Few things are quite as alluring as an early-morning market. With the smell of fresh coffee and artisan breads wafting on the cool morning air and the bustle of humanity as a soundtrack, there’s no better way to stock up on fresh produce and homemade treats. However, to many a busy Johannesburger, the only thing better than an early-morning market is the opportunity to sleep in over weekends.
Enter Timothy and Clover, a Johannesburg-based online market that combines the organic goodness of ordinary markets with the welcome convenience of online shopping. “Only the good,” is the payoff line on www.timothyandclover.co.za, and they’re not kidding.
This online food market delivers fresh, organic veggies and other produce all over Johannesburg once a week. You might be worried that you’ll miss out on the warm, fuzzy neighbourly feeling ordinary markets offer, but that fear will rapidly subside when your fresh veggies are delivered in a cool plywood box by an actual human being. Sadly, you’re not allowed to keep the box. We ask every time.
Timothy and Clover curate a weekly organic vegetable experience in the form of a small or a large veggie box. The small box costs R85 and can keep two people in seasonal, organic vegetables for a week, while the bigger box provides ample veggies for a family of four.
Aside from the convenience, the veggie box forces you to experiment with things you wouldn’t ordinarily buy in the supermarket. Based on the whims of the season and the availability of the produce, the box offers ample opportunity to spruce up tired weekday meals and encourages pure, curious experimentation. This writer has been converted to the way of the cauliflower thanks to Timothy and Clover, although she hasn’t quite gotten around to uncovering the interesting uses of kale.
The veggie box is a wonderful mix of basics like onions, starchy veggies like sweet potato and a motley selection of the leafy, the knobbly, the smooth and the scary. If you’d like to supplement with seasonal veggies that aren’t included, the market offers a selection of fruits and vegetables that can be added to your weekly delivery at the click of a button. The veggie box also includes a little card with recipes every week, in case you get a vegetable that stumps you completely.
If all this vegetable talk is offending your meat eating sensibilities, you’ll be happy to hear that Timothy and Clover also offers free range meat boxes from the much-lauded Braeside Butchery in Parkhurst. You might remember them from this year’s Eat Out DStv Food Network Produce Awards. “Our meat is sourced from Braeside Butchery and is genuinely free range, which means pasture-reared, grass-fed animals raised in conditions that far exceed the (quite meagre) local industry requirements for animal welfare. No routine antibiotics, no growth hormones. Just natural meat,” is the Timothy and Clover guarantee.
Meat lovers are offered a selection of four types of meat boxes and can choose between a larger and a smaller option. In the meat boxes you’ll find a combination of free range beef, pork, chicken and lamb. The cuts differ every week, which means you can try your hand at a slow-roasted stew one week and a flavourful steak the next; also think roulades, sosaties, chops, meat on the bone, meat off the bone and anything else you can dream of. Pork items can be exchanged with a lamb alternative at an additional cost.
The Weekender Meat Box is every meat lover’s dream. Especially compiled with weekends in mind, it contains little treats that you may not indulge in during the week: think bacon, biltong, roast chicken and kebabs. Those who can’t resist the smell of a chop on the open flame can stock up on braai favourites with The Braai Box. Lend credibility to your favourite cooking activity with organic favourites like boerewors, steak and lamb chops.
If nothing we’ve said so far sounds like your cup of tea, Timothy and Clover also offer market favourites like raw honey products and tallow, gorgeous free-range eggs and a selection of dairy products. You can even buy fresh bone broth, if that’s what you’re into.
The best part is that Timothy and Clover is not a subscription-based service, so you can mix and match your order every week to suit your needs. Dinner party? Order two boxes instead of one. Out of tomatoes? Click click. Braai over the weekend? Braai Box! Timothy and Clover products can be ordered on Mondays and Tuesdays and are delivered on Thursdays and Fridays. The team is really good at confirming delivery times and addresses before each delivery to ensure that you get your kicks when you need them. Delivery costs R35 and can be split between colleagues who order deliveries to the same building.
A visit to the Timothy and Clover website www.timothyandclover.co.za is like a visit to a local market. Find out about the people who produce the vegetables, learn more about your favourite vegetables and get a brand new recipe every week. Who says only the early bird can get the organic worm?
By Kristia van Heerden