My Ooooby box has arrived and it is like opening a present, discovering the wonderful fruits and vegetables that I will be feasting on for the next week or so.
I have been getting my box full of fresh organic vegetables and fruit for several years. It was first owned by T.D. Willey, then he sold his community supported agriculture food delivery service to Food Commons in 2017, who renamed it “Out of Our Own Back Yards,” or Ooooby Fresno. Same great selection of produce but a different name. Over the years I have been exposed to different varieties of produce, along with recipes to cook them. What a fun adventures I have had along the way!
For us Oakhurst folks, the box is delivered each Thursday (with a few holiday changes) at the Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church. Thursdays are kind of like Christmas and I get pretty excited to pick up my box and open it up. They do send an email each week with a sneak preview of the produce that you will get and you can request a couple of substitutions, even exempt things that you don’t want to get in that box but it is a quick window. I received my sneak peek email the Thursday afternoon before last and needed to get any substitutions or additions to them by 8 am the next morning. Here is what my sneak peek looked like last week for my small box.
I have green onions in my garden and have a bit of a surplus of onions so I requested substitutions from them on those items but I won’t know what they substituted until I open the box.
You are probably wondering how this Ooooby thing works. Well, here it is:
1) You choose what size food box that you would like. I get the small box for $16 each box but you can also chose from the medium for $21, large for $28 or Oooober box for $35. You can also create your own box by picking exactly what vegetables and fruits you would like. If you go to the link on their website you can learn more about just how big each size is.
2) You pick how often you would like to receive the box, every week, every second week or you can take pauses when you want to skip taking a box for a while.
3) You can add extras to your box each week such as other produce that you won’t be receiving from your sneak peek email. In addition to produce, they also have bread, eggs, chocolate and other items.
4) They deliver the box to a designated location in your community. Oakhurst’s delivery place is the Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church. You can go to their website or give them a call for other community locations. They are also just rolling out home delivery in the Fresno area.
5) You are probably wondering how you pay for this. These box subscriptions are paid for in advance. You can pay a certain amount and let your credit run for a while or you can pay per box. You can contact them at Ooooby Fresno or give them a call at (559) 674-2642.
Ooooby usually delivers the boxes in Oakhurst on Thursday about 3 pm or so and that is the time I try and arrive there. Sometimes I get there when they are unloading the boxes and sometimes they are already unloaded and stacked neatly so you can find the box with your name on it. You return last week’s box and they have a sign out sheet that you sign when you pick up your new box. They deliver the boxes to seveeral locations but in our area, the delivery spots are Yosemite Lakes Park, Coarsegold and Oakhurst. Their website shows all of the locations.
There weren’t as many boxes delivered this week. I guess that many people paused their boxes due to the holidays. OK, now for the fun part.
Once I got home I opened up the box. A list of the vegetables, along with some recipes was laid on top.
And check out those beautiful vegetables and fruit!
I like to wash everything that I can, let them dry a bit and package them up in the refrigerator. I do this for a couple of reasons. It helps rehydrate the vegetables plus they are now ready to eat directly from the fridge.
Now that you have seen the delivered Ooooby box, my mom and I took a farm tour of Ooooby back on October 6 of this year to learn more about their operation and how the crops are grown, harvested and boxed. They have a Community Open House on their property west of Madera a couple of times a year where they show you what they are up to and that included a tractor ride out to the fields for our visit. I had been wanting to do this for years but my schedule never cooperated. This year it worked out great. I didn’t know what to expect from this tractor tour but we were up for the challenge and they handed us a paper bag as we hopped up on the flatbed that was pulled by a tractor. A paper bag??
The tractor drove us along the dirt road and they told us about what crops where planted where and what they were planning. You can take a quick peek at this short 15 second video. It wasn’t long before they made a stop and told us that we could go pick vegetables. Well, we loaded up on herbs, squash, peppers, tomatoes and eggplant along the way. The basil was under the covered rows in the picture below just in case you were wondering what those mysterious white rows were.
Mom and I filled our bags up the brim and were very happy.
We learned much more about their operation from the booths that they had set up with some of the products that they sell as extra such as the chocolate. We also could watch the workers clean carrots and pack the boxes. They told us that sometimes they have a little produce left over and they donate their overruns to the needy via missions, soup kitchens and similar organizations, which ensures that they have almost zero food waste.
We are so lucky to live where we do, having such great access to fresh, locally grown agricultural products. There are other CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) in our area and you can locate them by going to Local CSAs. You can also search for Farmer’s Markets in the area on this site. Maybe people who have some experience with other CSAs can leave information on them in the comment section attached to this post. I would love to get the word out on them also.
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