Fruit and vegetables that had a chance to bask in the sun
By subscribing to the Green Box (Zeleni Zabojček), you let nature and Slovenian farmers select the produce you will receive. All you have to do is channel your imagination into a tasty recipe.
The two plums look alike. The first went through a lot; it left its tree while still green, and travelled halfway across the world in a large, chilled container. During that time, it did not see much sunlight, which is why it couldn’t completely develop the right taste, but at least it has the right colour, after being exposed to carefully-placed lights in the supermarket. There's no reason not to want it.
The other plum is far from being a traveller; after having been picked from its tree, it spent less than two hours on the road, but it seems to be very familiar with the sun, even though it also encountered some frost. It also holds a secret – nobody knows that it brought along a stowaway, a tiny worm – but such is the life of a garden plum, and everyone still loves it nonetheless. It also looks about as good as the one from the shop, but it will never reach its shelves. This plum is headed for the Green Box, or Zeleni zabojček, as it is known in Slovenian.
The people who order this box to their homes or offices every week know that it will not come with only one plum; they also know that all the produce it contains was produced organically, and that it includes a piece of paper with a list of the farmers who grew the food.
The Green Box team delivers over two tonnes of fruit and vegetables from Slovenian farms to their subscribers twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays.
However, the subscribers cannot count on any plums during the winter, because no matter what the supermarkets are peddling, plums cannot be had during a season in which they cannot be grown locally. The same goes for all fruit and vegetables. They will be in the boxes when the time is ripe. No sooner.
Subscribers, who are expecting their doorbells to announce the arrival of their Green Box once or twice a week, but sometimes less frequently, perhaps don't even know that the team spent the evening before sorting about 10,000 items into the cardboard boxes. On delivery days, they ship over two tonnes of fruit and vegetables produced by Slovenian farmers, to subscribers’ homes.
And the subscribers know that they will get food from certified producers in Italy and Austria during the winter months, when nature is resting, and there is less produce – but never from further away than that.
Even though all the details of communication with the farmers might not be clear to the subscribers, they can imagine that the seasons cannot be bossed around. There are no scholars on this planet who could conclude a perfectly valid »supply« agreement with mother nature. The farmers and the Green Box Team must constantly adapt to its whims and sometimes, although rarely, the subscribers must too, and contend with not receiving everything they expected in their boxes. But the changes in the selection are never substantial.
Do you have a sweet tooth for fruit?
Subscribers can find out what they will receive by checking the selection for the week. Those who subscribe to the Green Box must simply pick its size, which dictates how much fruit and vegetables they will get. The small box, which goes for around 11 euros per package, will include at least seven different types of fruits or vegetables, and the largest, costing 21.5 euros, will contain nine different types in proportionally larger quantities. The boxes mainly contain vegetables, but there is also plenty of fruit.
The life per month subscribers cannot change the contents of their boxes, but they can let the team know if they don’t like a certain type of produce. The amount paid by subscribers receiving their »seasonal box« is 14 percent lower than for those who order occasionally, »recreationally«, and who can only choose from boxes prepared in advance. They can also get a 14 percent discount on all other foods and produce that they collected in their virtual baskets after browsing the online store.
This example of the subscription economy is based on trust: the farmers must feel they are receiving fair and decent pay, the team needs to know the agreements will hold, and the customers must trust to receive what they ordered. If anything goes wrong, they can always receive credit for any rotten or damaged food they received.
Delivery is also based on trust. The cardboard boxes are returned, to be reused. If the subscriber is not home at the time of delivery, the staff will leave the box at the door or another agreed spot. As a rule, despite all the commotion that might take place around it, the porch pirates will leave it alone.