Sunday, March 28, 2010

Update On Dominion Harvest..Local Food Delivered to Your Door

If you haven't heard about Dominion Harvest, it is a website based home delivery service for locally produced foods. They promise that all foods come from no more than 100 miles from your area (determined by your zip code). Although I am a big proponent of farmers markets and the one on one producer/consumer interactions they create, it is just not practical to assume everyone is willing or able to follow this model.
With Dominion Harvest you can sign up and order a 1 of 4 different boxes of fresh food ranging from 10-11 types of greens and vegetables, to one with enough greens, vegetables, raw milk, bread, and meat for a family of four. You can choose weekly or bi-weekly delivery, and there is no sign up fee. You can cancel your participation at anytime. The cost for the 2 smaller boxes is $37. The largest box is $67.
Dominion Harvest focuses on delivering to urban and suburban areas to maximize efficiency. To determine if you are eligible for delivery you just type in your zip code. I tried out 23227, 23225, and 23229. All were current delivery areas. Adding to the convinence are insulated, reusable containers containing ice packs Dominion Harvest guarantees will keep your food safely chilled even during the summer for 10 hours. You can also add on specialty items each week, and notify them of any allergies to have your box altered to suit your needs.

The one flaw that I see on the website is the apparent lack of clear sourcing information. The site states that they track the source of each product so you can find out where each item came from by contacting them. This part doesn't sound like the most convenient system for consumers who actually care where their food is coming from. One improvement they say will be in place as of the season starting May 2010 is a Dominion Harvest blog that will allow customers to read about, and directly contact the producers with whom Dominion Harvest is working.
I plan to give it try for one week in May and see how it goes. I'll keep you posted. To check out our other related post simple type Dominion Harvest into our search window.


  1. I'd love to hear about your experience with them after you try them out. I have a few friends in Henrico who have done it, with mixed results. The food is fresh and good, but some requests seem to be overlooked (e.g., radishes in the box when they requested no radishes, that sort of thing) and I've heard the communication can be poor if you are trying to get in touch with them, like their voicemail box will be full and emails go unreturned. I don't know if they've fixed these problems yet.

  2. I used them last year for the summer and I was really pretty pleased overall. They usually include where everything came from in your box with the box itself, and I believe they are trying to work towards letting the customer pick more individual stuff. I found them responsive when problems or questions arose. And the produce did stay very cool and crisp in the boxes. They are still new and growing and figuring out their working model, but they want to do right by their customers. So, if you can't make it to the markets it's a great way to get local, fresh produce to your door!