Last year, I tried out a local CSA, or community supported agriculture, membership. We did it for about a month. At the end we concluded that it wasn’t the right fit for us. We found that there were a lot of vegetables we didn’t normally use and that the price was a little steep for the quantity of produce that we received.
And for the last year, I’ve really struggled to find a good source of fresh produce that would allow me bulk organic purchases at a price I felt good with. I visited several different farmers markets this summer and left wondering who took the farmer out of farmer’s market.
When a reader tipped me off to Abundant Harvest Organics a few weeks ago, I was intrigued because Bethany said there truly was a lot food in the box. The price was about the same as what we paid for the CSA last year, so it was worth a try. If it really was going to be abundant, it could be a good cheap eat!
Above is the large box that we picked up last week. Unpacked, it looked like this:
Extras that I ordered separately would include the bunch of basil and twelve of those ears of corn. The regular large box included: seasonal fruit (grapes and peaches), potatoes, chives, peppers, squash, corn, lettuce, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and basil. After extra add-ons, I paid about $48 for this amount of organic produce (all pictured), shipped directly from the growers which are all located in Southern California.
Since Abundant Harvest Organics serves a range of areas within Southern California, I thought there might be a chunk of readers for whom a review might be helpful.
Here are some of my observations so far:
- Staff is friendly.
- Pickup is easy, quick, and convenient.
- Produce is all stuff that I would buy at the store anyway.
- Grapes were crunchy — and disappeared within an hour. We ordered an extra 10 pounds for next week!
- Melons were missing, but they said they would replace them next week.
- Cucumbers, which weren’t supposed to be in the box, were very bitter.
- Almost all the corn was beautiful! One ear was sad, but that was it.
- Much of the produce, like the peppers, beans and corn, could be processed and frozen for later use so that I didn’t worry about using it up quickly. I transformed the basil into a French pistou and froze that as well.
- It’s fun to have someone else do the shopping!
- Some of the tomatoes and peaches were outstanding, some were okay.
- The bell peppers, though green and not our favorite, were super crisp and disappeared right away.
Price-wise, I would say that this produce and the amount of it was competitive with non-sale conventional as well as sale priced organics. Certainly, I could get more for less if I only bought conventional on sale. But, it wouldn’t be as fresh as this or organic.
So far, so good.
Have you tried a produce subscription before?
What’s been your experience?