I Love the Smell of Blanched Beans in the Morning

Twenty-eight pounds of green beans is a lot of beans. And, it takes a heck of a long time for one ZouZou to prepare 28 pounds of beans for freezing — I’ve been working on this flat for four days and I.Must.Finish.Today. That’s a lot of sorting, a lot of snapping, a lot of blanching. When I finally finish, I will have enough green beans to serve to my family for dinner once a week for the next six months. I am so happy that my family loves green beans!

Why am I blanching 28 pounds of green beans in March, and where did I get them? I am a member of a wonderful food co-op called Bountiful Baskets, and I took advantage of an awesome “add-on” this past weekend: a flat of fresh green beans, which is approximately 28 pounds of green goodness.

What is Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op (BBFC)? BBFC is a grassroots, all volunteer, no contracts, no catch, food co-operative that distributes produce baskets, including organic, as well as artisan bread and sandwich bread every other week at hundreds of sites in 24 states.

BBFC offers a conventional produce basket that generally contains six different fruit items and six different vegetable items. The monetary contribution is $15.00 for fresh fruits and veggies that would cost you about $50.00 in the grocery store. I am so excited about the basket I received last Saturday! For only $15, this is what I brought home:

  • 6 apples
  • 6 oranges
  • 6 bananas
  • 1 pineapple
  • 8 roma tomatoes
  • 2 large bunches of celery
  • 6 HUGE carrots
  • 8 stalks of broccoli
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 2 English cucumbers
  • 2 heads of green leaf lettuce

I also contributed for two special offerings, or “add-on” items, which is an item you can receive in addition to a conventional or organic basket. My add-ons this week were 10 pounds of organic heirloom tomatoes and the green beans.

I received two varieties of organic heirloom tomatoes. About half were black/purple and the other half were red. They were huge and they were gorgeous. Just look at how gorgeous the black/purples were. I blanched and froze them to use later with pasta or chili or something. I also harvested the seeds. These toms were just too beautiful to not save the seeds. I cannot wait to plant them!!10958999_10206663937263925_4018878773778675349_o

I also received a flat of round pod green beans, which is estimated at 28 pounds — although I’m quite sure it is more than 28 pounds because I have froze 13 quarts, we have eaten 2 quarts, and I still have enough to freeze several more quarts and give some away! These beans are just lovely. There were very few that were limp or blemished, so my yield was quite large. Here is a picture of the flat before I started working on it.11008602_10206663933223824_5905436267391264181_n

One of the beauties of the co-op is that we sometimes receive items that we may not generally buy (or find!) in a grocery store. For example, my basket this week contained two beautiful English cucumbers, aka hothouse, greenhouse or seedless cucumbers. You may have seen them in the stores — they are generally longer and thinner than conventional cucumbers and tightly wrapped in plastic — but not bought them because they are considerably more expensive than conventional cucumbers (around $2 a cuke!).

If you want to save a lot of money on healthy fresh food, check out Bountiful Baskets to see if a distribution site is available near you.

Do you love fresh produce as much as I do? Have you ever joined or participated in a food co-operative? If you have any questions about BBFC, let me know and I’ll do what I can to answer them!


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