Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Local Produce Box: Week 22

The final box: apples, kale, carrots, red onions, potatoes, cabbage, squash, tomatoes and spinach (not pictured).

After picking up our produce box for twenty-two weeks we have reached the end of the season and with that I have thought a lot about what I loved about this program, what I was not really keen on, and what I would do next year.

Let me start with what I loved:
  • that we had fresh, organic produce every week
  • how much better this local produce tasted compared to what we could buy in the stores
  • increased knowledge and appreciation for what grows local to us
  • trying new recipes (my favorite thing!!)
  • it was fun
  • meal planning was simpler as I planned our meals based on what we got in the box
  • I got to drive into the country and visit a beautiful garden center every week when I was picking up our box
  • after the initial cost of paying for all the boxes back in June, our weekly grocery bill was greatly reduced
On the flip side, there were things that I did not love:
  • receiving herbs in the box - it was very difficult to use large bundles of herbs before they went bad
  • sometimes we had a lot of the same produce - for example, too many onions at the beginning of the season and too many carrots at the end - and it was a lot to use up before the next box arrived. I did manage to use everything in the end, but it definitely required a bit more work and organization and was a wee bit stressful at times
  • the recipes that were included with the box this year were not as good as those we got last year, though to be fair, I have become very particular about recipes and about what I cook
Looking ahead to next year, I would definitely participate in this program again, but more likely every second week rather than every week. This would create a little more balance - all the things I love about the program while eliminating a fridge full of lettuce and onions, or three varieties of peas, and the pressure to use everything up before the next box arrives. Also, we having been talking about expanding our backyard garden and if we do that a produce box every week, plus what we harvest from the garden, would be too much.

As for writing these posts about our produce box and what foods I have cooked, I have really enjoyed it. More interestingly though is that as I spent more time in the kitchen trying new recipes and playing with food presentation, I fully embraced the creative aspects of cooking and realized that cooking has indeed become a hobby of mine rather than simply a necessary chore. And while I was a little hesitant at first posting about food and cooking here at Crafty Cucumber, worried that it would not be a good fit, once I saw it for the creative outlet that it had become I knew that it belonged here. I hope you have enjoyed reading these posts as much as I have enjoyed creating them.

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