On winning contests and fresh veggies

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There are people that win things and people that don’t. I’m in the latter group. I suppose it could have something to do with the fact that I don’t enter many contests, but even in situations where one only has to be present to win (baby showers, bridal showers, other showers), I still walk away a loser. Or at the very least, empty handed.

To date, things that I have won in my life include:

  1. Tour of the Historic CA Governor’s Mansion
  2. Hoover Wind Tunnel upright vacuum cleaner
  3. 1 year subscription to W Magazine

Now for the disclaimers:

  1. The tour piggybacked an award dinner that wasn’t really won but earned by writing a fictional essay in the 4th grade.
  2. It was a scratch-and-win game; maybe I had access to about 250 scratchers, maybe I didn’t…
  3. The subscription was actually a second year free with purchase of the first year according to Derrick, the door-to-door magazine vendor trying earnestly to fund his Ivy League education. I’ve still not received a single issue. Not quite sure who the winner is here, but since I’m only now realizing there are no Ivy League schools on the West Coast, I’m thinking Derrick has the upper hand.

But. BUT! Change is in the wind, because just last week, I won something fair and square: Food Gal’s Full Circle giveaway, several weeks’ worth of fresh, local fruits, veggies and gourmet grocery items delivered right to my door by Full Circle Farms. In excellent Food Gal tradition, the contest required submitting a personal anecdote. Per Carolyn Jung, herself:

“Who doesn’t like receiving something wrapped up in a box? Just tell me about something you’ve gotten in a box that was memorable, special or a complete surprise. Best five entries win the produce box deliveries.”

So that’s what I did (see entry waaay below). Me and five other people. That’s right, I won a contest where 5/6 entrants took a home a prize, but I still won, dadgummit. And I’m enjoying the fruits — and veggies, thankyouverymuch — of my labor. (Big thanks to Food Gal, here, for hosting such a fun contest.) This week marked the first of what will be four weeks of complimentary Full Circle deliveries, and here’s what I received in my “Seed”-sized order (note that this is the smallest of four order sizes):

  • Yukon Gold Potatoes, Organic – 1.5 pounds
    Herbert Family Farm, Hollister, California. 
  • Zucchini, Organic – 1 pound
    Pinnacle Organic, San Juan Bautista, California. 
  • Green Kale, Organic – 1 bunch
    Lakeside Organic Gardens, Watsonville, California. 
  • Green Leaf Lettuce, Organic – 1 bunch
    Lakeside Organic Gardens, Watsonville, California.
  • Valencia Oranges, Organic – 2 each (We actually received 3!)
    Corona College Heights, Riverside, California. 
  • Angeleno Plums, Organic – 4 each (We actually received 5! Check them out in Garlic Chicken with Plums)
    Nicholas Family Farms, Orange Cove, California.

Now, the awesome thing about Full Circle’s delivery program is that you can completely customize each week’s order to include the produce of your liking. For example, tomatoes are the hub’s kryptonite, so we swapped those out with kale (green smoothies are going OFF in this house, yo). You can also change the size of your order from week to week or postpone deliveries for an extended period of time, which is especially handy in the summer when vacation schedules could otherwise lead to veggies simmering in the front porch sun. And the price? Very reasonable. While I won, muhahaha, and therefore paid $Free.99 for my first shipment, the going rate for a Seed order containing all of the above, including delivery, is just $20.95. Plus, you can kill all sorts of birds with one stone by adding jams, jellies, pickles, grassfed meats, sustainable seafood, spices, bake-at-home breads, yogurts, fresh tofu — you name it — to your order at a la carte.

Pretty rad, right?

So now we get to quality. And it’s spot-on. Each delivery is hand-packed in a compostable/recyclable box that uses smart dividers to protect leafy greens from bumbly potatoes, etc. Ours arrived in pristine condition, with the exception of the kale being ever so slightly wilted (nothing a quick ice bath couldn’t fix) — and the freshness is impressive. The plums (we cooked with them and ate them out of hand) were sweet and slightly crisp, the lettuce perky, the zucchini slim, unmarred and tender. I’ve not yet cooked the potatoes, but I’ve got high hopes based on the fact that they’re potatoes and, short of seeing what they shouldn’t with their beady little eyes, they can do no wrong.

In sum, I might just be sold on Full Circle. Granted, I love supporting our local City Limits Urban Farm and relishing in the weekly bounty we receive June-September, but it will be nice to have a fresh produce delivery program to take us through the fall and into the holiday season. And with the option of adding artisan groceries to any order, I can even see picking up a few Christmas gifts along with future orders, which just screams efficiency.

Love. That.

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Oh, you’re still reading. Well then, why not check out the entry that won this spectacular Full Circle produce delivery? True story:

My best “in a box” story: When I was six, I was incredibly attached to a tattered bunny-blanket that I called, creatively, “Bunny.” Bunny and I were inseparable, and I like to think I offered him just as much security as he offered me. One day, in an attempt to (justifiably) wean me off of Bunny, my mom decided to strike a deal: I could keep Bunny with me for as long as I wanted — if I stayed out of trouble in the classroom. Chatty child that I was, I came home the very next day with a polite note from my teacher regarding my “excessive socializing” during class. And just like that, Bunny was gone. Or so I thought. Twelve years later, a Freshman in college, I received a care package from my mom. It in I found everyone’s favorite homemade Tollhouse cookies, a week’s supply of Maruchan Ramen bricks & haw flakes, hair barrettes — and Bunny, cleverly clutching a note. “Phew, thought I’d never escape Mom’s undies drawer. Figured you might need a buddy now that excessive socializing is not frowned upon but encouraged.” My partner in crime was back.

Recipe: Oven-roasted tomatoes, aka tomato candy
Recipe: Garlic chicken with plums
EmOn winning contests and fresh veggies

4 Comments on “On winning contests and fresh veggies”

  1. Carolyn Jung

    You deserved to be one of the winners. I loved that story about your childhood stuffed bunny. So glad you liked the produce box. It does get you spoiled, doesn’t it? The way so many fresh and wonderful ingredients just show up on your doorstep like that…can’t be the convenience. Hope you enjoy cooking with it all! ;)

    1. emily

      But of course! We still have two weeks left of our veggie deliveries and are very much looking forward to them. Glad to hear you’re enjoying yours, as well!

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