Eek! So excited! I ordered my very first organic produce basket from Berkshire Organics earlier this week and picked it up at their store Saturday afternoon. They actually offer delivery, but as they are less than a mile down the road, I thought I would drive over and save 10% on my basket by doing so. Berkshire Organics is a local market in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. They sell produce, dairy, meat, pantry items and more, and also have a thriving weekly organic produce delivery program in place.
I have long known of their program, but decided this week was the time to give it a try. I took a look at their basket offerings for the week to get some menu planning inspiration and also browse my Pinterest boards to see what recipes jump out at me. They update the contents of their baskets weekly on Mondays. I saw a few great options for our 2-person household but decided the Berkshire Basket was the way to go this week. It had a nice mix of fruits and veggies we usually buy at the market (apples, bananas, celery, avocados, broccoli), plus some that we rarely or never buy (artichokes, tangelos, kale). Here’s a snapshot of this week’s offerings.
Another great plus to Berkshire Organics is that they let you make up to 3 substitutions in your basket. This week, I was inspired by an acorn squash recipe I saw, so I removed the scallions and daikon radish and replaced them with two acorn squash. I also needed 3 lbs. of potatoes for a dish, so I swapped out the Romaine lettuce for another 1.5 lbs. of potatoes.
When I start planning our weekly menu, I look for a mix of meals – some with meat and usually at least one that’s vegetarian. For our household of 2, I generally plan about 4 meals. I plan dishes that serve more than two, to ensure that we have some leftovers for either lunches or another dinner. Additionally, I look for recipes that share some ingredients but that have different flavor profiles so that we have a nice variety to look forward to throughout the week. For example, I may use bell peppers for a Mexican dish and then again in an Asian dish. I also look to my pantry and freezer to see what I have on hand and try to incorporate some of those items into our week’s meals. Our pantry is always in need of some item being re-stocked. I try to buy when my local store is having special sales, or I spread out my re-stocking so that I still stay within a weekly grocery budget. For example, we ran out of salsa last week and Jeff suggested I add it to our grocery list. My answer? Nope! We aren’t preparing any meals with salsa this week!
So what is on the menu? This week I am planning the following (Berkshire Organics produce noted in parentheses):
- Steamed Artichokes and Pasta with Kale and Walnut Pesto (artichokes, kale)
- Roasted sausages, potatoes, apples (potatoes)
- Acorn Squash with Savory Sausage Custard (acorn squash, broccoli)
- Leftover Goat Cheese Lasagna with Homemade Marinara, which is stored in my freezer
So here’s the box I picked up from Berkshire Organics! With my 10% discount, the total for all of this produce was $40.50. It felt like Christmas opening the box!
Look at all that delicious organic produce. After getting the box home, I did notice that my celery and broccoli were absent from the box, so I contacted the nice folks at Berkshire Organics who apologized sincerely and will have celery and broccoli waiting for me at the store to swing by and pick up.
Before picking up my produce basket, I stopped by Guido’s to pick up a few more things I needed to round out my weekly menu planning – onions, turkey sausages, eggs, butter, some russet and sweet potatoes (for attempting homemade potato chips at Jeff’s suggestion!), whole wheat penne, sliced Applegate Black Forest ham, fresh rosemary, and olive oil and balsamic vinegar to re-stock my pantry. I love Guido’s – they have beautifully displayed high-quality foods, and I especially love their produce and meat departments. My total grocery bill for the week, between Guido’s and Berkshire Organics, was a cool $103 (and just $81 last week!).
Also on my to-do list for this weekend in preparation for the week is to bake a loaf of whole wheat bread in my bread machine and I’m also trying out a few fun new recipes: Coconut Bark, homemade mayo, rosemary crackers, and Brussels sprouts chips. Time to get cooking!