Food and Cuisine Bountiful Baskets

Published on April 30th, 2012 | by Vivian Nelson Melle

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Bountiful Baskets Brings Produce and More to Co-Op Newbies

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Bountiful Baskets is a food co-op available in 19 states. The co-op offers 1/2 fruit and 1/2 vegetables at reasonable prices every other week. The produce is available for pick up at several locations within the specified states. It is run by volunteers allowing expansion as more families become involved.

Bountiful Baskets is a simple idea bringing produce and more healthy food options to co-op newbies.

bountiful baskets

Bountiful baskets produce

What is Bountiful Baskets?

Bountiful Baskets began as an idea from Sally Stevens and Tanya Jolly who already had experience running small co-ops. Seeing a need for expansion as more families yearned for healthy meals, they added some technology to their plan and Bountiful Baskets bloomed. What started with two locations grew to several across nineteen states. The sites are run by volunteers who give their time weekly or when possible. Volunteers get the baskets ready for pick up and do necessary check-ins.

{basket photo via pandavsbear on Flickr}

sampling of bountiful baskets

Sampling of bountiful baskets

Bountiful Baskets Offers Organic or Regular Options

Starting at $15 per order, Bountiful Baskets offers traditional produce along with some more exotic fare like papayas, pineapple and mangoes. Organic baskets were added this year at $25. Again, there’s a good sampling of several fruits and vegetables. They try to support local growers when possible but do use producers from out of state.While buying local is the best way to shop, there are demands from purchasers and that requires searching for products as close to home as possible.

{Bountiful basket photo via Inspired RD on Flickr}

sourdough bread

Sourdough bread

Bountiful Baskets Offers Bread More

An added bonus in becoming a Bountiful Baskets member are the additional items available with subscriptions. Add ons include homemade bread, tortillas and specialty produce like Asian vegetables and salsa mixes. This helps families green their meals  creatively without reaching too far out of their comfort zone. Sometimes there are nuts, granola, grains and even raw honey. At times there are larger bushels of fruit, great for canning and sharing. I can’t speak highly enough of the homemade bread and honey. Both were delicious and the sweet honey came from local bees, great for allergy sufferers.

{bread photo via Inspired RD on Flickr}

produce in bike basket

Produce from Bountiful Baskets in backpack and bike basket

 Carpool or Take a Bike to Pick Up Your Bountiful Basket

The best part of the co-op is the proximity to many of its members. Here in Phoenix our local is within biking distance. With a backpack and bicycle basket it’s easy to bring your veggie treasures home. Some families take turns picking up all the baskets and delivering them or carpool to the spot. Remember to bring your reusable bags. They’ll have your bounty waiting in a basket but you’ll need a bag or box for delivery. They usually have some extra boxes or flats around but it’s always helpful to bring your own. Also, volunteering is easy and really adds to the community atmosphere. You also can discuss recipes and get great ideas from others.

{bike photo via TinyTall on Flickr}

For more information you can visit the FAQ page at Bountiful Baskets.

Have you tried Bountiful Baskets or a similar co-op? What has been your experience?



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About the Author

Vivian Nelson Melle is a former educator and community counselor who decided to follow her dream of writing. She balances work to home school her daughter and enjoy crafting, photography, gardening, natural healing, cooking and anything that helps heal the earth and its inhabitants. She also writes for Green Living Ideas, Ecolocalizer, Mamita’s Creations and Phoenix Neighborhood Blogger. She is a writer for hire with a soft spot in her heart for non-profits and indie businesses.



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