Author Archive

Volunteer Spotlight: Lara M. in St. Joseph, Missouri

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Lara M. has long been the face of Bountiful Baskets in Missouri and Arkansas where she is the Volunteer Area Coordinator.  She went out on a limb driving quite a ways to train and get her food and now she has a Bountiful Baskets site right in her hometown of St. Joseph.  She is perhaps one of the kindest hearted most encouraging women to work with.  As all mother’s of nine must she has a kind word handy always.  We really appreciate that and bet you do too!

When/ how did you begin participating with Bountiful Baskets?

Enough for a family of 11!

I first heard of Bountiful Baskets in the spring of 2012 and there were zero sites in my entire state.  It took a couple of months but I finally convinced my husband that travelling almost 3 hours, one direction, to another state to train would be worth our while.  We contributed for our first baskets in July, 2012 and have appreciated each and every one!

Why did you become a Site Coordinator?

Our city wasn’t aware of Bountiful Baskets at the closest site was 2-3 hours away.  I wanted the co-op and realized that to make that happen, I would have to bring it here.

What is your favorite part about Bountiful Baskets?

Obtaining healthy REAL foods to feed my family at a price that makes sense!

What is your favorite part about volunteering/running a site?

Meeting all my participants and sharing REAL food with them all.  I just LOVE when participants ask me how they can use an item they have never tried before but love it even more when they return to tell me how their lives are changing, in very positive ways, because of their participation.

Tell us a little about your site & your co-Volunteer Site Coordinator.

Our city graciously allows us to use the local Sports Complex and the folks there are extremely accommodating.  All the employees are welcoming and a couple have even become participants.

My back-up site coordinator is Connie Thompson, a long time area resident.  She always has a smile for our participants and a positive attitude.  I am blessed to have her to rely on!

What makes your site fun – or unique?

My volunteers!  It is often the highlight of my week to have that hour before pick-up to chat with them and talk about what we all enjoy: fresh produce!  We marvel over each and every case, talk about how we plan to fix things, and dream of what might be offered the next distribution.

What’s the craziest or silliest thing that has happened to you or at your site during baskets?

Probably the day my grandson was baptized.  I had set the time for right after baskets but my phone rang non-stop during the entire distribution because the godparents had TWO flat tires on their way and had to turn around to get new tires which made me have to reschedule the baptism *in the middle of distribution.*  My AWESOME volunteers made it happen though and he was baptized later that evening AFTER I had time to return home and put all my yummy produce away!

Any weird basket dreams you’d like to share?

I haven’t had any but my oldest daughter has.  Numbers aren’t her thing and she once dreamed she kept putting out baskets but it was never the right number of baskets so she kept counting them over, and over, and over, and over, and….

How has BB changed your life?

The co-op has literally revolutionized how I feed my family.  I used to spend hours each week planning meals then elaborate menu plans and shopping lists to match.  Because of Bountiful Baskets, stepping into a grocery store is now an extremely rare occurrence!  We eat meat, and co-op produce, and not much else!  Yes, I do purchase a few staples from an online provider that ships directly to my home but those trips to the grocery that I had come to loathe are no more!

What do you do when you’re not doing BB?

I educate our children at home, run a local host site for a nationwide cloth diaper loan organization, and am an AVID knitter, spinner, and crochet enthusiast.

Tell us a little about your family

My husband and I have 9 daughters and one grandson who is the apple of his aunties’ eyes

If you could have 1 super power… what would it be?

To bi-locate so I could get more done!

How many baby elephants did you contribute for last April?

Zero, but my 10yo begged me to max on them.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I don’t think the average participant truly realizes how much of themselves Sally & Tanya have poured into this endeavor or how committed they are to the cause of benefitting families, one dinner table at a time.

Potato Fennel Cheese Soup

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Tuesdays are particularly fun at our house!  There’s piano lessons, and of course it is produce ordering night.  This particular Tuesday was a special sort of challenge.  It involved fence defying goats, hopping fences after them, trudging through recently irrigated muddy mosquito filled pastures, getting the little Ms. Special Pants, Long lost bucking bronco, rodeo Jersey Family Milk Cow in the corral without a rope because I didn’t remember it as I dropped my shade structure project and ran to the back of the pasture after the goats.  It was fun!

