What separates the Organic Empire from the majority of other home delivery services is their unique farm to door service. They are committed to connecting communities with local farmers, artisans and food producers. Fresher foods, fair trade for farmers, better for the environment and better for your health. Their values centre on:
1. Sustainability: they only harvest and order what you order; they re-use their delivery boxes.
2. Local: much of their produce and groceries is sourced from local farmers and producers and both parties know each other.
3. Organic: most of their produce is either Certified Organic or Certified Biodynamic. Where not, it is still grown without any artificial chemicals, pesticides, herbicides or insecticides.
4. Convenience: You can shop online 24 hours a day, at whatever time is easiest for you, or place an order to have a box delivered each week.
5. Community: they promote community by empowering people to eat well through healthy life giving recipes, teaching the skills of food production from their own farm and promoting health with education.
6. Price: their priority is to make organics accessible to all, delivering the highest quality organic produce at the best available price.
Available late December to March, Yarra Valley Gourmet Greenhouse specialises in heirloom tomatoes. Summer also heralds their Italian zucchini flowers, generally available from mid November to early April. Other vegetables, herbs and edible flowers are available seasonally. Almost 3 acres of multi-span igloos enable an extended growing season, and afford protection from destructive weather events such as frost or hail. Yarra Valley Gourmet Greenhouse supplies and delivers to local restaurants. Produce is also available direct from the farm (by appointment only).
Sustainability is a driving force in the business. Cultivation and hand-weeding are practised rather than spraying herbicides. Similarly, biological controls and certified organic sprays are employed for pest and disease issues to avoid the use of harsh chemicals. All of our crops are harvested by hand, and cultivation is kept to a minimum, as constant traffic from heavy machinery can cause soil compaction and structural problems. Natural seaweed extracts, delivered via fertigation, boost the health of the plants by supporting soil ecology. The overhead irrigation has gradually been replaced by drip tape, which reduces water usage.