As some of you may or may not know, I participate in a local food co-op called Community Helpings Produce Co-op. Our deliveries come every two weeks and for only $23 each person gets a large amount of produce. If you happen to live in the St. Louis Metropolitan area you can click on the link above or check out one of coordinators blogs, All This and Now What?
I really like the co-op for many reasons. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be very expensive. The co-op is affordable for me and since I'm a member, I'm helping to also make it affordable for other families. It's nearby my house and I'm lucky that my schedule allows it to be almost as convenient as shopping at the grocery store. There are literally no excuses NOT to eat your fruits and vegetables when participating. Now, sometimes I do get things I wouldn't normally pick out of the grocery store, and while some people may think that is a bad thing - I love it! It gives me the opportunity to try out new things. For instance, with my first delivery we were just starting the spring season and there were a few more "wintery" items in my basket. I ended up with a 3 lb. bag of fresh beets that I didn't know what the heck was I gonna do with. Well, I peeled them, drizzled them with olive oil, sprinkled them with salt and pepper, and tossed them together with a few sprigs of rosemary. I roasted them at 350 degrees for about 45-50 minutes and I was so upset!!! I had been missing out on roasted beets for 31 years and I didn't even know it!!! So...now I'm hoping that this winter we get more!
Currently, we are now starting to enter an between seasons time again and in our delivery today I was actually excited to NOT to see anymore sweet corn, but a tad bit upset to see not one, not two, but EIGHT more tomatoes. Those new 8 tomatoes along with my hubby's still producing six plants in our garden - should give us plenty of canned tomatoes for the year!
Included with my tomatoes were: 8 lemons, 4 yellow peppers, 2 red peppers, 8oz. pkg of baby bella mushrooms, a HUGE head of romaine lettuce, 2.5 lbs of perfectly sweet black seedless grapes, 4 doughnut peaches (aka: Saturn Peaches), 5 nectarines, 2 red onions, 4 vidalia onions, 2 fuji apples, 4 red potatoes & two bunches of broccoli. Oh, and 5 bananas and a large cantaloupe! Wow...all that for only $23. You can understand why I love it so much, right?
So, there isn't any new recipes jumping out at me right now, but I see some stir-fry in my future and with all these already ripe tomotoes I'll be picking more green ones and for sure making more Green Tomato & Vidalia Onion Gratin . I will also be trying out a new recipe that was published along side of my Sweet & Spicy Beer Chili called Green Tomato Bread. Stay tuned...I'll let you know how that turns out and post the recipe and pictures soon.
Again, click here if you are interested in checking out our local produce co-op. In addition to the $23 basket of produce you can also purchase a lot of other items at super cheap prices! Such as Amish jellys, nut butters and granolas, local made tortillas and tortilla chips, yogurt covered pretzels and raisins, and a whole lot more! They have also started a monthly order which includes things like cereals, different types of flours, pastas, and peanut butter. These are all bulk items - so feel free to check it out and share with a friend.