You've probably heard of community-supported agriculture programs that allow you to pick up boxes of farm-fresh produce each week, like Utility Research Garden. And you may have heard about companies such as Austin-based Farmhouse Delivery, which delivers CSA boxes straight to your door. Now another Texas company is aiming to take home delivery one step further, by rounding up local produce with the best local products in Houston and bringing them to your doorstep.
Greenling.com offers a variety of different boxes filled with groceries and other goodies, but also allows people to customize their own boxes with a variety of produce, meats, dairy products, dry goods, prepped food and other options. There's an "After School Snack Box" for $25.76 that includes snackable portions of fruits and vegetables, for example, or a "Local Pantry Starter Box" that stocks your shelves with olive oil, cornmeal, honey, pasta and more.
And then there's the "Local Box," Greenling's most popular box, which is stocked with anywhere from nine to 11 items of seasonal produce per week -- each from area farms. Lately, it's been filled with cucumber, broccolo, kale and butternut squash from Gundermann Acres, grapefruit avocado and oranges from G&S Groves, and mixed greens and radishes from Animal Farms, among others.
Houston is just the latest market for Greenling, which has been successfully operating for eight years in Austin, where it's been awarded the Best of Austin "Best Local Food Company" award by the Austin Chronicle for the last four years in a row. Greenling.com recently launched delivery service in Dallas-Fort Worth, and has been delivering farm-fresh goods in San Antonio since 2009.
Today is the first day that Houston customers can place their Greenling orders, however. Although there's a $25 minimum, no subscription is required and delivery is free -- always. And to celebrate its first day in business, 100 grocery orders today will be absolutely free, with winners randomly selected and notified on the day of their delivery.
As with the other cities in which it operates, Greenling's delivery area covers most of the city. Simply type your ZIP code into the website to check. Greenling will deliver to your home or office -- and you don't even have to be there. The four-hour "food-saver bins" keep produce and other groceries fresh until you get back.
In addition to its regular array of products, Greenling is also offering special selections by and for Houstonians.
"Houston has a dedicated local food community, and we are excited to help continue that growth," said Mason Arnold, founder and CEO of Greenling, who graduated from the University of Texas in 2001 and quickly made it his life's work to expand organic food networks across Texas.
Look for hometown favorites on Greenling's website such as Oaks of Mamre Farm, Home Sweet Farm, Slow Dough Bread Co., Tavola Pasta, Pat Greer's Kitchen Yaya, Tejas Heritage Farm, Warfel Farms, Sinfull Bakery, Fontana Coffee Roasters and more.
Patricia Greer -- founder of Central City Co-op and owner of Pat Greer's Kitchen -- is a big fan of Greenling, and not just because they're carrying her raw goods, which are normally only available at farmers markets.
"Greenling is doing what I wanted to do 15 years ago when I started the co-op," says Greer. "Delivering food make so much sense, since people are so busy these days. I've been trying to get with distributors for years to make this happen."