In Toronto, we’re lucky to have year-round access to an abundance of local produce, but it’s not always easy to make it out to the farmers' market in the summertime, let alone during the dreaded winter. Fortunately, a number of local companies are making it easy to access Ontario’s finest produce by delivering it straight to your doorstep or a nearby community pickup spot!

These services not only save you the trip to the market or grocery store, but also directly support local farmers – not to mention the environmental benefits of eating a seasonal diet. Produce varies with each delivery, based on what is good and fresh at the time. And in case they happen to deliver something you haven’t cooked with before (how many people know what to do with rutabaga?), these companies also offer a host of suggestions and cooking tips in their newsletters and online recipe resources.

Below is a selection of my personal top-five picks for local produce bins, with home or neighbourhood delivery available year-round in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

1. Fresh city farms

Photo credit Fresh City Farms

Fresh City Farms began growing their produce in a greenhouse at Downsview Park and has now expanded to harvest from sites all over Toronto, which collectively cover more than four acres of land. They make environmental responsibility a priority, from sourcing organic produce to packing in reusable tote bags and delivering via electric bikes. In addition to their produce delivery boxes, you can now also buy a whole host of locally sourced dairy, meat and fish products, as well as items for your pantry, home and garden. What’s more, they’ve recently begun selling preproportioned meal boxes, for those who happen to hate leftovers.

Fresh City Farms
Price: Boxes begin at $28
Delivery options: Delivered to your doorstep or choose from one of the many pickup hubs across the GTA

2. Foodshare’s good food box

FoodShare is a non-profit organization that works with communities and schools to deliver healthy food and food education, with the belief that everyone deserves access to affordable high-quality meals. For over 30 years, FoodShare has been pioneering innovative programs such as the Good Food Box, their low-cost produce bins. Last year, they distributed over 671,000 lb. of fresh produce across the GTA, in over 30,000 Good Food Boxes! They don’t deliver, but you can pick up your box at one of the many pick-up depots across town – and the cost is truly hard to beat!

FoodShare’s Good Food Box
Price: Boxes begin at $13
Delivery options: Over 109 pick-up locations in Toronto! Call 416-363-6441, ext. 275, to find the one closest to you.

3. Wanigan

Photo credit Wanigan

In operation since 1997, Wanigan is an organic produce company that has made more than 250,000 deliveries across the GTA since its inception! Each week Wanigan puts together its “Weekly Wanigans”: an assortment of fresh, local, organic produce bins in various sizes. You simply choose the right one for your household and have it delivered weekly, fortnightly or whenever you’d like. The contents are different each week, bringing you a changing produce experience through the seasons. Happen to hate radishes? No problem! You can custom pick your own items.

Price: Boxes begin at $25
Delivery options: Delivered to your doorstep

4. Mama earth organics

Photo credit Mama Earth Organics

Mama Earth’s goal is to provide its members with access to the freshest organic items available at a fair price. Local farms are given priority in their sourcing. Through their website, you can sign up for weekly delivery boxes, with the helpful option of skipping a week on occasion. Boxes come in a variety of sizes and allow customers to prioritize Ontario produce. You can now also choose to supplement your purchase with their massive selection of bread, cheese, coffee, eggs, preserves and dairy products.

Mama Earth Organics
Price: Boxes begin at $30
Delivery options: Delivered to your doorstep

5. Plan b organic farms

Plan B Organic Farms is a family-run company that has been offering Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes for almost 20 years now. All of their produce is grown on a 50-acre plot of land in Flamborough, Ontario, just 85 km outside of Toronto. Their boxes offer organic produce year-round, with the option of choosing from local produce or a mixture of local and imported for those who can’t live without their organic bananas and avocados! You can also add an assortment of organic whole-wheat tortillas, free-range pastured eggs or organic fair trade coffee to your order.

Plan B Organic Farms
Price: Boxes begin at $30
Delivery options: A number of Toronto-based pickup depots. Call 905-659-2572 to find the one closest to you