Backyard Bounty all-Tasmanian Vegie box: 31st March

AllRedOne of the great things about John, our friendly Lymington potato man, is that he loves trying new things. His kitchen garden is a virtual Noah’s ark of food, but he’s also quite adventurous when it comes to his commercial potato crops, and most years he has something new for us (and you) to try. One of this year’s new offerings which he’s rightly proud of is the Cranberry Red, an all-purpose potato which not only has a rich red coloured skin, but also has a marbled red effect in the flesh rather reminiscent of raspberry-ripple icecream. We’ve included these in the $30 and $40 boxes this week, but the good news is that there’s enough for a few orders, so we should be able to give the $20 boxes a try of these (and other varieties) in the coming weeks. Speaking of unusual varieties – we’ve also been able to get an order of Lady in the Snow apples from Mark & Christine, which are a small, tart apple with crisp white flesh – perfect for a small snack.

17571078_1137896419653601_1691302656_oThis week’s organic boxes feature carrots, kale, tomatoes, snow peas and zucchini from Scrubby Hill Farm – a project of the Geeveston Community Centre, led by Trev Wittmer from Poppysmic Produce. Scrubby Hill Farm is a work-for-the-dole project, giving unemployed locals the opportunity to learn how to grow their own food – from tilling to marketing – and even better, Trev’s teaching the participants a range of organic farming practices, including the principles of permaculture and nascent food forests. We’re pretty excited to be supporting such a great project, and we hope you are too! Poppysmic’s organically grown brown onions are also in the organic box this week – we were lucky enough to get

Backyard Bounty started as a hobby business with the primary goal of reducing food waste – whilst the preserving side of the business is less prominent than the vegie boxes these days, we work out our produce orders for the boxes very carefully each week, only ordering what we need for the number of orders we have (which is why we can’t always fulfil your mid-week order requests); our system also means that we never hang on to produce for long enough for it to need to 17553724_1464106853662802_4055813455546436364_nbe thrown out. Whilst we have always tried to limit the amount of packaging used in our boxes (and also re-use the boxes we deliver in!), recent feedback in the “suggestions box” on our facebook page indicated that we could maybe do better in terms of how much plastic packaging is used in our boxes. We’ve listened, and this week’s apples and carrots (which would normally be in pre-packed plastic bags) are loose in your box, and the mixed tomatoes from Marcus are packed in a Biocane clam (which can be put in your green waste bin if you’re lucky enough to be in the Hobart or Clarence municipalities). The standard food retail model is geared towards displaying produce for sale, which makes plastic a very attractive option for retailers, and consequently growers, as it enables produce to be hygienically packed but still visible. Our model doesn’t involve displaying food, but as most growers primarily supply retailers who want customers to be able to see their food their standard packaging options are usually built around this idea. We’ll do our best to work around this, but some items (e.g. soft berries) don’t respond well to repeated re-handling, and cut salad leaves really require plastic packaging (which in some cases is filled with inert gas also to extend freshness) to avoid moisture loss. If you’d prefer these items excluded from your boxes please let us know and we can add these to your exclusion list.

31st March

*Please note that the weights in the above chart are indicative only – whilst every effort is made, produce naturally comes in varying shapes and sizes and doesn’t always neatly conform to the metric measurement system. If you think any items in your box are unreasonably in variance from the specified amount, please let us know.