Saturday, August 02, 2014

Bountiful Baskets this week

Today is Bountiful Basket Saturday. Every other week, we receive from the produce co-op a basket of fruits and vegetables that can't be beat. Fresh, pretty, nutritious, and inexpensive. For $15.00 plus an administrative fee (total $21.50) we receive a delicious pot of produce gold at the end of the rainbow. Our local chapter's pick up is in a town just 6 miles away. I am loving this accessibility to quality fruit and vegetables, the variety, and the location.

However, the co-op won't continue in our town if there are consistently low numbers. It isn't cost effective to ship via 18 wheeler to a location with only a few contributors. The 18-wheeler makes many stops in a logical path, and soon, a stop with low numbers is dropped off the list in order to keep it cost-effective for everyone.

Two weeks ago we only had about 20 out of a quota limit of 95. This week we only had ten. Oh my. People, get on board with this, it is a ministry also. Good food that's accessible to families is a God-send to many. If these low numbers keep up, they'll cut us. They already cut one co-op in Georgia for that reason.

That's my plug.

This week we received red grapes, bananas, oranges, limes, figs, lychee nuts, avocados, zucchini, broccoli, cabbage, cherry tomatoes, and radishes. I think that's everything. Here are the lychee nuts. They are actually not a nut but are a soft fruit. You sit it on its stem and look for the little seam at the point, and slice it gently along the seam. You can also use a long fingernail. Gently squeeze from the stem and the alligator skin's exterior peels back. What is exposed is the fruit. Unfortunately it looks like a jellyfish or an eyeball. But the fruit's good. There is one large inedible seed inside the fruit.

Often called alligator strawberries due to their size, color and shape, except the skin is tough like an alligator

See what I mean about the eyeball situation?
The skin peels away easily to reveal the grape-like fruit inside
The fruit comes out easily
You can pop the whole thing in your mouth and chew around the seed
or you can nibble around it.
The seed
The lychee seed can be planted. It is planted in a starter germinator container or a pot by placing the seed sideways as above, an inch or so beneath the soil. Keep moist, not wet. YouTube abounds with lessons on planting lychee seeds.

I like the fruit but I would not buy it or be especially excited if we got it in the Bountiful Basket again. It's not that it's hard to deal with, I find oranges more of a struggle. It's not that it's tasteless, they actually have juice and flavor. But I'm not a huge fan.

The radishes we got have that tart pepper afterbite that I love. And the avocados are plump and large. The figs are large and as a happy surprise, organic. And the Basket beat goes on.


Kem Blank said...

I've never even seen a lychee nut so it is good to know what they are and how to eat them. Thanks Elizabeth.

Grace to You said...

That is the weirdest little fruit I've ever seen! You are so much more adventurous than I was when I was part of a CSA...I was overwhelmed trying to figure out what to do with foods I had never heard of each week. :)

Anonymous said...

Praying the Lord either allows your BBs to continue, or finds you another super economical source of produce. A good source of produce is especially important, because you are a vegetarian!


Elizabeth Prata said...

thank you Grace To You, I guess I can say I'm adventurous out of necessity!

Carolyn, thanks. I asked a friend and she said the biggest problem in the near term is they need a volunteer to take the orders. Also of importance is to get the numbers up. But apparently on Facebook (I deactivated my account) the co-op administrator has already said it'll be shut down if they don't find someone to take orders. I've asked what's involved so it may be me. We'll see. Even that won't be enough if they don't get more people to participate

Bonnie Jones said...

A shame the co-op might not be able to continue, it is costly to send an 18-wheeler if there are only a few people. I have never tried a lychee nut and wonder about it now. I agree with the comment above - at least I know how to eat them now, if I ever have a chance!