Bountiful Baskets

This weekend was the second weekend so far that The Big Man and I have participated in the Bountiful Baskets co-op.

I had heard bits and pieces about it, and we finally buckled down and gave it a shot.

We really like it!

This is the gist: on Monday or Tuesday, you go online and contribute $15 for your basket ($25 for organic). On Saturday, you go to the site you chose and pick up your produce in your own containers. Typically, there are six fruits and six vegetables. Smaller produce (tomatoes, carrots, plums, etc.) will have several (half a dozen or so). Larger (melons, heads of lettuce, etc.) will have just one.

There are other items that you can add to your basket if you choose: bread, cookies, other fruits in bulk.

Because it is a co-op, it is completely volunteer-run. Everyone who participates is asked to volunteer from time to time. Volunteers show up to their site an hour early. I haven’t volunteered yet, so I can’t say exactly what goes on, but I assume they take all the produce from the truck and sort it out so it’s ready for pick-up.

Both weeks, we have opted for an organic basket and have been pleased.

We have needed to change how we plan meals, but that’s been OK. Usually, we would plan meals for the week on the weekend (hasn’t changed), make a list, and go shopping. Now, we have a whole lot of produce that needs to be incorporated into our meals, so we plan meals around what’s in the weekly basket.

Sometimes it’s challenging, but mostly, it’s been fine. There are occasional recipes posted on the Bountiful Baskets Facebook page, especially for less common items. For example, there was kale in this week’s basket. A recipe was posted for kale chips. A member posted a link to a recipe using kale and squash, which was also in this week’s basket.

We have received a few veggies that neither of us care for; we gave them away.

Much of the produce we’ve consumed has not been available at our local markets in organic. Having it just about delivered to us with the organic option has been nice.

We’re definitely eating more produce than we were. This is a Good Thing.

It would be a great deal if we liked all of the produce that we’re getting. But it’s still a good deal.

But the biggest perk ā€” it’s easy. Opt in online on Monday or Tuesday (our site doesn’t sell out, so we’re not in a hurry to sign up … so far). Pick up on Saturday. Eat all week.

So we’re revisiting old recipes, trying new recipes, chopping and freezing. It’s fun and healthy and we’re enjoying it. And as it turns out, cutting up a pineapple is really easy.

In theory, over time, we’ll grow a lot of our own produce, but some of this either doesn’t grow here or isn’t practical to grow in the back yard.

If you live in one of the following states, there is already a co-op in place somewhere (whether it’s local to you or not, I can’t say): AZ, CO, ID, KS, MT, NM NV, OK, OR, SC, SD, TX, UT, WA, WY. There are instructions on the web site for how to go about getting a new site rolling, so if there’s not one near you but you’re interested, start one yourself!

My question for you today: what’s your favorite thing to do with mangoes?

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lisa on 18 July 2011 at 08:14

    My sister in law her her family (from FL) came up here to visit a few weeks ago, bringing with them a bag of GORGEOUS mangoes fresh off their trees in the backyard. This time of year they just fall to the ground when they’re ready and they’re so delicious. I like to just cut them in a large dice and eat them with a fork; they cut them in long slices and eat them with their fingers. Smoothies are delish with mango – like a mango lassi. MMmmm… she also made a killer no-bake fruit tart with mangoes and raspberries, which were a great combination.

    • I can eat mango on its own, just diced, but only in small quantities. Mango-raspberry fruit tarts sound amazing. Recipe to share?

  2. Posted by Beca Gater on 18 July 2011 at 11:41

    I love mango salsa it came with a recipe for salmon but I love it as a salsa by itself. šŸ™‚

    • Ooooh … I had forgotten about mango salsa. Whole Foods’ peach mango salsa is really good. Need to try to make some …

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