Permaculture in Action

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Food Box Challenge

On Mondays and Fridays we harvest vegetables for our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) boxes. Yesterday was one of those days. One box was left behind as does sometimes happen during the holidays. Subscribers are meant to let me know or organise for someone else to pick up their box. But you know we're all human and forget sometimes, so anyway I was left with a box of food.

Occassionally a customer will mention that they can't get through all the food, or don't know what to do with it all, so I set myself a little challenge to use the box of food as the basis for my week's menu and see how I go. Truth be told it shouldn't be much different to what we'd eat anyway, but we eat straight from the garden and pick only what we want. With the box there is a set amount to get through.

This was a small box and contained.. 6 eggs
                                                            3 lettuce
                                                            2 tatsoi
                                                            2 beetroot
                                                            parsley and basil
                                                            1 cucumber
                                                            1 zuchinni
                                                             mustard greens

Last night we had spinach pie using the silverbeet, kale, mustard greens and outside leaves of one tatsoi and 3 eggs. I added this to an onion, and riccota cheese I had in the fridge. I had fillo pastry in the freezer.  I roasted one beetroot in the oven while the pie was cooking, and made a salad with some lettuce, the inside leaves of the tatsoi, parsley, 1/2 cucumber and 3 tomatoes. Mark's not fussed on salad so to make it more appealing I made a dressing from mayonaise, mustard and soy sauce, which he loved. He even went back for seconds. So far I've managed to use things on hand.

Today for lunch I had leftover pie and made a fresh salad the same as yesterday, but a little smaller as there was just me at home today.

Tonight we will have a roast dinner. I make a lentil roast which will use 2 more eggs, and I'll roast the last beetroot and the zuchinni along with some other vegies I have in the fridge.

That leaves only 1 egg, 1 1/2 lettuce, a handful tomatoes, 1/2 cucumber, basil, and outside leaves of tatsoi. And it's not even Wednesday yet. I don't know how people can't seem to use it up!!!

This is a small $15 box but the contents add up to double that. We are vegetarians so we do eat a lot of vegies, but I'm not sure why it would be hard for a couple to get through this. Can you?

I do give out recipes and menu advice sometimes if there is a larger quantity of a particular vegetable to get through. Maybe I need to look at doing that more. Most of our customers have been with us for 10 years now, but newer subscribers can drift away if they feel overwhelmed with the contents and I certainly don't want my precious vegies going to the garbage. It's certainly a different way of planning meals that takes a little getting used to if you're accustomed to shopping for a particular recipe rather than planning your meals around what's available.

How do you organise your family meals?

PS no photos again today due to slower than usual internet.



  1. We just found a new farmers market over the weekend and I sort of went overboard with excitement! The first thing I made was a big oven baked ratatouille. This is dinner for two nights, and maybe even a lunch. Stir fry will use up the cabbage and capsicums, and zucchini. Your veggie box sounds like a great deal. I will be interested to see the recipe for your lentil loaf.

  2. i only got the box yesterday and have already used the celery stalks ( ill keep the leaves for a soup at the end of the week) all the tomatoes ( in a pasta sauce) the capsicum, and a zucchini. tomorrow i will use the beetroots in a risotto. anything i have left i will throw into a fridge a strone... love rhonnie

  3. I find large cabbages trying but no problem with anything else and I cook using whatever is in the fridge/garden so no problems there.

    viv in nz

  4. The box is great value at that price. I'm a big salad eater too though my garden is looking a little lean at the moment. With the cooler weather I'm making a lot of soups and stews. Lol, pumpkin with everything lately as we have a bountiful harvest!
    Cheers, Robyn xo

  5. if in doubt use it in a green smoothie we would easily use up all veggies and need more.