theboxexperiment

Attempting to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Taking a Break May 15, 2011

Filed under: Box — theboxexperiment @ 8:21 pm
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We will be taking a break from receiving the box for a while. The same issues have persisted:too much food for the two of us to go through, not enough variety, too much fruit, and veggies we don’t enjoy. We’ve tried all veggies sent to us, as long as we get to them in time, and have found ones we don’t particularly enjoy. So we’ll be taking a break and trying to find sources other than the grocery store.

In discussions we keep coming back to wanting to know where our food comes from. It not WGG’s fault that we signed up during the non-growing season in the area and that doesn’t change our desire to know who grows our food.

Yesterday was the first day of the Rockville Farmers Market. We went and walked around. There was a winery, meat venders, bread, a bakery, produce sellers, and florist/herbists.Everything looked fantastic but we didn’t pick anything up (mostly because we had a lot of  fresh food still in the house.)

The plan for the rest of the summer will be to take the $31.50 we use on the box to the farmers market. We’ll get to know one of the produce stands (or several of them) and get exactly the produce we want and need (among other things). Thus solving several issues: knowing where our food comes from and having just the right amount of fresh food.

I’ll continue to post, especially once we get our first batch of farmers market food. I’ll also keep posting recipes and such. Keep an eye out for  candy cookies coming soon. And  a post on oddly inexpensive foods.

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Box # 5 March 3, 2011

Filed under: Box — theboxexperiment @ 1:51 pm
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Same story as last week: we need to get better at actually eating the veggies and fruit that we have delivered. From last week we still have 3 onions (that are ENORMOUS, btw), 1 pear, some apples, broccoli, and the sweet potatoes. Perhaps we’ll take a break next week and get all caught up with the produce.

In this week’s box:

  • Red Potatoes (2) (CA)
  • Carrots (2) (PA)
  • Yellow Squash (1) (FL)
  • Ruby Red Grapefruit (1) (CA)
  • Mango (1) (SA)
  • Bananas (1) (SA)
  • Red Peppers (2) (MEX)
  • White Mushrooms (1) (PA)
  • Butter Lettuce (1) (CA)
  • What we swapped out: Broccoli (GA), Navel Oranges (CA), Gala Apples (CA)

I opened the box last night and there were 3 of the largest carrots I’ve ever seen: twice the length of my hand and ~2-3 inches in diameter. This comes after last week where we received monster onions. I’m placing a lot of trust that these veggies are coming from farms that grow food naturally…but it’s hard to believe when I look at the size of the carrots and onions. I’ve also talked about wanting to eat more locally grown food. If you look at where all the veggies come from, you’ll notice very few of them are local to the DC/MD/VA area. PA is pretty close so that’s 2 veggies. I acknowledge that growing season is definitely not here yet (but we’ll be soon). But I have a hard time believing there are zero farms in the area that don’t have red potatoes and squash. I understand that as long as I live in DC I can’t buy grapefruit, bananas, mangos, and oranges locally. I don’t mind buying citrus-y fruits (and really love them), but it would be awesome if they were somewhere closer than MEX and SA…perhaps stateside like FL or GA. The experiment will continue until we are firmly in the middle of the growing season, if the box items are still coming from far away places we might switch it up.

 

No Box This Week February 7, 2011

Filed under: Box,Fruit,Vegetable — theboxexperiment @ 8:09 pm
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Last week was a sick week in the JE/BLM household. This week isn’t shaping up to be better with hockey games and dinners out with families. That means we have plenty of left over veggies, a pretty stocked fridge, lots of fruit, and plenty of ideas of what to do with it all. So we decided to take a week off from the box. That’s one of the perfect things about Washington Green Grocer, we can pause and there’s no penalty for it.We have butternut squash soup left over from the last squash, tons of red potatoes from last weeks box, plenty of oranges, bananas, cantaloupe and apples. Neither of us is at all interested in cooking beets so they would have been swapped with something else. The only thing I am interested in are the green beans and the red leaf lettuce.

This week we would have received:

  • Butternut Squash NJ
  • White Mushrooms PA
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes FL
  • Green Beans FL
  • Red Leaf Lettuce CA
  • Red Peppers MEX
  • Red Beets CANADA
  • Fuji Apple WA
  • Bosc Pear WA
  • Navel Orange FL
  • Mango SA
  • Banana SA

Since it’s not the growing season the current selection of veggies is, more or less, the same from week to week. The only thing that is different on this list from other weeks are the beets, everything else we’ve seen before, even the mango. So we decided, in keeping with the spirit of the box, if there are any items on the list that we want we’ll get those and try to keep those to our produce content for the week. Well, I went to Giant today and picked up red peppers, white mushrooms, and mangos (which were on sale 4 for $5!!). But I cheated and picked up some avocados (10 for $10!!!). Clearly that idea went down the tubes pretty quick. Though I know no one who can pass up on sale avocados.

