5 Reasons Every Vintage Foodie Should Try Bountiful Baskets

5)  It's easy.  If you aren't familiar with Bountiful Baskets, here's the deal:  it's a co-op.  Every Monday, you sign in on the website, and place an order.  There's a small charge the first time you do it, so that they can buy a new pair of baskets.  Other then that, though, it's the same every week--$15 plus a small handling fee for a regular basket, $25 for organic.  There are sometimes additional items you can purchase, too, like a Mexican basket, or bread.  You print out your number, and on the listed time and day, go pick up your produce.  You're asked to come early and help when possible, at least every two months or so. Try it once, get over the "new and scary", and you'll be hooked.

The Bountiful Basket Facebook Page

4) It's frugal.  While I buy a couple of vegetable items at the store or farmer's market (berries when in season, the holy trinity of onions, celery, and carrots), my single, basic basket is enough produce for our family of four(two adults, a Kindergartener and a toddler) for an entire week, often with some to spare. If any leftovers start getting too ripe, I make jam, or put them in the stock pot.  Everything gets used.  For the first time in a very long time, my kids are able to eat fruits and veggies whenever they want a snack.  About $50 worth of produce for $15.

A basket posted by the author at Bunches and Bits--check out everything she did with it!

3) You support local farmers, and small business. A lot of the produce at the grocery store is shipped from half-way around the globe to get to your table.  A bag of grapes from Chile are more expensive, require more chemicals to get to you without spoiling(often ones that are illegal in America), and has required the use of a lot of fuel(traveling by boat, truck, etc,etc).

A lot of effort goes into making the produce travel as little as possible.  Since I live in Idaho, I often get local Idaho potatoes, fruit from Utah or Oregon, and veggies from California, but if you're in a different part of the country, you might get a completely different basket.What you get, though, has to be in season because of the effort for local produce.

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2) It helps you eat seasonally.  Farmers grow different varieties depending on the market, and when it comes to shipping long-distance, fruit and vegetables that have a lot of flavor often lose.  Eating seasonally helps make it easy to figure out what will be fresh, ripe, nutritious, and full of flavor.  It has been the way our ancestors ate for millions of years.  It also seems to encourage my children to try new things(can't eat nothing but apples if we only have them in fall), and makes when we DO have a particularly loved fruit or vegetable that much more special. 

To say The Toddler is excited for apple season is a bit of an understatement.  World Community Cookbook.

1) It will make you grow as a cook.  Signing up for Bountiful Baskets has forced me to plan the way we eat differently.  It used to be that I would plan out meals, weeks in advance.  Now, I wait to see what I got in the basket, then go shopping later on Saturday, with a week's plan based on meals that compliment my produce and make the best use of it.  Instead of eating variations on the same meals, I look for ways to adjust favorites, and learn technique that is applicable across the board, rather then a set recipe.  For example, I got another head of cauliflower this week, and still haven't used up all of the last one--it's time to look around online, flip through my vintage and historic cookbooks, and rise to the occasion! 

Spicy Cauliflower with Sesame from 101Cookbooks


~~louise~~ said...

GREAT, GREAT, great,post Jesse!!! I agree with every single reason. I have access to an abundance of locally grown produce here in PA all year round. We're lucky that way. There is always a farmers market at least once a week usually more. Then there are the farm stands and such...

I will, however, pass this link onto my daughter who, as you know, also lives in Idaho. Like you, most of her local produce comes for Idaho, Utah and California. (the strawberries from CA were awesome this year!) She's been thinking about going back to being a stay at home mom and I'm sure she would love to get back to her "roots."

Thank you so much for sharing...

Jesse (Great Grandmother's Kitchen) said...

You're very welcome Louise!

It's great that you have so much produce available in PA. It was that way for us in the CA Bay Area too. Since we're farther north, and away from the coast, it's a bit more of a challenge here. However, I find that while I can't always get local produce at the farmer's market, goats, bees and poultry do well here, so I can get raw local honey, cheese, eggs, and milk from small farmers, and make sure I have their card for when the market season ends. The quality is really insanely good.

Jana said...

Plus, it's one of the few ways you can get your mitts on Jerusalem artichokes. They were a white whale of mine for quite some time.

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