Tuesday, January 03, 2006
One of my non-financial goals for 2006 is to eat more fruits and vegetables. This was a lot easier for us to do when we split a share in a CSA farm for a few years, and I enjoyed contributing to something that was important to me all while eating yummy organic and bio-dynamic veggies.
So for the last two years or so our vegetable intake has been pathetic. We're talking spinach or lettuce based salads and green beans. My grandfather had a huge garden and grew tons of vegetables when I was little so I like my veggies and fruits to actually taste good so the usual supermarket offerings don't get me excited. And LaLa's not really a veggie fan (her lack of enthusiasm upon tasting a farm fresh Sun Gold cherry tomato in the early days of our relationship was nearly a dealbreaker...but that's another story) so what I really need is a manageable amount of vegetables (fruit would be bonus...I am so tired of apples) to just show up at my house.
So I was sitting in my home office before the holiday when I saw a vision in white drive by my house. A white van with a "Boston Organics" logo zipped by. "To the internet!" I said to my cat Boo (who is really more of a baked goods fan) and lo and behold I found Boston Organics online. And here is what is so exciting about them:
They bring organic vegetables and/or fruits....TO YOUR HOUSE!
Isn't that just genius?
You can choose the box size ($25 or $35) and the frequency (weekly or every other) as well as fruit, veg, or mix (50/50 or 2/3). AND you get to specify things you never want in your box (no bell peppers please! They HATE me!). Did I mention that they bring it right TO YOUR HOUSE? Oh, I did? Well...the owner is committed to supporting local agriculture so he mostly uses local farms when our (somewhat short) growing season is upon us and during the cold weather months he augments from organic farms in warmer climates.
So I had to have the fruit vs. veg talk with LaLa and I signed up right before we left. I chose to start out with a $25 veg box every other week. When we returned we had a spanky green box on our back porch filled with organic veggies ("Where's the fruit?" she asked. "Errrr....it's complicated". So of course she punished me by buying more apples). We had our artichokes tonight. Yum. I felt like I got a good value for my $25 too, which is most important. There was a fair amount in the box including: lettuce, arugula, cauliflower, 2 artichokes, avocado, onions, sweet potatoes and kale (and probably a thing or two more I can't remember right now)
So one week in and it's working so far...somehow I am clearly the vegetable wrangler, so I better get some fruit delivered ASAP so I can spread the load. Honestly I am hoping I can do $25 each week but alternate between vegetables and fruit. That would be $100 on produce (roughly) a month which I think will help us overall on our food budget. My fallback is to do $35 every other week with maybe a 50/50 split.
I plan to use this service and some other techniques to keep the food budget under control this year.
It seems similar services exist in other metro areas and if you are interested definitely start googling. You might also want to check out this thread on Treehugger. Not everyone there is a fan of Boston Organics because he is not 100% local but I think his business model is realistic and will appeal to more folks than those who solely want to each what is locally in season (my artichoke was goooooood). Anyway, several cities with similar businesses are mentioned there too. Have a peek OR I strongly suggest you check out CSA in your area too!
Posted by Caitlin at 6:30 PM