I got home and quickly looked in the fridge and threw together a soup with everything but the kitchen sink.  It was AMAZING!  There’s not a drop left and the house smells so good that when the Mr. gets home from the airport he will look at me with puppy dog eyes even though he already ate dinner. (more…)

Dehydrated Onion and Herb Powder

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Look at all those herbs in your Italian pack and Stew Pack!  Do you find that you use a bit of each and then run out of ideas?  Never again my friend!

Beef prices are on the rise and roasts being the most affordable option you can combine that with your left over Italian pack herbs or Stew Pack Herbs and your Onion Pack and amazingly delicious things will result!  Use whatever herbs you can fresh, and then dehydrate the rest (either in a dehydrator or in your oven or hanging in a dark closet) and mix with dehydrated onion, dehydrated garlic, salt, and blend into powder and voila!  You have a delicious meat rub.

The great thing about a meat rub is it is largely flexible in composition so whatever you don’t use fresh will work swimmingly.  I used Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary, and Parsley in mine and it worked out great on a crock potted chuck roast turned pot roast with celery, that fennel that needed to be used, carrots, and potatoes.   If you had a lot of basil in yours you could do the same but perhaps use zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes and serve over pasta!




Meat Rubs from your Herbs


  • Your choice of fresh
  • Parsley
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Tarragon
  • 2 Onions
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp Salt


  1. Dehydrate left over fresh herbs, onion and garlic (make sure they are super dry!)
  2. Put in blender
  3. Combine with salt
  4. Blend until a fine powder
  5. Store in a jar/ziplock
  6. Roll meat in it prior to cooking
  7. You may use this to season vegetables!

Volunteer Spotlight: Trisha S. in Herriman, Utah

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Trish S. – Volunteer Site Coordinator at Herriman Fire Station

When/ how did you begin participating with Bountiful Baskets?

I first heard of Bountiful Baskets in 2009, on a couponing website. I started participating that Fall even though the closest pick up site was 15 miles away from my house. And I have been participating ever since.

Why did you become a Site Coordinator?

To be honest, I did it mostly to have a site near me! But also to be a part of something that brought so much to people’s lives. Healthy eating is important to me and I was always hearing people complain about how expensive fresh produce is. This solves that problem for people!

What is your favorite part about Bountiful Baskets?

I love that just by contributing for a basket I have essentially automated the fresh produce in our home. I don’t have to really think too much about it. Just pick it up and then find great ways to use it.

What is your favorite part about volunteering/running a site?

I have really enjoyed getting to know our regular volunteers and meeting new people. I love it when we get new participants and they just look so excited when they come for their first pick up.

What are your favorite basket items?

Mangoes, Brussels sprouts, berries and asparagus.

Tell us a little about your site & your co-Volunteer Site Coordinator.

My co-Volunteer Site Coordinator, Mollie, and I take turns running the site each week and cover for each other for vacations and such. We also each volunteer when it’s not our turn to be the VSC. She and her family have become our friends and I look forward to the time we get to work together each weekend. We run our site out of a beautiful new firestation building right around the corner from my house. We have a nice indoor space in the Winter and a great outdoor space, in the parking lot, in the Summer. The site is in a great location where we can enjoy pretty sunrises every Saturday morning. And we LOVE our firefighter hosts, they are always asking if there is anything they can do for us. They are so accommodating.

What makes your site fun – or unique?

We have a really good core of regular volunteers who enjoy showing new volunteers the ropes. And we get to run our site in a beautiful building with a view of gorgeous sunrises every Saturday morning.

What’s the craziest or silliest thing that has happened to you or at your site during baskets?

We must not be very crazy or silly because I can’t think of anything. ha! I think our participants appreciate that we are friendly and get the distribution done quickly so they can get on with their weekends.

