A few weeks ago I heard about an organization called “Healthy Basket” that delivers weekly baskets of fresh, local, organic fruits and vegetables right to your door. A few people in my building were already getting it and from what they described it sounded a lot like a CSA, or community-supported agriculture, which I had always wanted to get when I was in New York. I checked out the Healthy Basket website, and sure enough, that is exactly what it is. According to the website:
Healthy Basket started in 2001 as a project by the American University of Beirut to improve Lebanese farmers’ livelihood in rural areas, preserving the environment and protecting human health by adopting organic agriculture as a key strategy. Fresh , certified organic fruits and vegetables sold by HB are produced by small farmers throughout Lebanon, closely supervised by the internationally accredited Lebanese Certification body “LibanCert”.
I love my weekly delivery because it’s a fun surprise to see what’s in the basket each week. Sometimes I have no idea what something is so I have to ask my neighbors or take a guess and do a Google search and check out the images to try and figure it out. Normally when I go grocery shopping I just buy the same few vegetables so I end up cooking the same things all the time. Since I started getting the basket I have been cooking all sorts of new things: pesto, potato and carrot soup, vegetable soup with lentils, green bean stir fry, cilantro pesto, and on and on. All of this inspired by my weekly vegetable share.
Some of the things that have come from my basket:
The retail shop is just down the street from my apartment in Hamra so I’m not sure where exactly in Beirut they will deliver. I know that they also have a stand in the “Souk El Tayeb” farmers’ market. Definitely check it out if you love to cook!