Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bountiful Basket Day

Here is the basket for this week:

7 bananas, 7 oranges, 6 apples, 5 kiwi, celery, 3 avocados, 6 baking potatoes, 2 Acorn squash, bag Brussels sprouts, box of cherry tomatoes, 4 artichokes, Romaine.

There were leftovers and everybody got an additional item, but not all baskets received the same additional item. My overflow item was squash, that's why I have two. It cost $21.50 for everything. I also received an extra bag of an item of my choice because I volunteered. I picked a 2nd bag of Brussels sprouts- not pictured. The next rotation is in two weeks. I can't wait!

I'm excited. I would never buy artichokes but I like them and will eat them. Same with Brussels sprouts.

Of the things I'm not so much a fan of...oranges. I like oranges OK but they are a pain to cut up and messy. They take a long time to work with so I'm not so much a fan. A banana is something I can bring with me, and eat as I'm going up the hall at school, or chow down on in one minute as my snack during the work day.

As for the veggies, I'll steam the artichokes all at once. I'll make a ratatouille with the celery and tomatoes and a yellow squash I have and peppers. I'll throw in some quinoa. Later on the acorn squash will become soup- but I'll roast the squash first.

Today was cold, only 26 degrees as we unloaded the truck and distributed the veggies. It was the biggest Basket day ever, with 47 people signing up. There are 95 available. I'm glad that about 10 people showed up to help distribute because many hands made light work. As it was we barely got it all sorted out into the customer's baskets before the people started arriving.

First you yank down everything from the truck, which is an 18 wheeler. This is harder than it sounds because what you are taking down are flats of potatoes and bananas etc- HEAVY. Then we open every box to do a quick eye scan to make sure nothing drastic is happening in there. Next the Coordinator sends us down the rows of baskets (which we lay out in order of number) with an item. She has done the calculations of how many items go into each basket, based on how many are in a flat and how many people signed up for a basket. So we had 47 people and she told us to start with putting 5 bananas into each basket, 6 potatoes, etc.

At the end when there are leftovers of stray bananas or potatoes or kiwis, etc, she tells us to put one certain item in each basket till there are no more left of that item and to start putting into the next basket where you left off of the next item. So if we had 30 bananas left over the first 30 baskets got them and then the next 17 baskets got a potato. If we still have leftovers we just start again at #1. So everyone gets something extra but not all baskets get the same extra. All produce is distributed as evenly as humanly possible.

The Basket co-op took a rotation off last time so since they come around every other week we had a month off. I was dying on the vine so to speak. I went to the grocery store in between basket weeks, but there is no way to reproduce the amounts you get for $15. The co-op cost for the food is $15 and the other $6.50 is for processing and fuel for the truck. The Basket people like to say it costs $15 but since $21.50 is coming out of my pocket is just say it's $21.50 for the produce. It is still a great deal.

It is an extra God-send because January is the time when our school payroll goes a long time between paychecks. We are paid monthly on the last work day of the month but in December the kind payroll people work hard to get us our money before Christmas break. This year we were paid on Dec 18. But the next paycheck isn't until January 31. So the 6 weeks between paychecks is hard to budget for and the last week certainly is a stretch. So I appreciate access to quality produce at such an affordable price. The baskets usually last me two weeks.

It is still cold here, a mere 35 degrees, but the sun is strong and the day is early. I cleaned and changed the sheets and straightened up before I left to get the Basket. This afternoon, I'll do some writing, take a nap, and get ready for a party later this evening. A friend graduated from college and she earned her teaching certificate, the fulfillment of a long-time dream she has been working toward for a while. Not easy with two kids and she worked as a parapro. So her friends and family will celebrate her accomplishment tonight!


Anonymous said...

Hi Elizabeth,

Your basket looks wonderful. We love brussels sprouts and artichokes too, but haven't had them in ages. :)

Anyhow, something that has helped us with oranges... next time you search Amazon, look up "progressive citrus peeler". (Specifically, it also has the item number GT-3339). We have one just like that, and it makes short work of getting an orange ready to eat.

Other places make the same peeler. If you search under "citrus peeler", you'll see the same kind of item from Tupperware, Pampered Chef, and other manufacturers.

Maybe it will make oranges easier for you to enjoy, and less messy. :)


Elizabeth Prata said...

Hi Carolyn,

Thanks so much! I will certainly check that out!

Anonymous said...


You're welcome!