Friday, July 1, 2011

Greenling Review/Giveaway

*** Congrats to Alison the winner of our giveaway! We hope you will enjoy your local produce box from Greenling!! ***


I have been fortunate enough to be invited to review local farm friendly company Greenling.  And one lucky reader will win a local basket for themselves! As many of you readers may know, our New Year's resolution this year was to start eating fresh. At first, we did it for health reasons. The high amounts of sodium in processed foods were taking a toll on my body. But after researching the many other reasons for our change in diet and and just plain loving the taste difference, we haven't gone back. Here is some food for thought straight from Greenling's site about why you should choose local sources for your diet :


"Local food is healthier—and tastes better too!

Most of the food in the grocery store looks nice and ripe. For it to be ripe on the shelves and travel the 1,800 miles average trip it takes to reach your grocery store, it’s picked very, very green. New research is finding that many nutrients in food are created when the food ripens. So when fruits and veggies are harvested early, these nutrients are not allowed to form and are missing from the food you buy. Local producers, however, know that their food travels fewer miles, so they allow their product to ripen in the ground or on the vine longer. When you get local food, you get more nutrients. And in turn, you get fresher and better tasting produce!

Buying local saves energy and helps the environment

We’re consuming about 400 gallons of oil per year per citizen for agriculture. A very close second only to our vehicular consumption. This problem cannot be solved by just farming organically. Organic, non-local, food still travels that 1,800 miles journey to the grocery stores. At Greenling we work directly with producers whenever possible. So with food traveling less miles, there is less gas being consumed and it is less hurtful to the environment. Take Organic Valley milk, for example. At first, we couldn’t buy enough to get direct delivery. So this milk would go from east Dallas, down to San Antonio to be processed, then to Denver, then back to us. No thanks. We just went out and found other people to buy from us so we could get it direct. Saves energy, saves gas, and gets you fresher locally produced milk. "

Have they peaked your interest yet??  The thing I love most about Greenling is that they take the hours and hours of research and effort that I would have to go through to try and source out who had the best products from my local area. They have hundreds of local and organic products to choose from (produce, dairy, meats) and they have all been tested personally by their employees ( I know, sounds rough, are they hiring!?!?)

I ordered two items to review.

What was in my box. The majority was the "local box" contents. And a few items were from the preportioned meal (shown below)


First (and most popular) is their weekly local box. Always picked fresh and in season from local farms this box contains some of the best produce around!! The contents of the box change weekly to make sure you are never getting anything past it's "best by" date.  With your box you receive a letter letting you know what fresh produce is in your box and what farms they came from. And on the opposite side some great recipe ideas to try out with the items that are included (what a fun way to try new things and expand your recipe repertoire!)

List of items in my box and origins


the include recipes
As you may notice on the bottom of the first picture they also have a Farmstead box which includes everything in the local produce box plus local artisinal and farmstead products such as cheese, bread, sweets, ect for just a few dollars more. Another option is a Local Pantry basket which includes the local box plus other local pantry staples like milk, oil, bread, & eggs. Obviously you can also buy a large assortment of organic and locally sourced items a la cart!

Here is the video of me opening our box! Ours was left on our doorstep for us to find. I had originally planned to be home all day and had to run out last minute but I know that my order was delivered sometime after 3 and before 6 when I came home. They pack their produce in weather friendly bins that can generally keep items cool up to 4 hours. They do offer morning/afternoon delivery if you know a time of day is better for you. They are also working with clients to try and find ways to better their delivery. An option to keep a key on file or leave a key in a lock box at your house so that they may place the delivery inside your door is in the works!



video

See the peaches??? They are the best peaches I have ever had in my life!! All the produce we have eaten so far has had such an amazing flavor but those peaches take the prize!! It could also be that I love peaches SOOOO much and I am always disappointed by the selection at the grocery store because they are not quite ripe when you buy them and never seem to really get that amazingly juicy freshly picked taste. Now I know how to find them!! Also, please note that in the video I pick up the 10% off coupon enclosed and mention is is for our next order. Upon further inspection it is actually a referral program which is even better because you can get a friend 10% off and you could foreseeably always get 10% off your order as long as you kept the referrals coming. (And why wouldn't you, their service is amazing)





This next section is the part that I have to admit I am most excited about. Greenling offers a "meal kit" section which features a variety of preportioned meals delivered straight to your door.  You can buy single meals (for 2 or 4 people), side dishes, or my favorite option - the 5 meal quick and easy kit. There are a bunch of different selections to choose from. Some all vegetarian, some a mix of meat and meatless options all for around $80 (for 2 $160 for 4). Each meal comes with everything you need, preportioned, and a recipe on how to prepare each dish. Since my family is currently comprised of 2 adults, a 3 yr old, and a 1 yr old the 2 serving option is really still perfect for us. At first glance I thought, wow, that seems expensive. And then I had a light bulb go off. No it isn't!! For about $8 a meal you can feed a family of 4 an amazing tasting, full of nutrients, home cooked meal that takes little to no planning on your part! I have been loving cooking fresh for our family but the planning and shopping alone has been pretty time consuming. What a perfect answer! And not only and I doing good for my family's diet but also helping the environment and then local farmers and their families!

 Creamy Shells and Greens

Everything we need for our meal!

A list of all that's included

Detailed instructions on how to prepare and a picture to see what it should look like!


Sauteing the kale and garlic. So green and very fragrant!!
cooked pasta shells with the ricotta cheese
Ta-dah!! All done! Love the little bumper sticker too!
The meal was absolutely delicious and was so simple to prepare. The fresh ingredients truly made an impact on the taste! The only things that I wish were included that weren't were a list of where the preportioned ingredients came from and also the specific measurements in the recipe in case I wanted to make the meal again. All in all I can't wait until our next order comes so we can try another meal!



*** ENTER TO WIN THE GREENLING LOCAL BASKET!! PLEASE NOTE ENTRANTS MUST BE LOCAL TO SAN ANTONIO/AUSTIN AREA TO WIN!! ***


1. Visit Greening's website and Leave a comment on this  BLOG post telling us why you would like to start buying local and what items most interest you.

For additional entries please leave a separate comment for each of these things you do:

2. Mention this giveaway on Facebook (link directly to this blog post)
3. Tweet about this giveaway
4. Like us on Facebook Our Way to Learn 
5. Follow Our Way to Learn through Google Connect
6. Like Greenling on Facebook
7. Follow Greenling on Twitter

Good luck to everyone!  Winners will be selected randomly on Wednesday July 13.  Please remember winner must be local to the San Antonio/Austin area for delivery.

8 comments:

  1. This sounds great. I would love to start buying local and supporting our community. I think what appeals to me the most is the preportioned meals. I find that I have a hard time not over eating (especially on my new diet)...so if it was preportioned, that would saved me a lot of trouble! Thanks for highlighting this company on your blog!!!

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  2. I would love to buy locally to support our local farmers and businesses. It would of course benefit my family by having healthy nutritious meals served at our dinner table. I think this is a great thing to share. Thanks Jessica!

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  3. We love fresh produce at our house (we even grow our own). It is great to find a place that provides a convenient outlet to purchase locally. Most of the time, I just don't know how to go about it so Greenling is a great resource. I'm not sure about the preportioned meals in our family because we have a bigger family than most people, I'll have to check out the servings and see if that service would work for us, but that bucket of seasonal produce looks excellent!

    I follow you here and on facebook and I like Greenling.... so a couple of entries here!

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  4. An entry for liking Greenling on Facebook

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  5. An entry for liking YOU on Facebook.

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  6. An entry for following you with Google Connect.

    Is that it???

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  7. I like to cook and try new recipes.

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