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Friday, May 8, 2009

Frugal veggies. . . .

I joined a Community Supported Agriculture program last week, and on Tuesday, I was the recipient of my first monthly fruit and vegetable "bin". It arrived on my front porch as requested, and contained:

2 Fuji Apples - *LOCAL*
3 Ambrosia Apples -
2-3 Blood Oranges - 'Cali'
1 pkge. Strawberries - 'Cali'
1 Leeks - *LOCAL, farm direct*
1 bunch Red Kale - *LOCAL*
1 bunch Spinach - *LOCAL*
2lb. Potatoes - *LOCAL*
1-2 Yellow Onions - *LOCAL*
1 bunch Radish - *LOCAL*
1 Euro Cucumber - "B.C"
1 Rhubarb - *LOCAL*
1 Leaf Lettuce - *LOCAL, farm direct*

About half of the items are locally grown, while the remainder comes from California---this is undoubtedly going to decrease my 'carbon footprint' compared to purchasing all of my produce from the grocery store, where almost all of the items are flown in from other areas. Of course, the produce will change on a monthly basis, depending on what's in season at that time. I'm excited to learn which vegetables and fruits are available at different times of the year, since this is something about which I'm fairly ignorant with the exception of the very common items like strawberries and watermelon. . . .

I'll pay $27 a month for this delivery, and although so far I'm satisfied with it, it remains to be seen whether this will create value in my grocery budget. Generally, I purchase my fruits and veggies either at the grocery store or at the farmer's market (where I pay a premium for locally grown, organic produce). This year, I'm growing tomatoes, peas and squash in my yard, so that will add to my bounty. At $27, I'm left with $58 in my grocery budget for non-produce items (and for items like bananas that won't be included in my bins). I think this is manageable.

Perhaps more importantly, I think I'll be induced to eat more healthy, raw foods---something I've been trying to do without much success as I attempt to lose ten pounds. Now, the big question is, what the heck does a person do with leeks and kale, let alone rhubarb???? I can see that at the very least, my gastronomic knowledge will be much improved with the inclusion of my monthly bin.


VegMomma said...

Kale is awesome! Make spring soup, fry it with onions and garlic and a splash of vinegar, replace it in recipes that call for spinach...I'm sure you'll enjoy :)

Tessie said...

I think this is a great idea. It's not hard to spend a ton on veggies at the grocery store, so it seems like you're coming out ahead. Plus, your purchase helps out a great cause. Here's to Veggie Awareness!

Ethelapple said...

make soup with leeks...in the book "The $64 Dollar Tomato" there is an awesome sounding recipe for creamy leek soup. :)

marci357 said...

Personally, I think they overcharged you by 1/3rd at least. But, I understand what you are trying to do.

Kale is great steamed or sauted or in soup/stews like cabbage. Ok raw also or with a dip or in salad finely chopped. Leeks the same, only more like a mild onion or the onion leaves. Rhubarb sauce, jam, or strawberry rhubarb pie.

I would suggest one of the online recipe sites - like superchef.com. Plug in what you have and it will spit out bunches of recipes :)

Or go to Earthbound Farms site in Cal... they have an amazing recipe collection for veggies :)

Enjoy the new tastes!

Finally Frugal said...

Yes, I think I'm paying a premium for the luxury of having this delivered to my front door. If I weren't working 55 hours a week and a full time graduate student, I'd probably take the time to pick it up, but this works for me!

AND, get this: I'm actually CRAVING salads now, after a week of spinach/lettuce and kale salads! Never thought that would happen. . .

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