Bountiful Baskets is a non-profit food co-op. It is entirely run by volunteers. It is not available in every state yet; the states where it is currently available are AZ, CO, GA, IA, ID, KS, KY, MT, ND, NE, NM, NV, OK, OR, SC, SD, TX, UT, WA. You can see where specifically in each state here. Some states have baskets available each week, and some states are on an every-other-week schedule (A & B weeks). Colorado is on an A schedule, which means we can get baskets every 1st and 3rd week.
Basically the way it works is this: you order a basket on Monday/Tuesday and pay a $15 'contribution' for a basic basket + a $1.50 fee. On Saturday morning you go to your appointed pick-up location and pick up your baskets. A basic basket is fruits and veggies, but there are also options for an organic basket, as well as add-ons like bread, granola, other fruits/veggies. There is is no commitment from week to week. There is a very good FAQ on their website so I won't type it all out here.
Here are some notes about my experience:
- Ordering for the week opens on Monday and goes until Tuesday--each time zone has a different window that you can see on the website. In many locations, the baskets sell out fast!
- Basically, you are getting the produce from the suppliers and cutting out the grocery store markup. The food you get is the same thing you would find at the grocery store--it is not necessarily locally-grown.
- You can purchase an all-organic basket for $25. The organic baskets are packed separately and they were in boxes with lids so I couldn't see what they contained.
- The add-ons all come in large quantities, i.e. five loaves of bread, eight boxes of strawberries, so you will need a big freezer or to split them with somebody.
If you're trying to get more fruits/veggies into your family's diet and want a more economical way to do it, I recommend looking into Bountiful Baskets. I know that some places have great farmer's markets with incredible local produce and my first choice would definitely be to buy local--but where I live, farmer's markets are really only available from July-September because of our short growing season and even then, I'm not convinced that the only nearby market is all that great or truly local. A friend of mine did a CSA last year but it was around $50 per week and she had to buy in for 6 months, and I just don't want to spend that kind of money nor make that kind of commitment. Until I can find a better solution, I'll continue to do Bountiful Baskets!