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Why buy local?

Thu, 20 Jul 2017

Why should you buy local produce ?When you support a grocery store chain that buys from large, industrial farms in other states (actually other countries in many cases), that grocery store company negotiates for the absolute lowest price it can get for the product/produce you are buying. NOT the price the farmer needs to survive. Did you know that North Carolina has lost 2,700 farms in the past five years? How sad is that? These local farmers literally could not make ends meet... they had to sell to developers and stop farming. Supporting our local NC farmers (and paying more for what they work so hard to grow) by being a member of The Produce Box means that:1) you help the farmers afford to keep their farms and our beautiful countryside. Many of our farms are not more than 30-60 minutes away from the neighborhoods our members live in. 2) you[...]

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5 tips for taking your veggies on vacation

Fri, 30 Jun 2017

Guest post by TPB Coordinator Wendy S.Heading to the beach or the lake? Why not take some healthy treats along?  Here are some great tips Wendy gave her members on how to use your Box and not have to skip when you are hitting the road (or even the skies!) for a summer trip!Tip 1: Snacks that don't come in a package! A lot of summer veggies & fruits lend themselves to being used for easy snacks -- cherry/ grape tomatoes, cucumbers, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, carrots, etc.  These are great for the car ride to your vacation destination and are easy to cut up and have on hand for snacking between meals. Order a FRUIT BOX or create your own MARKET BOX to fill it with all that delicious "easy" stuff your family will eat right up!Tip 2: Dinner, done! I know when[...]

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Get to know your produce - Eat by Color!

Wed, 07 Jun 2017

If you find you keep eating the same things over and over, try exploring the rainbow of choices available in our Boxes. Reward your palates and plates with a bounty of vitamins and minerals as well as delicious meals! Red fruits and veggies usually bring vitamin A (beta carotene) and C plus provide a good source of manganese and fiber. Think red bell peppers, tomatoes, and beets. Tomatoes and watermelon are loaded with lycopene, a compound that appears to have cancer-fighting properties. Orange. Just a shade away from red, and with a similar vitamin and mineral profile, you get vitamins C, A, B6, potassium, and fiber in produce like sweet potatoes and orange peppers. Yellow. Delivering potassium, fiber, manganese and vitamin A, are the yellow veggies. Good examples from your BOX are yellow summer squash and yellow bell peppers.Green. Dark leafy greens are packed with nutrients. A[...]

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Spring into Summer!

Tue, 30 May 2017

We are now moving into the busy LOCAL growing season.  We are so excited to have blueberries, blackberries and (regional) peaches on the menu. Here are some tips and recipes for your delicious Spring produce!Storage tips for berriesRemember with berries -- "dry and in the container in which you bought them." That means washing only the amount of berries you plan to eat, right before you eat them. Otherwise, store them without washing and be sure the container is breathable. Soggy or damp berries go downhill fast.When you're ready to eat, wash each berry differently. Blueberries can take about any method, apart from a long soaking. Strawberries, with their delicate, absorbent skin, require a little more care: Quickly swish unwashed berries in a bowl of water, move them to a strainer, then move them to paper towels, placed in single layers and let them dry.The freezer[...]

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A letter from Courtney

Fri, 26 May 2017

The flowers are blooming, the rain has stopped (finally) and NC farmers are hard at work in the fields getting ready for their harvests! Kevin, our Crop Coordinator and resident chef, visits every farm we work with every year or so...7 so far this year....and always has great videos to share from the fields, so be sure to check out our Facebook and Instagram posts for those!It’s hard to believe we’re celebrating our TENTH YEAR of supporting local farmers and we owe all of YOU a huge thank you for your enthusiasm, dedication, patience with Mother Nature and her antics and tactful feedback as we improve our program every year. This community of engaged and committed members has bought more than 10 Million pounds of fresh local goodness from our farm-partners over the years. That kind of impact really makes a difference!You've probably noticed that our[...]

