If you visit KidsOutAndAbout.com, you may have noticed the Field Goods ads on the home page. I totally scored, because as part of the deal, I signed up for the subscription food service. Now I pick up my shares every Friday at the JCC, and the girls arrive home from school asking about what we got this week. They never got this excited about any of our CSA memberships. That’s because there’s a lot more available than just the latest vegetables. Before I started getting Field Goods, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to do it. I’ve said it before, and it’s true: sometimes CSAs can feel like a hobby with all of the food “processing” like washing greens or trying to find new recipes for vegetables that the family generally doesn’t like. But what makes Field Goods awesome is just how flexible it is, and I don’t think that that’s entirely clear from their website. You kind of have to begin the sign-up process to find out exactly what’s available. So I decided to take some pictures of our fabulous Field Goods bounty to illustrate what you get.
Like most CSAs, there’s a standard share to order called the “Fruit & Vegetable Bag,” and it has a selected set of 6 to 8 items that are different each week. The bag comes in four sizes: single ($16), Small ($21), Standard ($27), and Family ($32). There’s usually one or two fruits and the rest are vegetables, and as we move into winter, frozen items are included as well. This is a recent Standard Fruit & Vegetable Bag we got:
That’s, clockwise from the top: rainbow carrots, lettuce, frozen tomato puree, frozen blueberries, fingerling sweet potatoes, and pea greens in the center.
There are two things I especially like about these bags: first, they do a good job of including plenty of “normal” vegetables. I love that CSAs have introduced me to tomatilloes and purslane and Jerusalem artichokes, but potatoes, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, and berries are a lot easier for my whole family to consume consistently. Second, I find out ahead of time via email what the plan is for my bag that I’ll pick up on Friday, so if I see something I love, I can switch to a bigger size for the week, or if I don’t like most of the vegetables or I’m traveling, I can choose to skip the bag (and not get charged) for that week, as long as I update my order by Tuesday at noon. I love that.
Unlike many CSAs or farm memberships, Field Goods uses produce and products from many local farms and businesses, which allows for variety and lets you “spread the love” by purchasing from many different people. One afternoon when M ran into the kitchen to admire our haul (I am completely serious: Field Goods is the first thing that they ask about on Friday afternoons), she was reviewing the little information sheet, and gave a yelp of joy. Turns out the mushrooms were from her friend’s family farm! She was super-excited (excited enough to actually eat mushrooms), and when Cute W emailed our friend to let him know we were enjoying their mushrooms that week, they brought us a big box of fungi deliciousness the next time we saw them, just to be nice:
In addition to the Fruit & Vegetable bag subscription, you can choose to subscribe for bread ($5.50/item), cheese ($5.75/item), dried pasta ($5.75/item), fruit ($5.75/item), herb & allium ($6/share), or plain yogurt ($5.75/item). Except for the yogurt, these change weekly, so the bread might be sourdough wheat or olive loaf or challah; the cheese might be parmesan, feta, or something you’ve never heard of; the fruit is always something different from what’s in the main bag, but it varies, too; and the herbs might be garlic, shallots, lemongrass or a few different herbs. Again, what’s awesome is that you can choose to put a hold on your subscription if they’re offering something you don’t like, or you can double up on your subscription for the week if you want more.
Now, the other cool thing about Field Goods is that there are plenty of options to just buy single items. For example, at Christmas time, there were adorable gift bags like these:
Two maple gift sets on the left, which contained syrup, maple sugar, maple cream, and maple candies, and on the right it’s a pasta-and-specialty-oils pack.
Along with gift items, you can also purchase plenty of other things for one-time-only, depending on what’s available on any given week. Here are some examples of items that are available for individual sale that I bought recently:
Clockwise from top, it’s local honey, a couple of heads of broccoli, 4 bulbs of garlic, a half-pound of radiatore pasta, a bag of frozen broccoli, a loaf of bread, and some fresh mozzarella. You can also buy salted butter, which I like but didn’t have “in stock” when I took these pictures, and depending on the week, sometimes you can buy a few different cheeses, several different frozen items, vinegar, olive or canola oil, or other goodies.
While it’s not necessarily the cheapest option, Field Goods does occasionally run sales, which is why it’s good to do a quick check of what’s available for the upcoming week in the “In the Bag” newsletter when it comes out (I get it on Fridays) so you can order items early if there’s a fantastic deal. The newsletter always includes multiple recipes for the Fruit & Vegetable items as well as the plan for each subscription for the upcoming week. Then I’ve got the Tuesday at noon order deadline marked on my calendar, because that’s a bit closer to my Friday pick-up and I usually have a better idea of my weekend plans by then. One thing I know for sure is that if the cheese curds are available, I’m ordering two!
Now, I know this all sounds like another ad for Field Goods, but between getting surprised by our friends’ mushrooms and picking up the fabulous gift sets and the general joyful karma of it all, I figured that I had to post. And then it turns out that they have a $10 coupon running right now fore new customers on the Field Goods site, so I feel like it’s basically a public service to post about it. So, you’re welcome.