Monday, June 18, 2012

Culinary Adventure: Bountiful Baskets

What do these two lines have in common?

All photos by Madeline L.

Answer: They are both waiting for produce!

That's right. Saltbox House would like to recognize a wonderful organization known as Bountiful Baskets. This food co-op has been in the works since 2006. What started between two friends in an effort to find affordable healthy food, has now reach numerous families across 16 states.

How does it work?
Basically, the food co-op gathers a weekly contribution from those who sign in to the website and purchase a "basket" that will contain 50% fruit and 50% vegetables. Those contributions are gathered together to purchase the produce at a whole sale price and then they are divided ans delivered to designated sites that same week.

Volunteers are the biggest contributors of all. There are no employees for Bountiful Baskets. Everything is done through generosity! Because of this, families can get their produce at the same price that is was purchased.

Overall, even when the price of produce will go up in the grocery stores, the price of bountiful baskets always remains the same.

Bountiful Baskets 101:

Some sites may only offer bountiful baskets every other week instead of weekly.
Make sure to check if the site is on an A or B week.

Days to purchase your basket "Contribute"-
Monday through Tuesday (Time of day vary depending on your state)

Day to Pick up basket-
Saturday (Times during Saturday vary depending on site)
There is a 20 minute window to pick up your basket when your pick up time starts

How much to contribute-
$15.00 for a regular basket and $25.00 for an Organic Basket. You can order up to 3 baskets. Sometimes this is great for those that order together in the case that a site fills up too fast.

Additional Prices include-
One time charge of $3.00 for your first basket (To purchase a white holding basket). After the first time paying this, you don't ever have to pay this again, even if you move to another state.

A $1.50 service fee charge (Different sources tell us this is either to help pay for the trucking company's gas -because they offer delivery as a free service- and/or to pay for the credit card companies charges that allow people to make online transactions).  

Any Extras you Purchase. After purchasing a basket, each contributor has the option to purchase additional items that range from baked goods to additional produce.

What Extras can you Purchase-

Here are some of them:

Themed Veggie Packs- Italian, Mexican, Asian, and Tropical that can add variety. Some of our authors swear by these packs because they include so many fresh herbs!

Baked goods- Sourdough bread, 9 grain wheat, and holiday cookies, to name a few. 


Bulk Produce- These are seasonal fruits and veggies that can be used or preserved for later. Another popular add on by some of our authors. They can preserve anytime during the year this way.

Volunteers make it happen! This is the perfect opportunity to get some hands on experience in bountiful baskets. Whether your wash baskets, break down boxes, or fill in for a site coordinator, you are all working for the same cause.

How to volunteer
Just show up at your nearest site an hour early to help. As a thank you for all your help, your basket and any extras you purchased will be set aside before the pick up time begins and you will also receive either one large produce item or two small.   

Don't have a site near you? That doesn't mean that it is not possible. You can inquire about opening a site near you and become the site's coordinator. The website has more information about opportunities to start your own site or to petition to open a site in your area. The benefits of being a site coordinator include your basket at no charge.

To learn more about Bountiful Baskets, find a site near you, or to order a basket click below

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Madeline and Family said...

I think it is worth every bit of money and time. Even with some hiccups that happen, I still think it is the best way to get produce as a great price. It also encourages you to think of ways to use what you get because it will be different each week.

Georgia Collins said...

Clever Idea.

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