Frequently Asked Questions
We grow a wide range of produce right throughout the year. Have a look at the Our Farm section of our website, which has an up-to-date list of what we’re currently harvesting on the farm, and also what’s coming up over the next few months!
Of course – Our Farm is located just behind Our Shop. If you’re coming from Melbourne, travel along the Western Highway and take the first Bacchus Marsh exit towards the Bacchus Marsh township (approximately 53.4kms from the CBD). You’ll then travel through the Lerderderg flats – some of the most fertile market gardening country in Australia! Follow the tree-lined Avenue of Honour all the way to Our Shop (located approximately 4.1kms from the Bacchus Marsh turn-off) on the right hand side.
Ask for Sam, he’d be happy to take you out to the farm to see how we grow our farm fresh produce. Just make sure you bring your gumboots!
We’re not certified organic, but we do grow all of our produce using old-style farming practices; techniques that have been passed down over the course of the last 80 years (through four generations of farming)! We’ve taken the farming practices we learnt on the valleys of the Mediterranean, and adapted them to the Australian environment.
We think our results speak for themselves – high quality, crispy, fresh and tasty produce; with individual character and multi-dimensional flavour. Absolutely delicious fruit & veg!
Horticultural farming in south-eastern Australia has undergone fundamental change over the last 15 years. Significant drought has been a key driver in exploring more efficient and environmental farming practices.
We have been instrumental in developing initiatives to combat the effects of drought and improve our environmental footprint. These have included converting a majority of our farm to highly efficient drip irrigation systems (we’ve managed to save about 55% of our water usage through this mechanism!) We’ve also been recently exploring highly innovative hydroponics systems to grow some of our produce (our systems are modelled on those we learnt about from the Middle East)!
The history of our shop dates back to 1988. Belinda Dellios, with a desire to work more closely with her husband Sam (a third generation horticultural farmer from Bacchus Marsh), decided to open a farm-direct retail outlet, selling produce direct from the farm.
There was an old tin shed just down the way; it was surrounded by crops of peaches, nectarines, apricots, broccoli, cauliflower, and tomatoes; and it was picturesquely located under the historic elms of the Avenue of Honour.
Sam went to work on converting the old tin shed into a retail shop, and ever since then, Sam and Belinda have worked together to develop The Fruits of Life, now a multi award-winning gourmet produce retailer.
Belinda runs the shop, sourcing products from our network of artesian Australian suppliers. You’ll find a selection of high-quality jams, old-style chutneys, relish, gourmet cheeses and small goods, bakery, nuts, honey, pasta and herbs.
Sam operates the farm with his brother Tom. They grow produce exclusively for the shop and our farm-to-your-door deliveries. With four generations of horticultural experience – we’ve learnt a few things about how to grow high-quality produce!
The Fruits of Life opened Oxygen Café in 2004. Oxygen Café is located within the shop, and is the perfect place to unwind amongst the historic elms of the Avenue. Come in and enjoy a quiet brunch, quick lunch or delightful afternoon snack. We make our own lasagnas, quiches, scones, pies, soups, smoothies and juices!
Our Shop is located on the picturesque Avenue of Honour, in Bacchus Marsh. If you’re coming from Melbourne, travel along the Western Highway and take the first Bacchus Marsh exit towards the Bacchus Marsh township (approximately 53.4kms from the CBD). You’ll then traverse through the Lerderderg flats – some of the most fertile market gardening country in Australia. Follow the tree-lined Avenue of Honour all the way to Our Shop (located approximately 4.1kms from the Bacchus Marsh turn-off, on the right hand side).
Everything we sell in our online shop can be found in our Shop.
Not everything we stock in Our Shop is sold online. In creating our online shop, we have combined a range of our best-sellers, products that have been requested by customers, and products that we simply just love to sell. We hope that you enjoy the range!
If you see something from our Shop that you can’t find online, please do give us a call, we can arrange for it to be included in your delivery at our standard price.
The first thing to do is find out is whether we deliver to your area. We are always expanding our delivery area, however we are concentrating our initial deliveries on specially selected areas around Melbourne. Go to our Online Store and use the delivery check entering your postcode. This will let you know whether or not we are currently delivering in your area.
