Produce Power!

I miss my farm share.

I really do.  It seems odd, I know, but it’s honestly one of the greatest things ever, for several reasons.

  1. I like supporting and getting food from local and organic farms.
  2. I like being kind of surprised and challenged with the ingredients that come in the box each week.  I mean, if I’m buying my own produce, I tend to stick with things that I know and am comfortable with.  Frankly, veggie wise, I’m a little boring.  I occasionally try new things but not very often.  The farm share has introduced me to things I’d never eaten before (like garlic scapes and leeks) or didn’t eat often, and also to find new ways to use ingredients I get a lot, like potatoes and swiss chard.
  3. I hate going to the grocery store.  Well, I love and hate it.  I love grocery shopping.  I like looking at food, thinking about ways I could cook it and coming up with meals and let’s face it—if you’ve ever been to a bustling farmer’s market or even in the produce section of a shiny new Whole Foods store, man, they make that look like art.   I love it.  But I hate it.  Because I hate crowds and I hate trying to add up prices and I hate getting up early enough to get a decent spot at Eastern or Kerrytown Market.  I’m lazy.  I just want to spend 5 minutes on the way home running into Morgan and York and getting my farm share box.  That’s it.

And then winter came.  And ruined my life.  (Dramatically flings arm over face.)

It’s been cold.  It’s been dreary.  It’s been veggie-surprise-free.  It’s been devoid of a weekly reason to slightly deviate from my usual route home to stop by M&Y and pick up my box and maybe a couple bottles of Mexican Coke (with real sugar!) and some chocolate almonds that I don’t feel so bad about because hey, I just got a whole box of veggies.  Ying.  Yang.  It’s all about balance.

Indeed, soon I will be turning in my deposit for this year’s farm share and be just that much closer to my weekly full-season produce share from Needle Lane Farm–and maybe a flower share–with the only thing standing between me and my locally grown, weekly antioxidant fix being that stupid groundhog and his bad eyesight (sure, sure he saw his shadow.  In New England.  At 7am.  In February.  HE LIES!).

But for now…nothing.

Except..wait.  What is that?  Is that a faint glimmer of hope I do detect there, off in the cyberyonder?  Wait.  No.  Dead pixel.  Nevermind.

But there is some hope.  Back in the hazy, lazy days of September, I Evernoted an article from Concentrate about being “An Ann Arborvore” and eating locally produced goods.  Some of the places recommended, I already frequent (dear Calder, how I heart your lowfat milk; Zingermans, I wish I knew how to quit you), but a few were new.  Of course, I did nothing about it until last week but hey, progress takes time.  Time and desperation.  While idly perusing my Evernote library, I refound and reread the article and the blurb about Door to Door organics caught my eye.

Door to Door (DDO in this post from now on) is a company that delivers basically boxes of produce to your door.  It’s a lot like a CSA except the products come from multiple places–not necessarily all local farms but all organic sources– and are actually dropped off at your door, or office or garage or whatever and you can customize what goes in the box.  Hmm.  I am intrigued by this idea and wish to subscribe to somebody’s newsletter.

I showed it to Josh.  Pinky.  Mouth.  Interested look.  And so we tried it.  We got a (free) account and signed up to get the smallest box–the “bitty box”–for this week.  It’s $23.  A bit steep but I’m curious, so ok.  They deliver to our area (Ypsilanti–represent!) on Tuesday.  This week’s “menu” so to speak, included a variety of fruits and veggies, like bananas, cucumbers and baby broccoli.  I made a few substitutions–you can swap out items you don’t like for something else, and the variety is really pretty good.  You can also add extra items for a nominal fee, like 50 cents each for Meyer lemons or navel oranges.  In all, our box arrived with the following: 4 bananas, 2 navel oranges, 2 Braeburn apples, 2 avocados, 2 cucumbers, 1 bunch arugula, 1 head romaine lettuce, 1 lb of sunburst squash and 1 bunch of broccolini—and a free couple of extra red bell peppers.  The hell you say!

How was it?  It arrived at Josh’s office before lunch and it all looked pretty good–or as good as it’s going to look this time of year, anyway.  The romaine lettuce, broccolini and cucumbers looked great.  The arugula was a bit o

n the wilted side and the fruit, being organic, was smaller than what I normally buy at the store but still good looking and tasty.  The bananas were pretty green and the avocados definitely not ripe—which isn’t bad, just meant we had to wait a few days before consuming them.  I am really, really looking forward to the avocados I have to say.  I love avocado.

I used the broccoli the first night to make a side dish for my scrambled eggs-and-ham-and-toast-and-veggies dinner.  Tasty and delicious.

DDO delivers weekly, though you can cancel on weeks that you won’t need it.  It won’t replace my regular farm share–I love Needle Lane too much and they ARE entirely local—but it will help me get through this winter.

So…fear not, fellow winter sufferers.  There is hope.  You can indeed be fruitful and lazy.

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