Christine’s Tea Room

Eat Local, Eat Fresh!
by Christine Chen -- November 30th, 2012

The food box (or bag) I bought from FarmhandSeveral weeks ago, I bought a food box from the event held by Farmhand. Farmhand is a Nicholas-Duke wide volunteer group in the mission of supporting local small-scale farmers in RTA/Durham area who are adopting sustainable agriculture.

There are two kinds of deal available:

(1) Vegetarian: veggies, bread, granola, cheese — $30

(2) Vegan: veggies, vegan bread, vegan granola — $20

* Veggies from Eastern Carolina Organics, potentially including sweet potatoes, greens (collard, kale), squash, beets (veggies depend on what’s available on delivery day)

How Does Farmhand Food Box Work? 

Delivering the ordered food box on Friday afternoon

I bought the Vegan box because my Asian stomach is still getting used to the American style dairy heavy menu. The way they organized this is quite efficient. The message was sent out two weeks before delivering, and then orders taken a week before delivering. For example, I ordered on Thursday and got my food box the next Friday – a perfect balance between customer expectation and losing all patience for waiting. Let’s see what I got in my food box:

Vegetables from my food box (or bag)

1. collard *1
2. beet * 2
3. sweet potato*2
4. green pepper *3
5. broccoli *2
6. 9th Street bread*1
7. granola*1
8. squash*2
9. unknown veggie*1


Comparing  Veggies from Different Sources

Okay, as a regular supermarket-shopper once or twice every week, and someone who cooks mainly from fresh veggies and fruits – not can food – I can firmly tell that there’s difference between veggies I bought from Farmhand and supermarket.

First of all, the veggies from Farmhand have more moisture. For example, the broccoli is an emerald-green rather than green-gray-ish color, the green peppers are as firm as a table, and the squashes are heavy and have smooth surface (remember: they wrinkle when starting to lose water). More moisturized, not always but usually, means the food is more freshly harvested, which is definitely a benefit for customer. Second, local food, unlike chain supermarkets that transport food, veggies and fruits from long distant farms, can reduce a considerable amount of energy on transportation, which gives us the second reason for local food: less energy consumption. I believe it also happens to many people that we have heard of and know that sustainable agriculture is now the only right thing we’ve done to the earth but don’t know or have the time to figure out HOW to support sustainable agriculture, just like myself in the past. If so, it’s your opportunity now, the Farmhand food box is an easy-to-reach and affordable way to support sustainable agriculture.

What I Made with the Food Box

Green Pepper, Mushroom and Squash Risotto

Sweet Potato with Bacon and Cheese

Baked Collard with Lemon and Cheese


  1. Tawnee
    Nov 30, 2012

    Christine, your local food dishes look delicious! Thanks for sharing your impressions of the Farmhand food boxes with us. I’ve never invested in a box because I always thought it would be too much produce for me to handle at once, but from looking at the amount of veggies you received, I think I’ll have a go at one next time!

    • Christine Chen
      Christine Chen
      Dec 1, 2012

      That’s exactly why I want to write about this experience, Tawnee. I thought the produce would be too much for two people (my roommate and I cook together) but it’s actually not THAT much. When you try the food box next time, I would love to hear about your experience then.

  2. Austin Wang
    Dec 7, 2012

    Wow it looks great! Can I order one please~

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