It was 50* out today and gave a beautiful glimmer of the coming growing season: Georgia first, then the Carolinas, and finally Virginia! We are definitely looking forward to different and more local vegetables.

Recipes to look forward to: homemade humus and salmon marinade.

 

 

Box #3 February 1, 2011

Filed under: Box — theboxexperiment @ 10:19 pm
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The next box arrives today and as always, I’m pretty pumped. There’s something about getting a box in the mail that gets me all excited…even if I know its coming. We know we need to plan our meals better around the produce we have, as opposed to planning meals seeing if what we have fits into that plan. We still have a bunch of bananas from last week (they may become another muffin/cookie/bread soon though). The amount of banana sweets I’ve made lately tells us that we haven’t been eating the bananas so this week we swapped them out for extra grape tomatoes. This weeks box was also supposed to have turnips, but JEM and I weren’t too into cooking turnips so we swapped them out for extra red potatoes.

So in the box this week we found:

  • Cantaloupe
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Red Potatoes
  • Sweet Onions
  • Broccoli
  • Grapefruit
  • Gala Apples
  • Tangerines
  • Fennel
  • Green Leaf Lettuce

I am definitely excited about the melon, I adore it–it will probably be devoured in not many days. The only produce that gives me pause is the fennel. I’m going to have to be creative to cook it. These days, I’ve been the chef of the house so if there are any fennel recipes or ways to use it that are floating around out there, send them along!

Amendment: We asked for NO bananas, and yet they brought us 4. It had me changing the lyrics to “Yes, We Have No Bananas.” The JE/BLM version this evening “Yes, we want no bananas. We want no bananas today!” It caused much giggling which was energizing after a long work day. If anyone hasn’t heard that song it’s definitely worth a look up. Or better yet-watch the “old” “Sabrina” with Audrey Hepburn.

 

Box #2 January 27, 2011

Filed under: Box — theboxexperiment @ 9:40 am
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Box #2 arrived Tuesday. We definitely don’t have a lack of produce, unlike before we started this experiment. Honestly, it’s a little refreshing. We are taking greater control of the food we eat at home. It hasn’t been that long since I could open our fridge and see all sorts of things that were a) overpriced, b) over-processed, and c) not particularly healthy for you. Now I open the fridge and see homemade humus, homemade bread, fruits and veggies (that I’m certain came from a good place). I am thinking about other culinary projects I want to undertake: making my own jams or jellies, canning homemade pasta sauce, making homemade pasta: all things that help us gain better control and understanding of our food.

But I digress, back to box #2. In the box, we found

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 1 carton of grape tomatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 zucchini
  • 3 navel oranges
  • 3 mangos
  • 3 fuji apples
  • 1 bunch of bananas
  • 2 green bells
  • a bunch of baby bellas

This is all wonderful but there is one issue. For 2 people we have a ton of bananas and oranges. For Christmas my grandparents (S&J W) bought us 14 lbs of tangelos, JEM’s aunt H then sent us 6 more oranges….we still haven’t finished them all and the amount keeps growing. I’m at a minor loss about what to do with all the oranges. Bananas are easy, I’ll make more banana bread. The apples are easy too, I can make either an apple pie or an apple bread. But oranges are going to prove tricky.

What will get interesting is cooking the zucchini and sweet potatoes, these are vegetables that I’ve never cooked. I’m not sure if either of us actually like zucchini and sweet potatoes. I guess we’ll be finding out!

Recipes to look out for:

Orange Chicken Salad–boring, but I gotta do something w/ all the oranges

Butternut Squash Soup

Zucchini Coins

Apple Bread

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

 

Box #1 January 23, 2011

Filed under: Box — theboxexperiment @ 3:38 pm
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On Tuesday I came home late after an awesome Restaurant Week dinner w/ AM and LR (aka The Ladies) at Cedar to discover the FIRST BOX came a day earlier than I had expected it to. It was pretty awesome, we have a ton of vegetables that will most likely overlap into the second box. It was a pretty busy week in our life so we didn’t really get to use much of the produce till Friday.

The first box contained:

  • 2 bunches of spinach
  • 1 large bunch of bananas
  • 1 head of butter lettuce
  • 3 granny smith apples
  • 3 Anjou pears
  • 2 grapefruit
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3 Idaho potatoes
  • 1 squash
  • 1 broccoli crown
  • snap peas