Since the New Year, A and I have been trying to eat more healthy and consume less ‘stuff’. This isn’t a resolution, and would have occurred anytime of year, but the decision just happened to occur following New Year’s. We had already banned the purchase of meats since the summer (although this doesn’t prevent us from eating meat if we are at a restaurant or someone’s home) in order to decrease the impact that our consumption has. Following the holidays that saw us buying a lot of food for Christmas dinner, house guests, and a New Year’s party, we decided to take a week and a half and not buy any food at all (no restaurants and no groceries) so that we could eat all the leftovers we had. We also made a dent in the pantry. Finally, when that was complete, we went to the farmer’s market and bought fresh produce and eggs, to keep us stocked up. That week and a half saw us only spend about $40 at the grocery store getting things like broth, sour cream, and crackers.
This brings us to the present. Last week I went online to research the CSA farms with shares available in our area for the winter. The two with websites were ManoRun Farm and plan b organics. ManoRun seemed to have a few winter shares, but I think we may have been too late to buy in. As for plan b, their site included an online ordering form and we were easily able to order our shares. We decided to get the regular 1-2 person box and skipped purchasing the local box (our thinking being that we would get the local produce box when we have entered the local growing season). The boxes are available for pick up at a number of locations and there was one very near to our house. The boxes are placed outside at the pick up location once a week for 4 hours (Tuesday 5-9pm in our case), which is a perfect window to make a pick up after work.
The first box was picked up last night and here is what we got:
1 butternut squash, 1 avocado, 1 bunch of kale, 1 grapefruit, 6 onions, 2 pears, 4 apples, 1 bunch of living basil, 1 head of romaine lettuce, about 20 carrots, apple cider
When you order your box with plan b, there are a few options besides size and local vs. regular- you can also choose weekly or biweekly delivery, add eggs to your order, add apple cider to your order, and make substitutions. You can make up to 5 substitutions for $3 per box, and I was tempted to do this since I have an intolerance to white potatoes, but didn’t want to spend an additional $3 per week to get the potatoes removed (A will happily eat any potatoes). Fortunately, this box was potato-free! Since we didn’t pay for the apple cider as an add-on to our box, it’s inclusion was quite a nice surprise as well. In fact, as you can see from the picture, A was so keen to try the cider (prepared Jan. 13th), that he managed to drink some while I ran to get my phone for the picture.
We are now on our way to eating better, one step at a time. There are a lot of blogs that have helped with inspiration, as well. For inspiration of your own, check out the blog “Crackers”, which I’ve linked to on the sidebar. It has gorgeous photos, local field trips, and many ideas.