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Know Your Farmer: Meet Shahane, owner of Carolina Mushroom Farm

Fri, 05 May 2017

Shahane Taylor is a former Marine who takes his mushroom growing very seriously as one of the owners of Carolina Mushroom Farm. Shahane specializes in the cultivation of fresh Portabella, Baby Bella, Oyster and Shiitake mushrooms.Founded in 2016 and located in the heart of Willow Springs, Carolina Mushroom has made our members very happy with their tasty mushrooms! Shahane decided to incorporate unused parts of a family farm into his mushroom growing business. He saw a great need for more mushroom farms in our state.He and his business partner updated several unused buildings on the farm to start growing mushrooms. They added HVAC, lighting as well as many other modern upgrades. Contrary to popular belief several varietals of mushrooms (oysters and shiitakes) actually need a large amount of light to grow.A single Portabella mushroom can contain more potassium than a banana. Mushrooms are made up of around 90% water.[...]

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3 delicious Spring Spinach recipes

Mon, 10 Apr 2017

Spring is here! To help us celebrate, Stacey Sprenz, a local food blogger and photographer, shared some of her favorite recipes with us. Stacey has taught cooking classes and held food demonstrations across the Southeast.Below are a few healthy, delicious spinach-themed recipes to use for Easter brunch or anytime at all!Carmelized Onion, Spinach, Goat Cheese Frittata Ingredients10 eggs (pasture-raised, farm-fresh if possible) 2 tbs. water ½ tsp. Italian herb seasoning 1/8 tsp. pepper ½ tsp. salt 2-3 tbs. olive oil 1 ½ c. onion – quartered and sliced thin 2 c. chopped spinach ½ c. goat cheese InstructionsPreheat oven to 350 degrees FTo the eggs, add: water, salt, pepper, and Italian herb seasonings. Whisk to incorporate and set aside.Sauté the onions in the olive oil over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until they begin to caramelize.Add spinach and continue to sauté for about 1 minute until spinach is wilted. Add salt to taste.Distribute the[...]

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Meal Boxes make it easy for our members!

Fri, 24 Mar 2017

One Pan Italian Sausage Meal BoxWe are continuing to feature Meal Boxes on our menu this year to help make dinner prep easy for our members! This is a way to enjoy delicious dinners with local, fresh ingredients but without an hourlong shopping trip or 20 minutes searching for a recipe!We hope to make your busy weeknights easier... and healthier!This week we partnered with First Hand Foods in Durham on the Italian Sausage Bake, an easy one-pan meal perfect for dinner this week. Enjoy!Italian Sausage Bake1 lb. Firsthand Foods Sweet Italian Sausage1 large fennel bulb, halved, sliced1 red bell pepper, seeded, sliced1 green bell pepper, seeded, sliced6 large garlic cloves, sliced in half5 sprigs fresh rosemary4 Tbs. olive oil2 Tbs. balsamic vinegarSalt & pepper1. Preheat oven to 375° F2.Cut each sausage into three pieces (approximately 2 inches long). Place on a baking sheet.3. Arrange the fennel, peppers, garlic, and[...]

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4 reasons to eat local

Tue, 14 Mar 2017

For the love of localGuest post by Wendy Sult, one of our wonderful Triad Coordinators for The Produce BoxAside from a failed attempt to grow brussel sprouts, a few sprigs of garlic trying to survive, and chicken-pecked lettuce leaves, my garden has looked pretty empty and bleak since last summer. I know it is important to eat seasonally and from local food sources; however, I do not have the time or patience for a large garden that would provide all of the produce we would need. (Can I get an “Amen!” from all of you who can relate?)I am thankful for farmers' markets, roadside stands and The Produce Box for providing most of what my family consumes!Did you catch what I said about eating local foods being important? It’s true. There are a ton of benefits to eating what is being grown in our area and[...]

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Member Box built by LB from Chapel Hill

Fri, 10 Mar 2017

Excited to introduce you to LB -- one of our awesome members from the Chapel Hill area. Here's a little bit about her and some great recipes that will be included in her Box this week!What made you join The Produce Box?I live in Fearrington Village with my husband John and a lot of books. I'm a PhD student and research assistant in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work and also work as a consultant and trainer on gender-based violence prevention. I love traveling, enjoying good food and beer with better company (ideally outside), yoga, dystopian science fiction and the occasional dance break. I joined The Produce Box because I enjoy cooking from scratch with fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients. The Produce Box makes doing so easy and fun.What is your favorite local item on our menu?I've been loving the strawberries and collard greens[...]

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