If we are delivering to your area, you can find out which specific options are available during the checkout process, meanwhile we encourage you to peruse our delicious catalogue!
If we are not currently delivering to your area, please give us a call on 03 5367 0606, speak to us on Skype, or send us an email, and we will try our best to accommodate. Sometimes we can arrange deliveries if the order size is large enough, or if we can find other customers around your area that are interested in coming onboard with us. Give us a call and we can talk through the options.
There are two ways that you can sign up:
- Sign up before you shop: Click on the Join now button on the homepage (located just under the Username and Password box in the top right hand corner). You’ll then be asked to pop in a few details (your name, email address, phone number, delivery address, delivery instructions etc);
- Sign up after you shop: Once you’ve selected everything you would like from our shopping catalogue and proceeded to checkout, you will be prompted to sign up as a Fruits of Life member.
By signing up as a Fruits of Life Member, you will receive a number of benefits, which include:
- you won’t have to retype your details every time you shop (making your shop quicker and easier); and
- you will be entitled to our exclusive member-only promotions and discounts.
Unfortunately our system doesn’t support anonymous / guest checkout.
Please don’t be shy & rest assured that by creating your online member login you will have a better online experience.
When logged in you will have access to great features like My Favourites which make your online ordering experience easier.
Browse through our enormous catalogue. You’ll find a huge range of gourmet produce, delicious chutneys, herbs, nuts, spices, sauces and more!
You can click on the product to find out a little more about it (such as information about how we make sure we supply top quality products, where we source the products from, nutritional and seasonal information about the products).
Then enter in the number of units you would like (most items are sold on a per unit basis), and click the ‘+’ button, which will add the number of units to your basket.
You can have a look at the contents of your shopping basket at any time – just click on the Your Shopping Basket, which will bring up an itemised list of everything in your shopping basket. You can also remove and amend items on the shopping basket page.
You will then need to enter the payment details. We accept all major credit cards (Mastercard and Visa). We cannot accept payment by Diner’s club, American Express, cash or cheque.
Once the order is processed, all you have to do is make sure there’s room in the fridge!
Of course – if there is any issue that may affect your delivery, we will get in touch with you to discuss. As an example, we will contact you if a product that you have ordered has become unavailable, or if we need additional delivery instructions.
We will not contact you about our promotions and discounts unless you specifically consent to this sort of material being sent to you (you can opt out at any time).
We think that by growing the produce ourselves, we can give a little extra. From planting through to harvest, we invest our own hard work and expertise into tending and cultivating our crops.
We think our results speak for themselves – individual, high quality, gourmet produce; grown with over 80 years of horticultural experience.
The other benefit of sourcing from our farm is that it allows us to harvest and deliver to your door immediately – this means you get fresh produce with low food mileage, and minimal (if any) controlled atmosphere storage. It’s the next best thing to having a veggie patch in your backyard!
We can always let you know what products come from our farm. Have a look at the Our Farm section of our website, which outlines what we’re currently harvesting, and what’s coming up. Your weekly newsletter (included with your box) will also have details about what produce is currently being harvested from our farm.
In relation to other products, we often source the same item from a number of growers in any given week. This allows us to match supply with demand, and makes sure that we are always delivering high quality product. Each product is generally sourced from a region, have a look at the description for the product you are interested in to find out more.
When sourcing produce, we try to follow a simple rule – the more locally produced the product, the better it is. It’s a rule that means there is a reduced food mileage attached to the product, and that you get fresher, healthier produce.
In line with these aims, we’ve designed the Farm Fresh box (packed with produce only from our farm) and the Victoria’s Best box (which contains only Victorian products).
It doesn’t matter if you’re not home when we deliver. We will leave your box in the area that you specify in your delivery instructions. Good locations to specify include outside your front door (we try to deliver early in the morning – so leaving your order near your front door is usually quick, safe and easy), under a tree, or at the end of your driveway.
If you are concerned about leaving your produce out in the open, we could arrange to pick up a key to your garage or communal entrance hall, and leave your delivery in there. If you’re not sure where to specify, give us a ring and we can talk you through some solutions that other customers are using.
If you don’t specify any special delivery instructions, we will leave your box in location that is safe from the sun, any damaging rain, and of course, away from any thieving hands. If we can’t find a suitable location to deliver your box, we will give you a call to discuss.