Saturday, February 8, 2014

Bountiful Baskets Start to Finish - Part One

I have shared several posts involving items I got through Bountiful Baskets, and always get questions (usually private messaged) about the whole process. Here I'm going to share this week's experience, start to finish, and hopefully answer a bunch of those questions at once.
First, you'll want to go to and look around. The Locations tab will tell you if there is a site near you, and the New Participant Instructions will give you the basics. Please read it! Sooooooooo many people on the main Facebook page ask the same questions over and over, or complain they didn't know something that is clearly spelled out.
In a nutshell, BB is a Co-op that shares fruits and vegetables, occasionally items like breads and granola, coconut oil, etc. The main basket comes for a $15 contribution. It is not delivered, you go and pick it up, usually on the Saturday after you make your contribution (some sites are Fridays). It is not organic (but you can pay extra for that), and it is not locally grown. It is, however, really good quality, for a very low price. You don't know what you are getting in the main basket until it arrives, which makes Saturdays a little like Christmas! We often get things we wouldn't have tried otherwise, or things we can't even get here.
There are also add-ons, which you can contribute for if you want. Recently it was bulk tomatoes, carrots, and blackberries, different types of bread and granolas (we LOVE the granolas!), and a Superbowl hostess pack.
If you want to try it out, set up an account (My Account tab). Contributions open on Mondays at noon, so you won't see your site until then - but, if you are in the western part of the country, you can start clicking on the Participate Now tab at 8 or 9AM, and take a peek at what other states are getting - it's almost always exactly the same! This is when a lot of wheeling and dealing happens - people in an area messaging each other with, "who wants to split a nectarine add-on?" By noon, you should know what you want, and be ready to place your order. Some sites, like ours, sell out very quickly! Certain items will also sell out before others. All contributions close on Tuesday evening.
I forgot to get a screen shot of this week's offerings, but here is what I contributed for (with my contribution number blacked out):
Dear *****,
Thank you for making your contribution to participate in Bountiful Baskets this cycle.
This is your Contribution Confirmation.
Please bring a printed copy or electronic copy of this document with you to the site below on the day of your pickup. This is mandatory to pickup your items.
Your Contribution Number is *****
You have made contributions for the following items:
Product NameQtyPriceTotal
Conventional Baskets$15.00$45.00
Valentine Hostess Pack
Blackberry - 12 - 6 oz clamshells
5 loaves - 1 garlic rosemary baguette, 2 savory 9 grain, 2 English muffin bread

Handling Fee:
Total Price:
Item Name: Conventional Baskets
Description: Roughly 50% fruit, 50% vegetables, and 100% healthy, fun and delicious!
Description: Valentine Hostess Pack - Hoping for 3 lb chips, a dozen Valentine day Butter Cookies, Veggies to dip; grape tomatoes, baby carrots, mushrooms, sugar snap peas, jicama. Fruit to dip; pineapple & strawberries 2 lb. Cookie Ingredients: Flour (cake and pastry), butter, sugar, whole eggs, salt, baking powder, vanilla. Corn Tortilla Chip pack - Pre-cut for frying or baking. 3 Lbs Must be refrigerated. No preservatives. Ingredients: Corn, water, lime Cooking Instructions: To bake: heat the oven to 400 degrees and arrange the racks to divide the oven into thirds. Place the chips in a single layer on a cutting board. Brush them with a light coating of vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt. Flip the tortillas and repeat. Transfer single layer on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and arrange on additional baking sheets. Bake til crisp and golden. To fry: heat 1-inch of Canola Oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Fry a few chips at a time, turning occasionally, for 45 seconds-1 minute, or until crisp and lightly browned. Place in serving bowl, and sprinkle salt to taste. You must open & quality inspect your case before you leave. Once you have signed for the case and left we can not give you a credit for quality issues.
Description: Blackberry - 12 - 6 oz clamshells - product of Mexico You must open & quality inspect your packs before you leave. Once you have signed for the pack and left we can not give you a credit for quality issues.
Description: 5 Loaves - 1 Garlic Rosemary Baguette, 2 Savory 9 Grain, and 2 English Muffin Bread Garlic Rosemary Baguette Ingredients: enriched flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, cultured wheat flour, yeast, honey, salt, extra virgin olive oil, rosemary, vinegar, garlic, enzyme. Garlic Rosemary Nutritionals: *Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on 2,000-calorie diet. Serv Size 2-in slice (53g) %DV* Serv. per container about 7 Calories 130 Calories from fat 10 Total Fat 1.5g 2% Sat. Fat 0 0 Trans Fat 0g 0% Cholesterol 0mg 0% Sodium 270mg 11% Total Carb 27g 9% Dietary Fiber 1g 4% Sugars 1g Protein 4g Vitamin A0% - Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 2% - Iron 10%

All this is followed by pick-up time and directions. I always get 3 regular baskets - two for us and one for my mother. The Valentine pack sounded like fun, and the English muffin bread is to die for! I will freeze most of the bread, keeping one loaf at a time out. Mom and another lady wanted to split blackberries, so half of those will be theirs.
Once you have ordered, start collecting recipes for the add-ons you ordered. Bountiful Baskets has a great blog, and a Pinterest page with recipes organized by main ingredient. Clean your canning supplies and organize your freezer. Fridays are leftover nights all across the country, as participants make room for their haul! Our house was no exception, and I used the 'extra' time to clean out the back of the van and throw in my new wheeled cart, and some cloth bags. I also made sure I had my receipt printed out and in the car, although those of you with those new-fangled phone thingies can just show your receipt that way.
Tomorrow - basket day! (Well, actually, today - Saturday - is basket day, but I'm BUSY, so you can read about it tomorrow!)

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