Not everyone likes a farm box delivered regularly – a common complaint from those who have tried and unsubscribed is that they don’t want to have their menu-planning dictated by someone else. or don’t want to be drowned in vegetables they can’t use (too many potatoes, or too much spirulina). But, if you like to cook seasonally, and missed going to the farmers markets during quarantine, you may have gotten used to a regular rotation of produce. We covered farm boxes in LA a year ago – here were our favorites — and still use them occasionally when we are feeling pressed for time, or want to enjoy a particular season (hello summer!).
Here are the latest trends in food delivery options and sustainable produce:
MORE BETTER CURATION
Flamingo Estate is a chic, uniquely LA project with a slightly naughty history and exquisite, national branding. An Australian-born brand creative lived across the street from a strange pink mansion, purchased it a few years ago and discovered canisters of pornographic films, much to his delight and surprise. Richard Christiansen wasted no time decorating and updating the estate, and soon upsold the history as “pleasure” and started a business curating food during the pandemic. *Warning, the website contains pretty sexy photos as part of a “Summer of Pleasure” promotion.* Now, Flamingo Estate is producing its own Rose, delivers specialty boxes of mushrooms and avocados and flowers alongside its own lotions , and is even branching into “health” with new sexual wellness tonics. It all started as a design project for branding executive Christiansen – here is an Architectural Digest story about the estate from a few years ago – and in the past year, his side hustle burgeoned to a fully loaded business with 35 drivers. Now Christiansen is pivoting again to an even more highly curated product. Enter the Regenerative Farm Box – click here for details – which purports to feed a family of four for a week. It’s a nice option for gifting.
VEGGIES BY MAIL
We recently learned about this San Diego based farm, that is mailing CSA boxes from their family farm. Girl and Dug has themed boxes, unusual produce that chefs love and home cooks can now enjoy with regular delivery options. The company sends recipes to accompany the theme boxes, and is a great way to up your game in the kitchen.
INDOOR VERTICAL GARDENS
Plenty is a SF-based company that creates vertical farms in warehouses with the goal of providing food to underserved locations, and with a mission to spread vertical farming to the world. Their product is now in Safeways and Albertsons across the Southland, and they are currently building a second indoor growing warehouse in Compton to bring a sustainable food chain to LA. Here is a story about the LA facility.
LA Urban Farms is helping businesses grow vegetables vertically, on the rooftop. You can put one on your building or in your yard – this is a company that was started by a mom here in LA.
The ladies at Goop are promoting a new vertical farm called Willo, and if you sign up to sponsor this indoor greenhouse-growing farm, you can track the vegetables on an app and follow your own personalized garden with ‘perfect’ vegetables. If this feels a bit sci-fi, you can be assured you’ll pay for a super-futuristic service. But the idea of vertical farming is one that we think will gain traction over time, so is worth paying attention to. Here’s how to “explore membership” at Willo – sign up to access space in the farm this fall and expect to pay $125 for weekly delivery.