We believe in bikes
... that is, we believe in low emission, sustainable transportation
We offer you a selection of great Produce Boxes and more delivered to your door! Boxes are the best way to buy because we fill them with fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables direct from local farms. You save 10% by choosing a Produce Box over a la carte ordering. Ordering by the Box helps us determine our crop needs with farmers and crop planning makes their business more efficient.
Most Boxes can be modified so feel free to customize your Box to suit your family's needs. To make the most of the island bounty the Local Box and Small Fruit Box are not customizable, although we will remove items that are on your Never Send list.
Dry Goods and larger volumes of seasonal local-as-we-can-find-it produce are offered through our Bulk Buying Group. Order online (with access to the entire Share Organics' catalogue) and pick up at the warehouse on
Wednesdays 12pm to 4pm OR Thursdays between 8am and 5pm.
This buying group is possible due to the combined buying power and crop planning of the home delivery aspect of Share Organics and the buying group folks. Bulk amounts are special order only so advance payment by credit card is required.
In addition to our produce offerings, you can add grocery items on to your order.
As much as possible, we support local processors. We encourage them to utilize organic and local ingredients. This is how we are working to provide you with a selection of products sourced close to home.
For example, we offer only one type of soy milk, made in Vancouver. We know there are many types available and everyone has their favourite but as a small business we cannot stock all the brands. Our olive oil is extra virgin organic from Italy. What can we say? No commercially available olives here yet - but they are planting olive trees on Saturna Island!
Similarly all our dry good offerings are organic and we let you know the country of origin so you can make informed choices.
We are proud to carry Vancouver Island products from the following companies:
Share Organics sources organic fruit and vegetables as close to home as possible.
In the summer, our Boxes are up to 80% local with a top up of Okanagan stone fruits (peaches, nectarines, cherries) and the occasional lemon or avocado. Of course the Local Box is Island Only during the summer bounty.
When we started as a buying group over a dozen years ago, it was shocking to find out that we could not purchase local, organic produce for even our small group of ten families. We built relationships with farmers to encourage them to grow a bit more.
Share Organics continued the process contracting crops from many local farmers over the years. Initially it was so we could supply you with as much local produce as possible. We concentrated on quantity at first - could we have 50 heads of lettuce a week? Then we worked towards variety in the summer season -we had lettuce, chard, kale and zucchini, strawberries and blueberries, but were still looking for rhubarb and raspberries.
We continue this process to fill the holes in our supply from our Islands and to encourage farmers to grow more as our customer base expands. None of this is possible without the folks that support all this, our customers! (Thank you, thank you, thank you!)
Most recently, we have been working to extend the growing season. We have new contracts for late and early season crops and even have some mid-winter offerings. Some exciting developments:
Share Organics has had a positive effect on the farmers and their capacity to grow. Contracts help them decide what to plant and provide them with a guaranteed sale of their product. Extending the season spreads their income over a longer portion of the year. We hope farmers can take our contracts "to the bank" as part of their business plans for expansion!
Share Organics supports local organic farmers in the certification process by buying their products in the transitional years. Transitional farmers are growing using strictly organic methods while they await certification. Over the years we have supported many farmers though this transition time and now enjoy their wonderful certified organic produce.
We have been able to increase our local offerings by purchasing from small local farms that are growing using organic methods. We require them to sign an affidavit stating they are growing to COABC standards - our Provincial organic standards. The only exception we've have made is for urban organic farmers who cannot guarantee a buffer zone. Produce from these growers is listed as naturally grown and everything else is certified organic. All of our local produce indicates the farm on which it is grown or the marketing group organizing the farmers (farmer co-ops, for example).
The whole process - from how we get food from farms, to everyday warehouse practices, to how every bin is delivered - is done as sustainably as possible.
This video follows Colby, our bike delivery driver, through a typical delivery day.
Susan Tychie began Share Organics as a bi-weekly buying group in December of 1996. As the group expanded it became obvious that some coordination of orders was needed so that everyone could order the same items in the same week to take advantage of case-lot discounts. The idea of a co-op was discussed but not pursued. Susan took on the role of coordinating and distributing the orders.
Next it became evident that having the items delivered would be very convenient. When weekly delivery became the preferred option it was obvious that more help was needed.
Susan has worked in the natural food industry for the past 25 years and has been an organic gardener all her life. She is committed to the organic movement and to local food sustainability.
A need was identified for an organic produce box delivery service that offered a choice in Box sizes and in Box contents. Share Organics took up the challenge.
Local organic produce is important in terms of freshness, and local economic and ecological sustainability. Susan recognized the superior standards of the local organic certifying body, the Island Organic Producers Association (I.O.P.A.). Share Organics is an associate member of IOPA and encourages the farmers we work with to become members too.
Local produce from certified farmers was scarce so Share Organics supported local organic farmers in the certification process by buying their products in the transitional years. Transitional farmers are growing using strictly organic methods while they await certification. Over the years we have supported many farmers though this transition time and now enjoy their wonderful certified organic produce.
Share Organics has always grown to meet the demands of the time. Many customers requested a more complete product line to make home shopping easier. We have added many locally made products; bread, tofu, cheese, canned goods and more.
Susan, while continuing to run Share Organics, has gone on to develop a web portal Home Delivery Management with E-commerce specialist Pam Sallaway. This system helps run Share Organics. Home Delivery Management has allowed us to offer you fully customized Boxes, and to easily increase the number of products we can offer you!
It is also available to other companies interested in providing fully customized online organic shopping in their region. Getting local food to the local community has been Susan's personal goal and now she has made this option available to other communities.
In 1998 the Capital Regional Community Social Planning Council developed the Capital Region Food Charter. Much of what we work towards is encapsulated in this handy pdf!
"I am so happy with your products and your service... I run a daycare and
to have the food arrive on our doorstep!!!! it is wonderful. (I should
have done this sooner) Thank you.
- Raja Chrimes
"I am always delighted with my box, but yesterday's was especially great.
I just can't get over the freshness of everything. The heritage
tomatoes remind me of my childhood: the chard looks too good to eat! and
all the beans. Thanks for what you do."
- Elizabeth R.
"I am relocating to Vancouver, so I will have to cancel my much-loved
standing order with you. I have talked up your service with all of my
friends all along and will very much miss my Wednesday deliveries! The
quality of the produce delivered far surpasses anything I have been able
to buy from the shops. Indeed it is only on par with the fruit and veg
my mum grew for us in our back garden as kids.
I wish you all the best. "
- H. Labrosse
"You are my new heros! Thank you
for allowing us retired and disabled folks the opportunity to purchase
LOCAL products and to have delivery of such items is fabulous! Thank you just
doesn't seem to cover the work you do. The concept is genius and a fine example
of sustainability benefiting farmer and consumer.
Beth Smith "