Buying Organic Farm Boxes Online, with Home Delivery!

Good Farm Box, August 6 - 12

Good Farm Box, August 6 – 12 (Photo credit: Suzies Farm)

Good Farm Box - Week of April 30 - May 6

Good Farm Box – Week of April 30 – May 6 (Photo credit: Suzies Farm)

Community-supported agriculture is an idea i quite fancy, but isn’t really possible in land-scarce Singapore. There are a few farms here (i visited Oh Farms 2 weeks ago to check out their hydroponics), but apparently only 7% of the island’s vegetables are grown locally. Due to the climate it’d also be hard to grow a variety of produce i’m guessing. Anyway, some interesting food initiatives i’ve seen lately include this new vertical farm and the “Edible City Garden Project”.

There are many stores who sell organic products online and deliver with some minimum order. I was however, looking for those who: (1) sold boxes of fruits and veggies based on seasonality/stock, (2) had a clear online ordering system, and (3) was able to deliver at least weekly for a reasonable cost. Here’s a list of what i found…

(1) The Organic Grocer: http://www.theorganicgrocer.com.sg

  • Veggie-only, veggie+fruit, and even baby-weaning boxes in various sizes from $30
  • Produce from Singapore, Australia, and Thailand
  • $80 minimum order
  • Free delivery above $130. $10 charge otherwise.

(2) Murray’s Organics: http://shiyanandkatharine.com/murrays/welcome

  • Subscriptions from $23.99/box with delivery to home or office
  • Produce farmed from 100-hectare plot in Johor Bahru, Malaysia
  • Items arrive at your door on the same day
  • Side note: they have guava and lychee in their fruit boxes at the moment! {yummy}

(3) Green Circle Eco-Farm: http://www.greencircle.com.sg

  • Veggies-only boxes sold in $30 multiples
  • Direct from Singapore farm
  • Items arrive at your door on the same day
  • $30 minimum order
  • Flat delivery fee $5

(4) Zenxin Organic: http://organicdelivery.sg/ZenxinOrganicBox

  • Veggie+fruit boxes in small ($30) or large ($60) size
  • Produce from Malaysian farm
  • $50 minimum
  • Free delivery for orders over $150. $10 charge otherwise.

(5) Super Nature: http://www.supernature.com.sg

  • Asian, Western, Juice, and Baby Farm Boxes (choose veggies-only, or veggie+fruit) from $70
  • Produce from around the world (Thailand, Australia, USA)
  • Free delivery for orders over $70. $20 charge otherwise.
Green Onion

Green Onion (Photo credit: t6mdm)

Maybe i will try Murray’s first, the lychee is a bit too tempting to resist!

Hard-Selling Tactics After Groupon Facial

I’m quite low-maintenance (don’t shun me ladies, my last facial was 8+ years ago), but decided to take better care of myself and purchased a Groupon “deal” recently for $20. While i was there, they offered me a Diamond Peel upgrade for $60. I took it out of curiosity.

In general i’m quite skeptical of beauty claims that state you can instantly even out skin tone, reduce pore sizes, blah blah blah. But to my surprise this treatment did improve my skin – it’s now smoother, brighter, and softer to the touch. My perennial dark eye bags persisted, though the lady claimed they’d be gone too, if only i’d buy a 10-session package ($1440) and continue coming once a month. And there, was my first encounter with the dreaded hard-sell tactics of this sketchy industry.

This problem is well documented, which is why CaseTrust was founded to protect consumers. I even read some forum posts describing experiences tantamount to threats and bullying. I’m not sure why salespeople think it’s normal to spend thousands of dollars on packages that you have to pay in whole on the same day. I’d never spent money like that without premeditation, and was not about to do so.

Anyway, the conversation progressed more or less as follows with multiple iterations:

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Her: The regular package price is $2880 but you can get it for $1440 today. It’d be a waste to stop after only one session. You already have dark aging spots and it will be very difficult to treat them later. You know, there are no ugly women, only lazy ones. You’re not that old yet, but at this age your skin’s self-repairing ability is decreasing.

Me: OK, the treatment seems to work well, but i cannot spend so much money just like that. I need to think about it.

Her: But the price is so cheap! And i can see the results are great on you.

Me: Well, i have to think about my cash flow for the month, so i will just pay you $60 today.

Her: If it’s cash flow, then how about taking 5-sessions for $720? You can leave me a $200 deposit, I will waive the $60 fee for today and give you a balm for your face as well. I have to make a living, so although I can understand your cash limitations I cannot lower the price anymore than this.

Me: I still have to think about it. I haven’t calculated my expenditures this month yet, I don’t know my bank balance, and cannot make a decision without this info.

Her: Oh, but we can just charge your card! If it goes through, we’ll know you have enough money.

Me: Ummm, no. I have other bills I have to pay. I have to consider if this is a good use of my money.

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At this point she resigned herself to writing up a $60 invoice for me and took my credit card. The whole time, we had been sequestered in this closed room away from the reception/payment area, and she had a binder with before and after pics, plus brochures for various packages at their so-called regular prices. Once we got to the reception area though, she offered to “only” take $100 as a deposit today, and re-wrote the invoice before i could object. Her colleague at the counter charged $160 to my card, and asked for my signature.

I was pretty annoyed and refused to sign. I had them cancel the charge and left, after paying the $60 and returning the balm to the receptionist. While i was happy with the results of the facial, the attempt to coerce further business from me was unpleasant. In the end, i spoke to them entirely in English, because it’s always hard for me to be firm and authoritative in Mandarin. Negotiating in a non-native tongue is tough!

If i ever take another deal like this, i’ll just say no straight out from the beginning {defiant}.