About one year ago my husband and I signed up for the weekly harvest box available from Los Poblanos Organics. My vegetable intake skyrocketed and I tried produce that I’d never tasted before like rainbow chard, tatsoi and kohlrabi. I learned that many of the greens and stalks of common vegetables are edible too – just sautee on their own or add to taco meat, marinara sauce, soup, or vegetable/beef/chicken stock (e.g. beet greens, radish greens, and peeled broccoli stalks).
Compared to conventionally grown produce, this stuff seems to have an earthier, more palpable taste. Like one of Plato’s prisoners, I felt like I had been eating just a shadow of the actual tomato or orange. This stuff is the real deal. The celery is hardy and and the strawberries are sweet. Tomatoes are deep orange-red and taste home-grown. Why did I wait so long to start eating in-season?
A harvest box is basically a box of vegetables and fruits pre-selected and available on a one-time, weekly, or bi-weekly basis, pick-up or delivery. It’s supposed to be enough per week for a family of four. Since it’s just the two of us, that means we’ve decreased our consumption of meat and grains and we hardly ever have to go to the grocery store.
The produce is all organic and most of it usually comes straight from LPO farms in Albuquerque. To supplement the harvest box, LPO partners with other organic farms (out of state) for items like tangerines, grapefruit, and strawberries.
I know you think this might be nice, but I’m probably paying a premium for organic produce. I think it works out to a pretty amazing deal:
- the box is $28 if you pick-up,
- it usually contains about 10 different types of produce,
- I don’t have to scrub away chemical sprays found on conventional produce (especially potatoes where I prefer to keep the skins on),
- I avoid the hassle of lines, baskets, and impulse buys at the store, and
- I get to support a local farmer.
During the summer, a box often contains 4 or more organic avocados – conventional avocados can easily cost $1.50 each.
There are other options for CSAs (community supported agriculture) all around New Mexico. Check out the Farmers Markets of New Mexico link on the left for other options.