We are always on an adventure when it comes to food: Where can I find good produce? How can I change up my recipes? How can I make affordable food choices? It is a common statement that it is “expensive to eat healthy” or that it is just impossible to find a good source for the veggies and fruits that you are interested in. I may have used one of these statements in the past but found that it can be done, Personally, I hated having to go to the store, having to figure out what to buy, then ending up with the same veggies over and over. A few months ago I ventured out and signed up for Our Harvest Co-op’s Weekly Harvest Box. After a few pickups I wanted to share a little more with you about OHC and how they are making locally sourced affordable produce an easily accessible option.
While there are several spots locally to get good produce I have found my favorite to be Our Harvest Co-op. I first heard of them at one of the Westside Markets and to say my interest was peaked is an understatement. Like most things, I took the brochure and jammed it in my notebook only to find it months later. In that time I had already received sponsored ads from a company called Misfits Market, as well as invites from friends who do fresh box subscriptions. Gladly I chose to go with OHC. According to their website “Our Harvest is part of Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative (CUCI), which builds worker-owned businesses that sustain families.” All of the food that is available is grown or sourced within 150 miles of Cincinnati, with most of it being grown within the I-275 loop. Furthermore, they do not use all of the icky pesticides or fertilizers.
So how does it work? Much like having a streaming service or retail subscription you sign up on their website for a “box” that you feel is good for your needs. You have a choice between small, medium, or large. Each week you have a designated location (of your choosing), pick up day, and time frame where you would go to collect your produce. Two things I can tell you I like are that I can pick up at Gaiser Urban Farm on the Westside. Secondly, I love the flexibility to make any changes. You can pick add ons like eggs, tomatoes, and other items. I find this process to be very cool but I do recommend looking into all the deadlines so you don’t miss your opportunity to put your box on hold, or add on some additional items. The website is very straightforward about the billing process, as well as any other questions you may have.
Just to give you an idea of what we are talking about the photos below are from my first two Harvest Boxes:
For my family of two I get the large box which lasts us about 3-4 weeks and runs us $30. To prepare you for the veggies you are going to get they send a newsletter to your email. It will give you an idea of what you will be receiving and it also takes you along on the journey of the growth and struggles that the locations might be having. It is nice to see that my produce is coming from within my state and nearby communities.
The newsletter also allows me time to let my mind wander about what great things I can make and how to store any veggies that I have never worked with. I have recently been able to try veggies that I have never had before in all my years of living and the variety has definitely spiced up my recipe vault. In my latest pickup the newest one for me...beets; the time before radishes.
Though very nervous I learned a lot about the radish and eventually made a new family favorite with a few of the ingredients that came in my harvest box. Loaded Radishes with radishes and chives from our Harvest Box. This recipe also included onion, sharp cheddar, and sour cream. #delicious. Having the items put together for you definitely gets the wheels turning in your brain creating endless possibilities.
If you would like a little inspiration, here a few things I have made using fresh ingredients from the last two Harvest Boxes I got.
This low and slow recipe is super flavorful and is great to take to pot lucks or, my favorite, Thanksgiving Dinner. Made using a mix of turnip greens and kale, as well as onion from the harvest box, it is completed by the addition of ham and bacon which I got at R+R Quality Meats, and a few additional ingredients.
Made with love the next recipe I wanted to try was a family favorite that I grew up eating. My dad would make it when the weather got chilly or when everyone started to get sick. A simple throw in a pot and let it cook together recipe it is a good way to make use of excess veggies you don't want to waste. For this recipe the items used from my harvest box were carrots, celery, potatoes, zucchini, onion. It also has cabbage, squash, and of course chicken.
I had never had a leek in my life, or at least that I was aware of. This was something I wanted to try because I am a big fan of potato soup. Such an easy recipe it can be made with roughly 5 ingredients, three of which I happened to have gotten in my second harvest box. With some added heavy cream and some cheese this soup stuck to my ribs was filling and left plenty for leftover for a few days. The potatoes, leeks, and chives are from the harvest box.
I also made fresh pico de gallo and salsa with the delicious tomatoes. cilantro, and onions, refreshing cucumber and tomato salad, and there may or may not have been mojitos made because I also received mint in my first box. Overall definitely worth trying the experience is amazing
So what are you waiting for? Get online go to our Facebook page and let us know what recipe you would like to see. Then head over to www.ourharvest.coop and get started!