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Farm to Table Subscription Experiences

Graphic by Cheryl Kao

Written by Deiana Hristov

Living in California means living in the number one producer of fruits and vegetables in the United States. With all of this fresh, tasty produce growing in our backyard, farm-to-table delivery service brings the food to you. For this service, members pay a certain amount per month and receive a box of in-season produce delivered to their doorstep or to a designated drop-off point.

Instructional Supervisor Lynne Navarro is a regular customer of the service and has tried two different programs: Full Circle and Live Earth Farm. Navarro first heard about farm-to-table when she read the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver. “They were talking about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in that book and I thought ‘Well, that’s something I totally want to support.’”

Farm-to-table attracted Navarro for several reasons. “My dad is a member of California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), so it’s something my family has believed in for a long time, and I wanted to support the farm but there is also an obvious benefit for me.” The service also led Navarro to integrate more fresh produce into her diet. ‘You get this entire box of vegetables, and they’re perishable, so you need to get it together, get organized and eat them all,” she said.

Sometimes, however, the service falls short. My mom first heard about the service through her work. Being from Bulgaria, a country of seven million people where it only takes four hours to drive border to border, she was used to eating juicy red tomatoes fresh off the vine and fruit plucked no longer than one hour before eating. When my parents moved to the United States they were disappointed at having to eat produce bruised from riding hours in the back of a truck while paying three to four times the amount they would have paid in Bulgaria. So she decided to give the farm-to-table service a whirl. 20 bucks and a week later my family was standing around a brown box set on the dining room table. My dad was rubbing his hands together as my mom carefully slit open the top of the box, careful not to jostle the produce inside. Her smile faded as she pulled the food out: two decorative squashes, three brown, flaky onions and a lone potato. We looked back into the box, shook it around, but that was it. The rest of the evening found my brother munching on a hard, green pear, my dad trying to procure something for dinner and my mom scratching her head and Googling onion and squash recipes.

All in all, every service is different. Some allow you to pick which types of produce you want, while others are set; some offer large quantities, while others offer small quantities. In the end, a good farm-to-table delivery service is efficient and useful, saving you a trip to the grocery store while providing delicious, fresh food.

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