chocolate + paper + scissors


Stepping into fresh produce with an organic co-op

Let me preface by saying…I am no nutrition purist.

As I’m nearing the official midpoint of my 30’s, I’m always trying to improve my own personal nutrition, as well our family’s nutrition. “You are what you eat” is one of my favorite sayings – because it’s so true. Our bodies are machines – and we have to fuel them well if we want them to perform well.

As the head chef and nutritional role model in our home, it’s all up to me what my loved ones consume on a daily basis (!), and I take my job quite seriously. However, I’ve learned that it’s impossible to escape pre-school produce pickiness, the 12-minute ease of chicken nuggets, the fun of eating great Tex-Mex at local dives, front-door pizza delivery, occasional donut stops and Cadbury milk chocolate with almonds. So, I’m really trying my best to relax a bit.

Everything in moderation, right? I don’t mind if we splurge on fried simple carbohydrates and veggie-less cheese enchiladas if we’re eating well the rest of the week. This month, I’ve really been trying to work in more fruits and vegetables to our daily regime…raw or cooked. I know raw is better – but sometimes, it’s all I can do to get my sweet girl to eat broccoli with butter and some sea salt!

Last night, I tried something new – and had my first experience with an organic produce co-op. It was very organized – several of us arrived at 6 p.m. in the rain to pick up our half-shares of assorted local and domestic, seasonal produce, which I conveniently ordered online earlier this week.

When I picked up my $47 box, I was able to choose three more vegetables to complete the package – and I could choose from a plethora of fresh, colorful produce. I was so excited to choose two gorgeous, fragrant grapefruit and a lovely butternut squash (which I can now confidently cut, since receiving a new chef’s knife last year for Christmas).

As I loaded my packed goody box into the car, I was reminded of my days of being a nine year-old girl obsessed with “grab bags” (mainly with stickers) – and the anticipation of tearing open the great bag of mystery to find my treasures! I couldn’t wait to get home to take stock of my beautiful produce, waiting to meet its new home…soon to be consumed! First, I had a lovely dinner with my dear friend Wendy.

On my way home from dinner, I’ll admit I was thinking that $47 was a bit more than I wanted to spend – but once I got home and took inventory, I soon felt that there was quite a bit of value with the large quantity (and quality) of all of the organic contents. We must remember that nutrition is an investment.
The contents included (30-40% locally grown):

One pineapple, one butternut squash, two grapefruit, one bunch of kale, three tomatoes, one bunch of romaine lettuce, one red bell pepper, seven apples, two avocadoes, one bunch of broccoli, five oranges, one box of blueberries, one bunch of celery, three zucchini, one cucumber, one kiwi, one bunch of purple basil, two bunches of arugula, three pears and one bunch of bananas. De-lish!

This morning, we had fresh-squeezed navel orange juice. Little Man enjoyed his favorite: blueberries. My crunched away on her apple. We had scrambled eggs with diced zucchini. I had an arugula and mozzarella grilled cheese for lunch. And I can’t wait to throw in some chopped bell pepper, fresh broccoli, zucchini and purple basil into our spaghetti sauce tonight. (It’s a store-bought sauce, which makes my life easier sometimes! Again, I’m no purist. Where’s my chocolate?)

It feels good to make an effort to be healthier, support local farmers, and to create! I feel like an artist who rushed home with a box of new paints.

I’ll share more with you as I learn more about the co-op process. I’d like to thank our neighbor Jane, who gave me the tip about the co-op. You can check out co-ops in your area by searching online. You never know what you’ll find…

Happy (veggie) hunting!


  1. Okay, I think that's a great deal--especially for all you got! I love this healthy.

    And now I am craving that spaghetti sauce + veggies added in. Invite me over? (-;

  2. Why can't you stop by for dinner on your way home from work? :) The family totally loved dinner! Of course, I didn't go into detail about all the veggies in the sauce...