Thinking Inside the Box
Producing real food has its pitfalls. Distributing, getting the good stuff out there to people who want fresh, healthy food is a whole other set of ‘opportunities’. But some folks in the Boston area are lucky enough to have fresh, organic fruits and vegetables delivered right to their front door.
In her recent article Cate Lecuyer reports on how it all got started:
Ten years ago, (founder) Jeff Barry rediscovered beets. He was living in San Francisco, and was getting vegetables delivered to his door through a service called Planet Organics.
“I started to cook with food I didn’t know how to use, and I revisited vegetables I didn’t think I liked,” he said.
It left so much of an impression that when he moved from California back to Boston, he decided to start a similar service here in the city.
He found a small network of suppliers, bought a van, created a modest website, threw together a few speadsheets, pasted fliers around neighborhoods – and voila. Boston Organics was born.
Starting in 2002 with almost a dozen customers, the company now makes over 2,000 deliveries a week in the Boston area.
They have taken the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) model we all enjoy and given it a slight twist. Instead of paying for a whole year’s share upfront, Boston Organic’s customers can pay as they go and request specific things to be in their delivery. This is a great system for people who, for one reason or another can’t go all in with a CSA.
They team with regional farmers whenever possible, only occasionally bringing in asparagus from neighboring New York, for example.
Jeff Barry, founder of Boston Organics wraps up Ms. Lecuyer’s article with this:
But overall, in the last three or four years business has really taken off, he said. From Al Gore’s "An Inconvenient Truth" (link: amazon) to Michele Obama’s White House garden – from E. coli breakouts to battling a national obesity problem – more and more people are paying attention to what they put into their bodies, Barry said.
“People are beginning to realize our food system is somewhat broken,” he said.
Unless you grow your own, there is no perfect, foolproof system for acquiring real food, but Boston Organics has proven a great source for the folks around Boston.
Photo credit: my sunset road | Flickr.com
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