Happy Canadian Agriculture Day everyone! I thought that I would celebrate farmers today by highlighting one of the best ways to get some local, farm fresh food into your kitchen and onto your plate!
BE SURE TO READ ALL THE WAY TO THE END FOR A SPECIAL DEAL!
In my opinion, one of the best things to happen in my hometown of Fort McMurray was when The Organic Box started offering their services up here. All my friends and family know how much I love this company and the amazing local, organic food that it has made accessible to the people of Fort McMurray (as well as many other communities across Alberta). If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve seen me give them numerous shout outs whenever I post recipes that feature their delicious foods. Basically, if you’ve ever talked to me, I’ve probably tried to convince you to start ordering The Organic Box!
The Organic Box has truly changed and enriched my life in so many ways, and I believe it is creating such a positive impact in my community. I grew up in Fort McMurray, but I went to the University of Alberta and lived in Edmonton for 5 years. While I was living in Edmonton, I had the fortune to enjoy all the abundance of farmers markets, organic grocery stores, farm-to-table restaurants, and a much more diverse food environment. When I moved back to Fort McMurray to start my teaching career, I was in such despair because there was a minimal selection of grocery stores, many of which had very minimal attempts at carrying good quality organic food. I never thought it would be possible to have access to such fresh, organic and local food in Fort McMurray, but The Organic Box made that a reality. As a cook, culinary nutritionist, environmentalist, foodie, and hungry girl, there’s no way I could eat the delicious and nourishing food that I do without The Organic Box. I highly highly recommend checking them out at their website HERE.
If you’ve never heard of The Organic Box before, it is an organic food delivery service offered in Alberta. It is owned and operated by a local Edmonton farming family, Danny and Miranda Turner. They work closely with a network of supporting family farmers across Alberta and a few in B.C. to support a sustainable agricultural system by providing consumers with organic, local food. They buy local first, and ensure that any imported products are of the highest organic standards and fair-trade certified. When you purchase food this way, you can truly track your food right to the source, and see the impact that your food dollar has on the farmer that it is supporting. They currently deliver boxes to the following communities in Alberta: Athabasca, Blackfalds, Camrose, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Fort Saskatchewan, Hinton, Lacombe, Peace River, Ponoka, Red Deer, Rocky Mountain House, Sherwood Park, St. Albert, Stettler, Stony Plain, and Sylvan Lake. If you live elsewhere in Alberta you can request help to bring The Organic Box to your community HERE.
When you are a member of The Organic Box, every week you get the exciting opportunity to choose the items that go into your box, or go wild and let the folks at The Organic Box choose an array of goodies for you by selecting the standard box for that week. I usually customize my box depending on what I’m in the mood for that week, or what types of recipes I’m planning to make, but sometimes it’s fun to get a surprise box too. You can either choose to have your box delivered right to your home (imagine never having to set foot in the grocery store again!), or you can pick it up yourself from a community partner (Sangster’s Organic Market in Eagle Ridge or the Wood Buffalo Food Bank if you’re in Fort McMurray). You can opt for a weekly box or a bi-weekly box, and there are no restrictions on holiday stops if you happen to be going away. There are a variety of box sizes and prices you can choose from to suit your needs and the amount of food you go through in a week.
What you can expect in each box is a huge variety of fresh, organic produce, with special seasonal treats (like the most amazing B.C. cherries in the summer and free range turkeys around Thanksgiving and Christmas). There are always family deals, weekly deals, and discounted items so you can save money and stock up! The website is essentially set up like an online grocery store, and it is not limited to just produce. There are categories for everything you can imagine, from dry and canned goods, to spices and condiments, frozen foods, bakery items, snacks, beverages, home cleaning supplies, and the list goes on. If you dread grocery shopping, find yourself with not enough hours in the day to pick up all the essentials, or if you’re like me and end up going to three grocery stores in town to source everything I need, then this could not be more convenient! You can literally buy everything you need, including your eggs, milk, cheese, and meats. Don’t even get me started on the incredible selection of organic, free range, humane certified, and local Alberta poultry, beef, pork, and bison! I used to be a vegetarian, and when I decided to start incorporating meat back into my diet I didn’t know how I would be able to last while still upholding my values, since Fort McMurray had such a minimal selection of organic and free range meats. The Organic Box has been a true hero to me in this regard, and I can’t recommend their selection of animal products enough, especially for individuals who want to support a more sustainable meat industry. Thanks to the producers they carry, I feel confident I am purchasing animal products that were raised and processed in the most ethical, sustainable, and caring way. And that doesn’t even begin to explain how delicious the grass-fed steaks, free-range chickens, and homemade pork breakfast sausages are!
[My box this week: Italian parsley, green leaf lettuce, curly kale, English cucumber, broccoli, bananas, beets, lemons, sweet potatoes, onions, cherry tomatoes, red bell peppers, hot sauce, free-range farm fresh eggs, maple breakfast sausage patties, Moroccan spiced chicken sausages, and a pomegranate hazelnut dark chocolate bar.]
The last thing I want to highlight about The Organic Box is their incredible customer service. This is the epitome of a family-run business with the most kind and thoughtful employees. Every interaction I’ve had with any member of their team has always been so positive, and just from their newsletters and e-mails you get the sense that you are so much more than a customer. Danny and Miranda are creating a food family. It fills me with so much joy to be part of it, and I hope that maybe you’ll be interested in trying out The Organic Box and seeing for yourself!
If you’d like to enjoy this incredible service and taste what I’m talking about, then I would like to pass on a discount code from Danny, the founder! Using the code BESTDEALS will give every new member $25 off a first order of $50 or more (that’s 50% off of one box!), and every new member that is referred will also get a great gift from from Danny himself. If you’d like to mention that I referred you during the sign-up process, then I get a $20 referral credit towards my future orders – which you are will also be eligible for too for anyone you refer. Create an account and start creating your very first box on The Organic Box website HERE! If you have any questions at all or would like some recommendations for what to order, then I’d be happy to help if you just shoot me an e-mail.
I’d like to close off by sincerely thanking all of the hardworking farmers out there who work tirelessly every day to provide us all with the food we eat. Without you, our plates would be sad and empty! I cannot express my gratitude enough. Don’t forget to thank a farmer everyone!
Yours in delicious, organic food,
p.s. One other benefit is that empty Organic Boxes can be repurposed into your cat’s new favourite toy! If you can’t tell from these photos, my cats’ favourite day of the week is Thursday, when I pick up our box!