By Dawn M. Chiossi
For years, libraries and books have fed the imaginations and minds of kids and adults everywhere, keeping them vibrant and healthy.
Now libraries can do the same thing for the body: Tempting tastebuds, inspiring people to eat healthy, and celebrating fresh food. Field Goods Produce Year Round Delivery Service will bring the succulent tastes of the farmer’s market to customers, offering and delivering fresh produce to area libraries, including The West Orange Public Library.
Since Oct. 11, in a brand new pilot program, The West Orange Public Library has been a pick up location for this innovative service.
Convenient, delicious, and fresh each week, this is an ideal way for people to get produce, plus other mouth-watering delights, without too much effort or thought.
Getting started is easy, and people can choose from weekly or bi-weekly deliveries.
With more than 150 varieties of fruits and vegetables, and dozens of other local products, there is a cornucopia of artesian items to choose from that can be added to the order a la carte’ including: Free range eggs, breads, cheeses, herbs and pastas of the week, butter, honey, yogurt and more.
Simply by signing up and going to the library, subscribers will receive five to eight different types of fruits and vegetables each week (depending on bag size) plus add-ons, from more than 60 small farms that practice sustainable farming.
Bags cost $16 to $32 per week, depending what ingredients are chosen. Included in the purchase will be a fun, witty and educational newsletter entitled “Out Of the Bag,” which will describe the contents of the weekly deliveries and provide suggestions recipe links.
Additionally, the price will include $1 contribution to go to the specific library to support it, and their continuing efforts to bring programs, events and activities to their communities.
Once signed up, every Friday Field Goods will send an email “In the Bag” alert with the fruits and vegetables that will be in the bag that week. Patrons have until Monday at 11 a.m. to decide if they want the bag for that week.
Pickups will be on Thursdays.
The Field Goods program offers a myriad of benefits to so many: From consumers, to wellness in general, to partnering with farms and farmers, selling their unique products to a new market at a fair price, this is a win-win situation for everyone.
The library fundraiser is also a bonus, going to support the libraries. As West Orange Library Director David Cubie states, “Every little bit helps.”
Starting out slowly, Cubie shares that so far, approximately eight people take advantage of the Field Goods Program, but that number is a devoted and loyal bunch and he hopes the program will steadily increase and catch fire.
“The people who participate like it,” he states.
One such participant is Debra Sarr, department head of Circulation Services at the West Orange Public Library. ”The program is so easy,” she states. “I’m lazy and I hate going to the supermarket. The produce hasn’t been handled by half the town. Plus it encourages me to try new recipes.”
Sarr shares how she gravitates towards blueberries and apples. She also enjoys leeks, lettuce, broccoli, kale, any leafy green, and of course, tomatoes. Tomatoes are everything, particularly the heirloom varieties.
Sarr has high hopes for the program, hoping that others take advantage of the Field Goods Service.
“It’s so easy and healthy,” she enthuses. She mentions how others are always curious to see what’s in the bag of her orders each week.
“One of my fondest memories was when we first started Field Goods,” Sarr shares. “One of the first people to sign up was librarian Isabel. Isabel and I did an ‘unbagging video,’ and shared it on Facebook tagging Field Goods. The number of hits was probably the highest we’ve ever gotten for a video! It was fun to see how many people watched it.”
Field Goods was founded in 2011 with a mission of celebrating fresh food and bringing it from small farms to consumers at workplaces and community sites everywhere. Armed with passion and a strong belief of the positive power of food, small business, and helping others, Field Goods was founded by Donna Williams after she completed an agricultural development consulting project to identify ways to grow farming in Greene County where she lived.
Humbly beginning as a company with a dream, an old station wagon, two employees, and 60 customers, Field Goods combines their concern for consumer health and desire to help the natural food industry into a successful venture of e-commerce. They have now expanded to serving customers New York, Connecticut and Northern New Jersey.
For further information or to sign up, visit www.field-goods.com.