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WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Lowes Foods weekly local produce box review

Posted June 24, 2014

The Carolina Crate produce box from Lowes Foods.

 

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.



8 Comments

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  • raesmom1612 Jun 24, 2014

    Thanks for that Meredith88! I am going to look into that when i get home, dont have access at work :( Sounds like a great deal!

    Thanks for the produce box info Faye.......not sure that I am ready to pay that much for a box not knowing for sure that D and Rae will eat it all (they can be picky at times), nor am I ready to step foot into a LF yet.

  • RaleighFoodBlogger Jun 24, 2014

    Meredith88- I miss the LF on Capital too! I sometimes go to the one on Louisburg, which isn't too far out there. But, good to know also you like the relay box. I'm going to check that out, and like that it also has some organic! Thanks :-)

  • me2nc Jun 24, 2014

    I love this idea. I just hope my request for the emails went through. I followed your link and everything looked fine until the confirmation. Said I was confirmed for a Time Saving Class Feb 25 in Clemmons...hahaha.

  • Faye Prosser -WRAL Smart Shopper Jun 24, 2014

    meredith88 - I heard that ad as well - it is a great deal. I wish it was available in more places in the Triangle since it isn't close enough to me to warrant the trip to get it. Thanks for posting!

  • meredith88 Jun 24, 2014

    Faye, there is no longer a Lowe's Foods close to me since they closed the one on Capital in Raleigh a year ago. However, I heard a radio ad last week and have several times since then for the new Relay Foods company. It's a local produce box that you can have delivered or pick up at select locations. They have a special right now. Go to www.relayfoods.com/radio and enter Promo code 777. You get the $40 produce box for only $7!!! No commitment to buy future boxes. This week the box has Organic Winterbor Kale, Raspberries, Organic Romaine, Organic Lacinato Kale, Yellow Peaches, Red or Green Lettuce, Parsley, Zucchini and a local Organic Herb Bunch. All that for $7 is quite the deal! Just another option for people to look at :)

  • Faye Prosser -WRAL Smart Shopper Jun 24, 2014

    quemaster - if I get the e-mail this week with contents for Saturday's box, I will post them. :-)

    momofcjm - that's a great box - We eat all of those produce items. I will have to look into kale chips. They sound great!

  • momofcjm Jun 24, 2014

    I tried the box this weekend, too! I am located near the coast, so our contents were a little different :-)...we had 2 pints of blueberries, 2 heads of cabbage, six ears of corn, 2 zucchini, 2 eggplant, 3 tomatoes and a huge bag of kale. My list in the box said there were supposed to be cucumbers, but we didn't get any. I'm more than pleased with the quality of the veggies, just not sure about the cost yet. We made kale chips and I, my husband, and my 7 year old loved them! I'll probably try it again!

  • quemaster Jun 24, 2014

    Faye, pls keep us posted on your thoughts when you get a box. Also, if you could post the contents before Saturday that would be great. I've not gotten that email and would love to know. While I love most veggies my family is a little picky and at $2.20/lb I don't want anything to go to waste.