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Eat your fruits and veggies: Fresh produce comes to OP every Tuesday

Full Belly Farms workerEver wonder what’s in those boxes that are stacked up in the Franklin lobby on Tuesdays?

If you don’t know already, UCOP has an arrangement with Full Belly Farm in the sunny Capay Valley (located between the Bay Area and the Sacramento Valley) to bring fresh, organic produce directly to OP subscribers every week.

The produce is harvested, boxed and delivered to OP’s Franklin St. office the day after it’s been picked from the field. Each box comes stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables — tomatoes, basil, asparagus, strawberries, peaches and eggplants in the summer, or cabbage, turnips and squash in the winter — whatever is seasonal.

Take it from OP staffers Shauna and Pamela Brown, who are long-time members of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. “I can’t wait to unpack the weekly box and begin planning our next delicious meals,” Shauna said. And if you’re stumped about what to do with the fennel or beets in your box, the farm emails you a newsletter with recipes for ingredients you may never have cooked before.

UCOP kicked off the CSA program with Full Belly Farm in 2007. The farm gets a guaranteed market, the local economy gets a boost, and you get fresh produce and a better understanding of where your food comes from, all without having to go to the grocery store. You can even get cut flowers with your order (summer months only) or a full box of a specific crop, like tomatoes for canning.

You can join the CSA program online on the Full Belly Farm website. Boxes are distributed from 12 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays in the Franklin lobby. If a box each week is too much, you can purchase a box every other week or share it with someone. Check the website for more details, including cost and payment options.

The 350-acre Full Belly Farm has been growing organic crops since 1985, long before “organic” was fashionable. It is one of the older organic farms in the state and a leader in pioneering, practicing and disseminating sustainable farming practices.

For questions about box pickups at UCOP or help finding a colleague to share a CSA box, contact Charlotte Strem at For questions about the produce and cost, contact Full Belly Farm at or 800-791-2110.

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