Saturday, June 7, 2014

Being co-operative – week 4

It's probably not that polite to say "hooray, it's over!", and besides, it's not really over. We still have to get through all this pile of vegies and fruit yet, but our little four-week foray into the world of being a member of a vegie co-op is drawing to a close, and we now know that two big boxes of fruit and vegies (not of our own choosing) every week is far too much for us to handle.

The theme for this week's cornucopia is "lots". In the sense of
lots of avocados (12) lots of bananas (10) lots of oranges (10)
lots of tomatoes (10) lots of mushrooms (dozens) – and that's not
to forget three sweet potatoes, four cobs of corn, two bags of
salad greens, a big bunch of celery, a bunch of beetroot, a
pineapple, some broccolini, a monster eggplant, and four very 

nice pears. All beautiful quality and very pleasing to behold.
How do two little lovers cope with all this food in just seven days? Easy, we give a fair bit away, which kind of ruins the economics of it all, but the warm inner glow of being a giver is worth it, of course. We need a couple of health-conscious and hungry teenagers to help us knock it all off, but as we don't have any of them lying around (and I have been led to believe that they actually do a lot of lying around...) that isn't an option.

So we give some of our bounty away. Last week it was to our favourite family of three, who live close-by, and this time Pammy's mum (a great fruit eater) will share in it, as will our starving uni-student nephew Neil, who never says no to a free feed.

The co-op thing has been more interesting than fun. In fact the most fun has been collecting the boxes on Saturday mornings, sorting through them back at home, then taking the photo and blogging about it on Saturday afternoons. The weekdays thereafter have been a harder slog.

We're really looking forward to choosing our own vegies again, creating our own menus for lunch and dinner once more. Over the last four weeks we've drifted into a zombie-like state of "must cook more co-op vegies" every night, and while it has introduced us to greens such as kale (verdict – quite nice, will probably buy some and cook some occasionally from now on) it has been a bit hum-drum in the limited choice offered up. More importantly, it has also kept us away from several fruits and vegies we much prefer, simply because each week we've had to eat our way through the co-op pile first.

I do like carrots and corn and apples and oranges, but I want to bake some quinces until they're ruby red, roast some parsnips, blend up a potato and celeriac mash, bake some cauliflower or Brussels sprouts in the oven – try either (florets of cauli or sprouts cut in half) tossed in oil, baked at 180°C for about 25 minutes – baked is best… or stir-fry some buk choy or take my time enjoying a ripe persimmon… the list goes on.

So the moral of the story, folks, is that it was interesting to find out how a vegie co-op works but we've learned that we really do prefer to choose our own fruits and vegies.



Diana Studer said...

the one I was looking, for when we eventually move back to Cape Town - you could go online and order what you wanted. We would also battle hugely to clear that amount of - but I don't like ... - and we're vegetarian!

Sue O said...

I've done do-ops a few times and found the same thing. The worst was the two big bunches of Swiss chard one week. I tried to eat them but made the mistake of using the stalks and quite ruined a big batch of rice and beans. Sworn off them now.

Sue O said...

Ha, should have proof-read! Co-ops, not do-ops. Although, do-ops sound quite interesting.

Jamie said...

Diana, I've occasionally thought of ordering online, but I do like the whole thing of shopping and choosing for myself. I think that's also what I have missed in this co-op thing: not being able to pick each individual fruit and vegie myself from a selection on a stand.

And Sue, "do-op" sounds a bit rock 'n roll to me!