Wandering a farmers market is a fun way to while away a Saturday morning, it's also a fantastic way to save big time on your normal fruit and vegetable shop.
But not all of us are blessed enough to have farmers markets a few streets away. If you live in the center of New York City, for example, the farms and farmer's markets are generally too far away to go physically shopping.
OurHarvest has a solution to this urban-dwellers issue. A web-store, the service combines online grocery shopping with the best of the farmer's market, so you can get farm-fresh local food delivered to your door.
Read on for our full OurHarvest review.
How Does OurHarvest Work?
Because OurHarvest is focused on fresh food from local farmers and producers, you need to enter your zip code before you begin shopping. Once you've typed in your zip, a single page on the site displays the fresh whole foods on offer.
We tested the OurHarvest site using a downtown Manhattan code and found a plethora of fresh fruit and vegetables, breads and bakery goods, pantry staples, meat, raclette, and even a few conserves.
Perusing the menu, we can see a few things that we'd love to chow down on. The lobster bisque from Long Island-based Gra-Bar Fish looks pretty tempting, as does the baguette from Bien Cuit. Pair the two and you've got the perfect easy, locally-sourced meal.
Each item or piece of produce on OurHarvest comes from a small business or family farmers, so you can be assured that your dollar is going towards the little guy instead of a huge supermarket chain. As far as most grocery delivery services go, this is a huge step-up.
\We also love that OurHarvest doesn't anonymize the producer; when you shop in this grocery store, you're able to see exactly which small producer made each product. This keeps the food supply chain transparent and gives kudos to the people behind the scenes.
Where Does OurHarvest Deliver?
Although primarily an NYC grocery delivery service, it does serve an extended region including Connecticut, Port Washington, and Nassau County. For a full list of delivery regions and to see if your area is covered, check on the company's website here.
Grocery Shopping With a Conscience
When you use a company like OurHarvest, both you and the farmer win. Customers get fresh food, quality, and a better price than they would at a big supermarket with huge overheads. Likewise, a small business gets to connect with customers it might not have reached otherwise.
It's no secret that America's food artisans often struggle to keep their businesses and farms afloat, let alone prospering. So it's always nice to know that every order you make from a company such as OurHarvest directly benefits these producers.
The company's conscious approach doesn't stop there though, it donates a meal to a local food pantry every time customers spend $25 or above. Food pantries do an amazing job of supporting people in need and it's always heartwarming to see a for-profit business making a significant contribution — large grocery stores, take note!
Pros & Cons
- Get locally made food delivered directly to your door
- Support a business that supports the community
- Helps with eating both locally and seasonally
- OurHarvest offers a range of products including meats, dry goods, and more
- Spend $25, OurHarvest donates a meal to a food bank
- Positive reviews in national newspapers
- Sustainable both in name and nature
- Help the small farmer
- Products are high-quality
- Good website functionality, it's easy to make an order
- Order farmer's market food from your sofa
- Our only negative comment is that the service isn't available nationwide!
OurHarvest was founded in 2014 by Scott Reich and Michael Winik. On a mission to fix an undeniably broken food system, the pair set out to create an easy way to connect customers to farm-direct products, and cut out the big grocery stores in the process. Upshots of eating local include a lowered carbon footprint as goods don't have to travel, fresher foods, and a greater focus on eating seasonably.
Since its founding, it has proved popular with NYC residents and those slightly further afield. The business has also been featured in The Times, the New York Post, and many others.
Food For Thought
It's clear that OurHarvest has invested heavily into a sustainable model that works for both the consumers and the producers. Although you probably can't use the service for a full shop — products are limited — you can pick up several bits and pieces you need. Plus with meat, fruit and veggies, and some dry goods, there's plenty on there to keep you satisfied.
Each product is sourced from a small farm or producer, so you know the products are super fresh and haven't had to travel. In many ways, shopping with a service like OurHarvest means voting with your wallet. Choosing companies with an ethical, sustainable outlook sends a powerful signal to large corporations, and if enough of us do it, these corporations will have no choice but to change their own premise for the better... hopefully!
That concludes our review, and it's a big thumbs up from us. Now that we've finished ranting about sustainability, time for some of that lobster bisque.