I don’t’ know you, but I freak out when my doorbell rings after 6 pm! A chill conquers my spine and my brain inevitably starts processing all the plausible excuses I can arm myself with in order to get rid of any solicitor I might end up facing at my front gate. Who is it going to be this time? Girls Scouts? Bible Aficionados? The occasional gardner or painter? Shall I use the “Sorry I am Jewish excuse” or should I use my kids… “Sorry my daughters are in the bath tub, have a good evening”, or the more truthful “I am cooking dinner, sorry cannot chat or I am going to burn my meal”. All my excuses usually work pretty well, and at the end I do not even feel that bad, as I am sure that a polite rejection is the least that can happen to solicitors by trade.
However, a few weeks ago, as I was truly engaged in a cook-a-ton, I just called on the wife to take on the 6.15 bell ring at our door: “Deeeeeb, can you get it? I just can’t deal!”. After a few minutes of chatting at our front gate, Debi came back into the kitchen and slipped in my hands a couple of pages of paperwork… with my name on it! WTF! I thought the whole point was to get rid of whoever had showed up, not sign some papers with my name! Wife, what did you have my buy?
I washed my hands, lowered the flame under my pasta sauce and started reading the pink slip she just handed me: “Farm Fresh To You“, the letterhead. It turned out that as of that moment I had an active subscription to a local faming consortium, that twice a moth (or more often if I choose) would deliver to my doorstep a box of seasonal local organic produce at a fairly reasonable cost.
I am skeptical by nature, and I do not like subscriptions in general. I am an impulsive but yet calculated shopper; I like to think of what I need or what I’d like to buy, I leave my house, jump in the car, go on a mission and come home with the goods, no window shopping for me, no soliciting necessary. For a moment I resented my wife: “Why would you sign something like this on my behalf?”. I like the process of working on a grocery list, I love my weekly stroll through the local Farmer’s Market, I have absolutely no need for vegetables to be delivered… let alone being chosen by someone else.
A few days passed and I forgot about my commitment, I lost the pink slip with my forged signature, I moved on…
Then one morning, as I was loading the girls in the car for our 7.45 am ride to school I noticed a box on the ground, right out of my house gate; and all of a sudden I could not resist the temptation of opening it on the spot… You know the feeling I am sure; an unexpected box gets delivered to your house… do you drop it in a corner of your kitchen floor or do you run for scissors and dig in?
I was impressed, as incredibly bright leafy greens started peaking out of the box, and then finally I realized what I was dealing with: my very first order of vegetables just had been delivered. I drove the kids to school and when back home I finally gave myself enough time to through the whole box: Chard, Lettuce, Apples, Oranges, Onions everything looked as if it had been just picked from a tree or pulled out of the ground, a real surprise. Debi had ordered the smallest box available (feeds 2 people) and by the day after everything had already been consumed.
For this week’s delivery I decided to step it up a bit and I requested a “Regular Box”, which I was told it would provide enough variety and quantity for my full family of four throughout a week of meals: the box was delivered yesterday, and it was a true Cornucopia of fibers and vitamins: Lettuce, Chard, 4 Artichokes, 1 bunch of Asparagus, 3 Beets, 6 Oranges, 2 Onions and 4 Apples. All I could think while I was going through the goods was: “Damn, I want to see what comes in the biggest box they have available!”.
All produce was absolutely at its freshest, and all came in regular-natural size: no gigantic artichokes, no skinny-bitch-pale asparagus, no waxy apple skin! “Farm Fresh To You” is only one of the local solutions offered to busy households that have the palate for fresh and organic produce; a simple query on Google has returned about a half dozen farms-companies that provide the same service in my area (Southern California) and many more available throughout the entire nation… urban farming in Brooklyn anyone?
I still do not know if I will maintain my subscription to this service, as I truly enjoy picking fresh vegetables at my local Farmer’s Market. At the same time though I have to be honest, opening that box of vegetables was one of the highlights of my week, and I am tempted to keep going and enjoy the experience a few times more before canceling.
I encourage everybody to try embracing this kind of service, especially busy families that like to cook. The price point is consistent with the “Organic Vegetable” section of any market available, and if you don’t like being surprised with produce you do not like, you are always offered the option of calling in and be “order-specific”, as easy as it gets.
Tonight I will be boiling the Beets and serve them with an Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Parsley and Lemon dressing, I already made an Asparagus Vellutata (creamy soup) and my kids have already gone through all the Apples and Oranges that were in the box. My next shipment is in two weeks, and I am tempted to make a phone call now to the farm and request more, more, more…