If you’ve been following my Instagram for awhile now, you’ll know that my absolute favourite thing over the last few months has been the Halifax Brewery Market Box. Yet somehow, I haven’t written a full blog post about it yet! Well, I’m changing that, and today, I’m sharing my experience with the Brewery Box and how much we’ve loved adding it to our weekly grocery haul.
I also am aware that the Brewery Box is not necessarily accessible to everyone, so at the end of this post, I’m sharing more ways to integrate local, in-season fruit and veg into your life. Keep reading to learn more!
So, what is the Saturday Brewery Box?
The Brewery Box is a box of local produce (and sometimes other market vendor items, like bread) that can be ordered online each week for $30 from the Halifax Brewery Market. The Brewery Boxes were created in an attempt to reduce crowds in the market during the pandemic, and to keep people conveniently connected to local market vendors’ goods.
Every week, there is a variety of fruit and vegetables from local farmers available in the Box. It is also possible add on items, such as eggs, fish or meat to your order for an additional cost. The Halifax Brewery Market posts the produce haul on their IG page each week, and online ordering is live from Sundays to Wednesdays at 6pm.
The Boxes are available for pick-up at the Brewery Market between 12pm-2pm every Saturday. They can also be delivered locally on Saturdays; you can input your address on their webpage to see if you’re eligible for delivery.
A fun little bonus that the Market folks include in the Box is one or two recipes featuring the produce that week. Neat idea to make it easy for people to cook with and try out the fruit and veggies in their haul!
My experience with the Saturday Brewery Box.
So far, I have had a very positive experience with the Saturday Brewery Box. It makes buying local produce super convenient and effortless.
I discovered the Box just by following the Brewery Market on Instagram, and noticed when they first shared a post about the Boxes last fall. I was really excited because it was (and is) one of my goals to support farmers’ markets and eat in-season, local produce as much as possible.
I won’t lie: a lot of the produce we get each week is not what we would normally buy at the grocery store, and often we have to get creative to come up with new recipes for the vegetables. But, I really love the challenge, and it’s helping us eat varied food each week. Normally when we buy produce at the grocery store, we stick to a similar order every time, so this is a good way to change things up.
The other thing I love is how GOOD the local produce tastes. It’s especially noticeable in the carrots… one day, try a grocery store carrot and a farmers’ market carrot, and let me know what you think.
As far as the amount of produce, Nick and I normally get close to the end of the box by the time we go to pick up the next one. I find the winter produce – squash, cabbage, root veggies – lasts a long time, so some veggies do occasionally overlap with the next week’s box. If I was not in a couple, I would probably split the box with a friend, roommate or family member, as it is a fairly large amount of produce for just one person (unless you’re amazing at cooking and then freezing food right away for future eating).
And, the variety each week is pretty good, even in the winter. Normally, the only thing repeated week after week is apples, though they sometimes include pears instead. And despite the fact that it’s winter, the Box typically includes some kind of greens… kale, sprouts or other greens that are new to me but delicious. I’m really excited to see how the produce changes as the seasons change.
Overall, ordering the Brewery Box has encouraged Nick and me to try new recipes, eat more vegetables every week, and has helped with meal prep as well. Since the weekly haul is posted on the Market’s IG and website, I always know what I’m getting ahead of time, so perfect for planning. I definitely recommend giving the Brewery Box a try if you can, even just once to see how you like it.
Other ways to eat locally and in-season.
All this to say, I know that the Saturday Brewery Box is not accessible to everyone, whether due to geography, cost or time. It’s also a lot of food that not everyone is comfortable buying or trying right away. So, I’ve compiled a list of other ways to integrate local and in-season food into your life:
- Start small by learning about what produce is available in your area each season. Taste of NS has a webpage outlining in-season produce in Nova Scotia, along with seasonal recipe inspiration. And Farmers’ Markets of NS has a new monthly e-newsletter called “The Basket” that shares the details on what’s in season here, and recipe inspo as well! Scroll to the bottom of this page to sign up for “The Basket”.
- Many farmers’ markets have set up weekly online ordering and pick-up to keep customers safe and able to support local during the pandemic. Online markets make it easy and accessible to pick out one or a few local, in-season products to try at your convenience. Check out this page on Farmers’ Markets of NS’ website to see which markets have online ordering so you can find one near you.
- If you live in the HRM, West Hants or Kings County, the Wolfville Farmers’ Market delivers (WFM2Go) market products to a convenient hub location in each area. They apparently won an award for “Best COVID online shopping”, so definitely a great service for anyone in those parts of NS.
- Follow the farmers you support on social media! I’ve been following Emily te Bogt, who supplies produce for the Brewery Box, on IG. Often, Emily shares clips of what’s happening on the farm on IG stories. It’s really cool, for example, to watch the kale in my market haul as it’s being handled on the farm the week before.
These are just a few ways that you can start to learn about and integrate local, in-season produce into your life. I am personally LOVING the Saturday Brewery Box, but there are other great ways to eat local fruit and veg throughout the year if the Brewery Box is not accessible to you.
P.S. What’s your favourite way to eat in-season and local food? Share your tips in the comments below!