You are what you eat. I’m not sure what I think of that. One look at me and many pears in my past may come to mind. Other people? A few butternut squashes, mushrooms and
watermelons have crossed my path. You? Well, you know, don’t you? How many of us would have different shapes if we ate differently?
A couple of weeks ago an opportunity to see a part of the food co-op life presented itself in the form of Bountiful Baskets. ( http://www.bountifulbaskets.org/ ) For $15 – plus a small handling fee – purchasers receive over $50 worth of fresh fruit and vegetables. Early in the week, interested participants place orders online using a credit card to guarantee the order. Saturday morning those who ordered arrive at the designated site to pick up their goodies.
Everyone receives the same produce, and the variety differs from week to week based upon seasonal availability. Volunteering one of every four weeks you order is a part of your commitment to the co-op.
Here is how it worked.
A semi truckload of cases of produce arrives at a site. Since I was in Nevada at the
time, the food came from areas such as California, New Mexico, Texas, and some from Mexico, etc. We don’t grow things like bananas in the mainland states, you know. All is unloaded and counted by volunteers and coordinators, the numbered baskets (in this case they looked like laundry baskets) placed together in numerical order. One is a holding basket for fruit, one for vegetables. The sorting begins! As the produce shipping cases are quickly emptied and the sorting finished, the particular site I witnessed chose to recycle
the two baskets into the cardboard cases for easier distribution. Buyers would pull up to be checked in, open their trunk, hatch or door, and be on their way to their basked of fresh foods.
This entire process, from the arrival of the truck to the final package distributed to the consumer, took only a couple of hours.
Bountiful Baskets doesn’t participate in government food programs. Anyone can order. Baskets are purchased only through the website by the deadline, or if all are sold quickly, ahead of the deadline.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to participate in the opportunity to purchase a new variety of fruits and vegetables? Unfortunately, it requires a coordinator and more information than I have been able to obtain from both the contact and media links on the site.
To anyone driven to look into it, or start a similar program, I want to be one of the first in line! Having experienced the quality of the basket contents firsthand, I am ready to try something new.