of other groceries they also offer. There are hundreds of products on the website, from bread, crackers, jam and spreads to sweets, snacks, cereals, baking products and eggs. Then you’ve anything from biomass firelighters, bin bags and cleaning products to bamboo toothbrushes and deodorant. There are vegan products, bulk products and there’s even organic pet food. There’s also wine and prosecco. As you can imagine, this is where you can easily lose the run of yourself!
Before you order, note that there is a minimum spend of €50 (ex VAT & delivery charges). Perhaps I missed that somewhere but it doesn’t seem to be clearly stated on the website, which would be helpful. I was only made aware of it when I went to my basket to try and check out. Perhaps it’s another change due to the current circumstances, I’m not sure. Either way, it’s certainly the case at the moment.
As my order of fruit and veg didn’t come to €50 I had to find some other items to purchase. Obviously with the large range of groceries on offer, it’s not hard to meet the minimum. However I wasn’t quite prepared, so instead of things I might have needed, I just ended up buying treats.
It was all in the name of research, of course. Thanks to my hard work and sacrifice, I can now share with you that you need Seasalt Hummus Chips and Vivani Feine Bitter Orange chocolate in your life!
Delivered to Your Door, Anywhere in Ireland
Delivery costs vary depending on whether you are on a delivery route or require delivery by courier. There are local delivery routes throughout Dublin and Galway and in parts of Wicklow, Mayo, Limerick and Clare. You can check on the website to see exactly which areas are covered.
If you are on a delivery route then the cost of delivery is €4.50. If not, then courier delivery is available to anywhere else in Ireland for €7.95. The company is currently offering free delivery to frontline hospital workers, which is a lovely gesture. Just get in touch with them, if this applies to you.
You don’t have to be at home to get your delivery, although that’s probably not much of a problem right now. Most of us are at home most of the time anyway! However, you can add a note to your order with instructions for where your it should be left in case you’re not at home.
Local Delivery Routes versus Courier Delivery
Apart from the difference in price, there are a few other things to note in regards to the delivery methods. If you’re on a local delivery route, your groceries will be delivered on a set day each week. Details of the delivery dates and deadlines for ordering can be found on the website.
For courier deliveries, things are a bit less straightforward, particularly given the high demand at the moment. When you order you will receive an email within 3 days to confirm your delivery date. Currently, it’s going to take a while so if you require an urgent delivery that will not happen.
Also note that courier deliveries cannot include fragile items like eggs, milk and yoghurt. If you order such items, you will be simply be refunded.
Green Earth Organics is committed to minimising their impact on the environment. Produce is grown organically and sustainably. Rainwater is used to water plants and freshly picked veg and electricity is generated from solar panels.
All the fruit and veg boxes are plastic free. Paper and plant based bags are used to pack the produce and the boxes, bags and egg cartons are reused where possible.
Everything sold on the website is organic and as much as possible, grocery items sourced by Green Earth Organics are plastic free, though it’s not possible for everything. Items that are plastic free or in biodegradable packaging are clearly labelled on the website.
My Green Earth Organics Review
A Slightly Rocky Start!
So, after all that I should probably get to the point of all this! What was my own experience of Green Earth Organics? Well, to be totally honest, it didn’t get off to a very good start I’m afraid.
Before ordering, I was delighted to see that our area was on a local delivery route. So I placed my order prior to the deadline, expecting it to be delivered two days later? on Saturday. However Saturday came and went and there was no sign of my delivery.
After emailing Green Earth Organics and was told that my delivery would be delivered by courier on 1st May (10 days after ordering?). A little confused, I emailed back again and it turns out our area is no longer on the delivery route but the website hadn’t been updated yet.
So that was pretty disappointing, largely due to the fact we had already done our weekly shop and obviously had no fruit and veg. And no one enjoys extra trips to the supermarket right now!
But I’m happy to say that things picked up from there. Our box did turn up on the new delivery date and all was good again! I received a text message and email from the courier company that morning to let me know the approximate time I could expect it too, which was handy.
What I Ordered and Received
As I mentioned earlier, I’d order the Zero Waste Veg Box and the Large Fruit Bag.
Here’s what was listed for the Zero Waste Veg Box on the Website:
- Flat Beans
- Sweet Potatoes
- Salad Mix
Here’s what I received:
- Flat Beans
- Sweet Potatoes
- Red Pepper
- Salad Mix
So, the majority of items were the same as listed on the website, with just two substitutes. Instead of beetroot and cucumber, I received fennel and a red pepper. The avocados in the picture were an additional purchase.
I kind of like the idea of not knowing exactly what’s coming in the box. It challenges me to try new things or new recipes. I just kept my fingers crossed I wouldn’t be getting an aubergine and I got lucky this time!
I have to admit that I have never bought a fennel in my life before though. So I was looking up new recipes to see what I could make with that. In the end, I just decided to go simple and roasted it up with some of the carrots and courgette. So yummy!
The Large Fruit Bag contained over 30 pieces of fruit. I didn’t count them up exactly before we started demolishing them but here’s a pretty close count!
- 6 bananas
- 3 large oranges
- 14 small apples
- 5 or 6 pears
- 3 kiwis
- 1 mango
- 1 lemon
The quality and taste of the fruit and veg was top notch. We definitely noticed a favourable difference in the taste, compared to shop bought products. The fruit in particular was so juicy and delicious. The only slight issue was the bag of potatoes which were a little on the soft side already when we received them. It wasn’t a major, we just had to try use those up first!
Will I buy from Green Earth Organics Again?
That’s pretty much the bottom line, right. And the answer is yes, I definitely will. Granted things didn’t go quite so smoothly first time around but really, reviewing a business in the middle of a pandemic is probably not the fairest of things to do!
Mistakes will always happen but it’s more about how a company deals with them. My emails were replied to pretty quickly and I received an apology for the delivery mix-up. The website was updated so my area not longer shows up on the local delivery route any longer and I know what to expect for next time. I’m pretty sure I was only charged the lower local delivery rate too.
A big consideration for many people is of course going to be the cost. When you factor in the minimum spend and the courier delivery, it does add up. While I may not be able to make it a regular weekly purchase right now, I will order again because like many people, my preference is healthy, organic food. It feels good to support Irish farmers and independent businesses and I definitely want less plastic in my life. At the end of the day, if we want change, we have to vote for it with our wallets.
Oh and did I mention that Green Earth Organics have also increased the hourly pay for their packers, pickers and harvesters by €1 per hour during the pandemic. What’s not to love!
Will you be trying Green Earth Organics or have you tried any other farm delivery service? Share any feedback with us in the comments.