Every Saturday this summer, Lowes Foods is offering a weekly produce box called The Carolina Crate and it is filled with local produce. I bought the box last Saturday and here is my review regarding quality and price.
What is The Carolina Crate produce box?
The Carolina Crate box is basically a mini version of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). The box is pre-packed with local produce and available every Saturday at your Lowes Foods stores in the produce department.
The cost for the box is $26.00.
Each box includes 6-8 varieties of produce with approximately 10 - 12 lbs of food. The selection varies based on what is available from the farmers each week.
You do not need to sign up for the box ahead of time. It is available on a first come, first served basis starting at 9 am each Saturday. When I went last Saturday around noon, there were still plenty of boxes available.
Each box also includes a couple recipes. I will be trying the recipe for Spicy Braised Kale this week with the kale that came in the box.
I received an e-mail in the middle of the week with the details regarding the box contents for the next Saturday. We eat all of the produce included, so I knew this would be a good week to try the box.
The program lasts through September 13, 2014.
One of the benefits of The Carolina Crate, is that it does not require a subscription or any up-font payment, like most CSA's. You are not required to sign up for the program or buy the box every week. You can pick and chose which weeks you want to get it based on the contents.
My thoughts on The Carolina Crate produce box
I love that all the produce is grown by local NC farmers. They let you know the farm and location of each item included in the box.
I also love that you are not locked into a subscription and required to take whatever they provide each week, like most CSA's. I can pick and chose the boxes I want to buy based on the contents for that week.
The produce we have eaten so far has been delicious. The blueberries and peaches were sweet and tasted fabulous in the Blueberry Peach cobbler I made this weekend (see the photo and recipe link above)! The tomatoes were excellent and I used them for a Caprese Salad with some basil from my garden. We have been enjoying the lettuce on sandwiches and salads since Saturday.
The only real concern I have is the price. At approximately $2.20 per lb, it's a little more than I usually pay for some of the produce bought on sale each week. But the taste of local produce and supporting our local farmers is worth the little extra expense, I think.
I will buy the box again and look forward to enjoying all the local produce!
Have you tried this box yet? If so, what do you think?
You can see more details about the program on their website.