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"I have a small box."

"I have a small box."

Words I never thought I'd say to a young, Asian stranger at an organic co-op grocery store. Then imagine his delight when I had to explain that my last name was also 'Small.' Always a lady.

Everyone has seen Facebook ad campaigns or heard of people ordering door delivered organic food boxes. Mama Earth Organics is one I've seen (and been interested in) for a few years but never ordered due to the fact it seems like a lot of food for one person to eat and the 'contract' factor. Many of the services, while they do offer 'pause' options, require that you sign up for a weekly delivery.

This makes sense if they are delivering on a wider scale and purchasing many of the items from many different vendors. Mama Earth also includes extra (for a cost) such as breads, eggs and even organic packaged goods and lets you swap out items you don't want. Lots of extra planning = extra cost and commitment.

When looking up The Mustard Seed in Hamilton the other day I found out they have a similar service but for pick-up only. It's on my way home from work so I thought I would try it. Anything I couldn't eat I'd just feed to my boyfriend. They are a local food co-op where anyone can shop.

At The Mustard Seed it's the 'Local Bounty Box' and it's super flexible. You just go online and order before each Monday to either pick up your box on the immediate next Wednesday or Friday. It's $19.99 for a 1-2 person box and $34.99 for a 3-4 person box. They use local produce and supplement with imported items prioritizing fair trade or organic stuff.

You can sign up for a standing order if you want - otherwise you just order whenever you want one. For someone who travels and is just plain scattered sometimes this is much better than having to go online and request a pause in service every time you won't be home to eat your veg.

The only con is that if you're not in the area - you can't take advantage of this and the awesome people who work there. I've been twice and had great customer service.

The first box - allll the things

I received an email the day before pick up with a reminder and a recipe for apple celery salad with cilantro. I assumed it would include things found in the Bounty Box. I really love this because I'm already getting repetitive with my vegetarian recipes. Even though I can find these things easily online - it's nice to have it in your face with what's about to arrive in your box.

I picked up my box today after work and was so pleased when they handed it to me. It was easy to pick up. No receipt required - just my name. There was a sample box on the counter that looked full and lush and green. Was this my box?!

There was also a list on the counter of which items were organic or local and/or where they came from. This I found really cool as it put in perspective just where my food was coming from. I get the whole 'farmers feed cities things' having been in 4H in high school - but I still enjoyed the list.

My box was brought out nice and quick and just as full and green and amazing as the display. Did I say full? It was super full. Pretty good to feed two people.

- Giant bunch of kale

- Large head of oak leaf lettuce

- Smaller bunch of mixed lettuce

- Giant bunch of cilantro (barf - I've already given it away to a co-worker)

- 4 potatoes

- 3 tomatoes

- 4 apples

- An entire bag of celery

- Head of garlic

The recipe is a nice touch - but due to the cilantro I'll make a pass. Good idea with a bit of different dressing perhaps?


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