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Old 04-08-2012, 12:41 PM
 
273 posts, read 518,428 times
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Howdy!

I found the name of this company on the forums here, but cant find the thread and it was somewhat off topic anyway.....

Has anyone used The Produce Box? It looks like $22/month plus a nominal "setup and help pay for your boxes" fee of less than that.....

But their website (theproducebox dot com) doesnt really show you what you get, theres very few photos. The newsletters talk about the boxes, but dont really show you either.

So, who's used em? Worth it? Good? Bad?

Thanks!

Ben
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Old 04-08-2012, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
434 posts, read 865,222 times
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We are starting our second season with them this year. Not sure where you read about the $22/month thing but that is way off. The setup fee is $18 for the season which buys your box, then you can expect a $20 per week (depends on the box you order on the menu that week for the exact price as the organic box is a few bucks more then the regular box, etc) that you order charge on your card.

What you get depends on where we are in the season as you start out with lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers and steadily progress to corn, squash, and whatever else is ready to be harvested. We have never been disappointed with any of the boxes we received and if you get something that is a little too past its usable life, they will replace it.

The best part of this CSA in our opinion is the ability to skip weeks you may be out of town (many of the other CSAs in town require a full buy-in for the season and you cannot skip any weeks) and they deliver right to your door (they ask when it gets hot out to leave a cooler with ice packs in it and they make sure everything stays chilled until you get home from work.

We cannot wait to start up the box season again in two weeks. Give it a try! You won't be disappointed.
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Old 04-08-2012, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Oxxford Hunt, Cary NC
4,188 posts, read 9,810,360 times
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I use Papa Spud's, which is a similar service. I think the biggest difference is that with Papa Spuds you can customize your box if you don't like everything in the 'suggested' box. Like The Produce Box, you can also put deliveries on hold, and just not pay that week (very handy). I've been using Papa Spud's for a few years now and have been overall very satisfied. I can't wait for this year's growing season to get in full swing - it can get a tad boring during the winter months.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
434 posts, read 865,222 times
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With the Produce Box you usually have 3-4 different boxes to choose from so there is a good selection. The way they did it last year Box A was usually the recommended "harvest box" for the week. Box B was perhaps for more adventurous eaters (for instance the adventurous box had purple sweet potatoes one time while the Box A had the standard sweet potatoes), Box C was usually a bigger box, and Box O was organic as much as could be.

They also had add ons throughout the season with local bread, honey, and other yummy stuff that you could get if you wanted.

This year they are toying around with the customizing box as you stated per their welcome emails, however we haven't gotten our first "menu" yet for the first box to tell you how they are running this year.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:30 PM
 
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Going on year three with the Produce Box and love it. THis year, they are offering a smaller box for homes with only two people - I believe the cost will be $18. Also, there will be a 'swap out' option if there is an item in the box that you don't wish. Try it, you'll love it!
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:43 PM
 
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we did Produce Box last year and were generally happy. we ended up wasting some stuff as there was always something in the box we dont eat or I dont know how to cook. No box had everything i liked. I will do it again this year but probably skip each week. I just cant eat 7 yellow squash each week. haha. and I dont like eggplant or zucchini too much. all the other stuff is soooo good tho.
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:01 PM
 
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Have done The Produce Box for 2 years and am signed up for a 3rd. Also started PapaSpud's last summer. Another home delivery option in the area is CarolinaGrown.

Pros to The Produce Box (different from PapaSpud's): Lots of neat add-ons like local (well, NC) honeys, breads, sweet and savory treats or special boxes like an all fruit box or a salad box. They sponsored a day at Marbles Kids Museum last year for members and organized farm to fork dinners with Relish Cafe in Raleigh. Some of their vendors are REALLY good - the kale I would get from them was really really good. The first year, got HUGE bunches of dill and other herbs when in season. Generally, the deliveries are at the same time each week since the coordinator has a route.

Cons: Hard to know how much you are getting each time and yes, sometimes I didn't love everything in the box. Was actually a little more disappointed in year 2 than year 1 once I directly compared with PapaSpuds. But I like the add-on's and most of their stuff to sign up for another year. And, you can skip more weeks than before.

If Produce Box allows you to customize more, it's a good thing.

Pros to PapaSpuds: Ability to customize boxes. Can add subscription for ability to order meats, milk, cheeses. They have been expanding a lot of their offerings to offer some hyper local things like cookies from The Cookie People, chocolates from Escazu, locally made pastas, local honey. I order steel cut oatmeal from them as well. They tell how much (by weight or count) to expect, which is nice. They run year-round although in the winter months, they supplement from suppliers outside of NC. Can put deliveries on hold if you are out of town. Discounted items on Mondays from noon-1 pm to get rid of excess produce. They tell you to leave ice packs/coolers out but everything potentially perishable is always wrapped really well with an ice pack!

Cons: Not too many. Some of their vegetables don't last too long but there is a review system for the vendor. Deliveries are not quite as reliable (in my neighborhood it's not the same person each week).

Good luck choosing! Love the service!
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:35 AM
 
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I hate grocery shopping. With a passion. I started with The Produce Box last year and had to find recipes to cook chard, kale, etc. It was fun learning how to cook more veggies and since we got a lot of squash, I had to learn multiple recipes for some things. The taste and freshness of the produce was unbeatable compared to the grocery stores. My teenage kids loved getting the fresh fruits each week and wanted to snack on those and make smoothies instead of eating junk food. I really, really love this service and will buy in every year that they let me. Plus, I feel good supporting local farms.
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:37 AM
 
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We signed up with Produce Box last year and were disappointed. The box seemed skimpy to me. Hot house tomatoes in a hard plastic container. A cucumber encased in plastic. A few other items such as a sample of flavored butter and some sweet potatoes. It added up to about $15 worth of produce and all of it quite ordinary.

I called after the second box and was told that they price according to what the price is at the Raleigh's Farmers Market and then add on a delivery fee. I pointed out that I did shop at the Farmer's Market and those were the prices I was using to determine I had not received more than $15 worth of produce each time. They refunded my start up fee and that was that. Very pleasant people to deal with.

This year, we've signed up with Coon Rock Farm for the produce and eggs. Our neighbors had it over the winter and can't say enough good things about the produce and meat they get. It's just one farm rather than a cooperative of farmers and I'm hopeful that I won't be getting produce encased in plastic.

I like that they don't use chemicals but rather sustainable farming practices and that their chickens are free range.

Will let you know how that works out.
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatRoy1 View Post
This year, we've signed up with Coon Rock Farm for the produce and eggs. Our neighbors had it over the winter and can't say enough good things about the produce and meat they get. It's just one farm rather than a cooperative of farmers and I'm hopeful that I won't be getting produce encased in plastic.
.
I'll be curious to hear what you think of Coon Rock. We've been debating trying them out for awhile now.
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