Any weird basket dreams you’d like to share?

I don’t have too many basket dreams anymore. I used to dream that the cases of produce were being unloaded and they just kept coming and coming and coming, like clowns out of a tiny car!

How has BB changed your life?

It has made adding lots of fresh produce to our diets a no-brainer.

What do you do when you’re not doing BB?

I am the committee chair for our city’s community garden. That keeps me busy during the summer. And I enjoy making art and spending lots of time with our large and growing family.

Tell us a little about your family

My husband and I have 7 kids. 6 daughters and a son. Five of them are grown and have families of their own. We have a dozen or so grandkids, with some fluctuation for our “bonus” foster grandkids.

If you could have 1 super power… what would it be?

Teleportation. I’ve got so many places to go and things to see and so little time!

How many baby elephants did you contribute for last April?

None. lol

Anything else you’d like to share?

We might not be as silly and goofy as some of the Volunteer Site Coordinator’s at sites near us, or our VERY energetic and delightful Volunteer Area Coordinator, but we really care about our participants and we try to give them a quick distribution and a friendly start to their Saturday morning.

Volunteer Spotlight: Heather S. in West Valley City, Utah

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

The Valley Fair Mall Site of Bountiful Baskets is in West Valley City, new Salt Lake City, Utah.  Heather Shafer is so amazing and we would love to let you get to know her!

Heather S. – Volunteer Site Coordinator at Valley Fair Mall

When/ how did you begin participating with Bountiful Baskets?
I had heard about Bountiful Baskets several years back, but at the time, there weren’t that many sites, and I was unwilling to get up at 6:00 am and drive 30 miles to go get my produce (little did I know what I’d be doing a few years later!!) I started in February of 2011 when one of my neighbors shared on Facebook her Bountiful Baskets haul…I figured I’d look into it again, and thankfully there were more sites and closer to me! I officially became a VSC in June of 2013.

Why did you become a Site Coordinator?
I was volunteering almost every week anyway, so I figured being a Site Coordinator wouldn’t be *that* much more work! Also, one of the Site Coordinators was moving away and needed to find a replacement, so it just worked out!

What is your favorite part about Bountiful Baskets?
Oh my…what ISN’T my favorite part? Ok…maybe the getting up at 5:30am part, but seriously, Bountiful Baskets has great produce and their other products like the wraps, the bread and the oil are all such fabulous deals!

Want to have fun while making lunch?

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

This “game” is the classic parent trick of “I’ll slice the pie you can pick the slice!“   The kids love the autonomy and you love watching them make great choices.

There’s a sample, and then a blank so you can choose things you have in the refrigerator.  You can also laminate and use dry erase markers to reuse, or just print a new one when you run out of things.

Click this link to get to our Fun Lunch Maker

Sally & Tanya

Brussels Sprouts and Parmesan Frittata

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

My chickens have an incredible ability to produce more eggs than we can eat at breakfast, so we are constantly on the lookout for dinner recipes that have the ability to use a ton of eggs!  This recipe fits the bill, and could only perhaps be improved by a smidge of bacon being added at the beginning.

Sally’s 2013 Cranberry Sauce

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

2013 Cranberry Sauce
Remember that Sesame Street at the crayon factory?  That was the best to me.  I always have to know HOW things are made.  The devil is in the details!

Pork Roast with Homemade BBQ Sauce, Mashed Potatoes & Celeriac

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Comfort food seems to be my specialty.  Serve this with a green salad, and you have a solid home-run dinner.  The sauce is perfect for family, and is a great basic BBQ sauce that you can add to if you want to dress it up or suit your own tastes.  I got started making my own when I started getting bad MSG headaches.  It’s so simple it’s a fallback with my crockpot when I want an amazing dinner with minimal effort.

Plummy Passion Pack – July 2013

Friday, July 12th, 2013

As you go through your Plummy Passion Pack it’s fun to identify what you are eating!  It’s a family tradition in our house to cut one of each type into small chunks and try each type.  Each person chooses their favorite!  Have fun with your pack!