Today was pick up day for the Inland Empire Organic Produce Buying Club. Since I was a volunteer, I showed up at 8:45 to our "distribution center," which is really the outside front section of the Artisan Farm Restaurant in Redlands. We needed to set up for 82 shares - so we laid out the baskets all around where we could get to them easily. Around 8:55, a guy delivered 4 cases of avocados, so we went to work putting 4 in each basket. Right after that, the truck pulled up - a guy with a small UHaul trailer. It was crammed full, and it took us about 10 minutes (9 volunteers and organizers) to get it emptied out. Our first task was to go over to where some grates were and get rid off the ice that was keeping the kale and carrots cool. Next, we started putting all the fruits and vegetables in the baskets.
The take for today - one share:
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch kale
1 bunch dandelion greens
1 head butter lettuce
1 bunch carrots with tops
1 bunch green onions
1 4-oz. basket alfalfa sprouts
1 8-oz. basket mushrooms
1 3-lb. bag Fuji apples
1 1-lb. basket strawberries
At 10:00, Jei and Joni start checking everyone in (they've been lining up since 9:30), and taking money for the next pick up.
That's me on the left, with Kathy in the center and Susan on the right. I'm really glad I wore an old shirt - this one is filthy!
All produce that doesn't get evenly distributed to the shares baskets is divided among the volunteers - a super added benefit for volunteering. The basket on the left is my share, which I paid $22 for, and the basket on the right is my volunteer share, for which I worked 2 hours. I ended up with so much food!
What shall I do with it all? Let's see - I now have two Pear Coffee Cakes in the oven (recipe in another post), I cut up and flash-froze the green onions, and we're eating the kale, mushrooms, and some of the zucchini tonight in a Winter Vegetable Hash (recipe later). I think we'll eat one of the heads of butter lettuce, too. The cilantro is currently drying, so that I can freeze it. I spread it out on paper towels, and will put it on a cookie sheet and flash freeze it. Then it will go in a ziploc bag. The flavor will diminish, but that's fine with me - I don't like fresh cilantro anyway, and will just use this in homemade salsa.