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  • Bountiful Baskets

    Did you contribute for your basket today?  If you aren’t familiar with Bountiful Baskets let me explain.  Bountiful Baskets is a food coop that has many pickup locations across the country.  There are many pickup locations in the Black Hills.  Some locations have pickup on week A and the rest on week B.  To participate you go to the Bountiful Baskets website and set up an account.  On Mondays at 9AM Mountain time (for South Dakota locations) you log on and contribute for your basket. Pickup times are that weekend.  You can choose add-ons for extra price.  There is also an option to upgrade to an organic basket if you choose.  Every basket is half fruits and half vegetables.  They are different every week as are the add-on choices.  It all depends on what is in season.  Always bring your confirmation code when you pick up because you can’t pick up your produce without it.  I usually just print the receipt and bring that.  They ask that all contributers  volunteer once every 6 times they contribute.  Volunteers show up usually an hour before pickup time and help unload the truck, sort the fruits and vegetables into baskets and then stay for 20 minutes after to help the other contributers pick up their baskets.  Volunteers get an extra item of their choice.  Baskets that are not picked up 20 minutes after pickup time are forfeited.  When picking up your produce you need to bring your own containers to transfer into because the baskets are kept to be reused the next time.

    My experience with Bountiful Baskets-  Let me start by saying that I always look forward to picking up my basket.  It is like Christmas wondering what I’m going to get that week.  You never know ahead of time.  I find that I eat a lot healthier when I have these fruits and veggies to try to fit into my menu before they go bad.  I compared the price to what I would pay if I bought these items at the store and Bountiful Baskets is much cheaper.  Sometimes you get things you don’t know what to do with but I enjoy trying new things.  Sometimes I end up with a lot of some items if I contribute too often but I’ve found a lot of things can be frozen pretty easily but if there is something I don’t think I’ll use I always figure I can donate it.  I don’t contribute every week because it isn’t savings if I get too much to use and it goes bad.  A lot of people with larger families don’t have that problem. It can also be a challenge to contribute to the location you want.  Some locations are very popular and they only allow so many baskets at a location each week.  The deadline to contribute is the end of Tuesday each week but for many locations especially around Rapid City they are all gone within 10 minutes though I have had some instances where I checked at 11AM for Meade County and there were still some available but that isn’t often.  There have been times that some add-ons didn’t come on the truck or were bad.  You can refuse any add-ons that are bad and they will submit a credit request for you which usually shows up on your account several weeks later.  Volunteering is not hard and I actually enjoy it a lot.  You get to work together with some really nice people and you get a first peek at what you are getting.  The extra item is nice too.  Some of my favorites were the mangoes, asparagus, and grapes.  I’ve gotten the add-ons a few times but I have had times where I debated too long and when I went to finalize my order all the baskets were gone so be ready to make a quick decision.  I have purchased honey, a case of mangoes, a bag of stir fry vegetables, a bag of juicing vegetables and this week I’m getting the tropical pack. Many of my friends rave about the bread but I haven’t tried that yet since we get a pretty good price at the bread store across from Menards.  I still kick myself for not getting a case of strawberries a few weeks ago.  I bought a few pints of strawberries on sale at Safeway shortly after and I hardly got to eat any before my kids finished them off.  I did get a chance to use my Velata warmer to dip one pint in chocolate but still only got a couple of those.  I would have liked to freeze some for smoothies.  The Bountiful Baskets South Dakota Facebook Page is a great resource for figuring out what to do with food you aren’t familiar with.  They also get alerts posted about when the truck and/or pickup time is delayed faster than getting the notice in your e-mail.

    I know that Bountiful Baskets isn’t for everyone.  Some people aren’t available on Mondays to put in their contributions.  Some are too busy on Saturdays to pick up their baskets.  Some don’t want to get items they don’t know how to cook or might not like.  Some of these things could be worked around with the help of friends.  Take turns contributing and picking up.  Trade things you won’t use.  If you are really interested there are ways to try it.  For me it is worth it to see my kids excited for healthy food.

    This was one of the first baskets I got.  It had bananas, plums, blueberries, mangoes, carrots, grape tomatoes, pineapple, swiss chard, romaine lettuce, one of the best melons I’ve ever tasted, green beans and I think onions.  This was with no add-ons.






    Published on March 11, 2014 · Filed under: Local Sales;
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