Tastes of the Season

Inspiration for your Harvest Box vegetables

Renée McMillen / The Runner

The Harvest Box program, which delivers approximately 10 pounds of produce twice a week to Kwantlen Polytechnic University students, is an excellent way to have access to healthy, local fruits and vegetables—all at a price that won’t deprive you of that coffee that gets you through the last 90 minutes of class.

There are at least seven varieties of fruits and vegetables in the Harvest Box, and whenever is possible, the choice will be given to support B.C. farmers and suppliers. You simply make an order online or in-person at the Kwantlen Student Association office.

There are a number of options, including the Value Box that’s only $5, the local box that’s only $10 ($15 for non-students), and a BOGO Box that’s $10 and which gives you the Value Box and donates another to a family in need.

The program has been in place, connecting local farms to families in the Fraser Valley, for over 15 years. It was developed to encourage healthy eating habits at an affordable price which may not typically be available to families in need.

But you never know what you’re going to get in the Harvest Box, so is the mystery worth it?

Last week it was delivered to campus with bok choy, three navel oranges, four bananas, a spaghetti squash, an onion, four russet potatoes, a cauliflower and a bag of bean sprouts. That box was heavy!

The best part was opening up the box. Imagine Christmas morning without caring if it’s white outside, and shuffling through to see what the locals are “cooking up” for you out in the farms. Scratch that, the best part was dinner the next couple of nights. Those potatoes were fantastic next to a couple of steaks, and the veggies went a long way in a fantastic chicken teriyaki stir-fry.

It didn’t stop there. Saturday morning we juiced the orange juice fresh while waiting for our banana bread muffins to bake. The challenge was in trying to find something to do with every single item that comes in the box! Does anyone really know what to do with spaghetti squash?

As the seasons change, so too will the offerings of the Harvest Box. It’s dependent entirely on what’s locally available, and that fluctuation keeps this program fresh and original. The limit is not in what you can make, but how well you utilize the ingredients—and as students, that may be the first obstacle. Luckily, there are some easy to follow recipes below that kept us all full days after we picked up the box at the KSA.

Easy, peasy banana bread:

Renée McMillen / The Runner

3 bananas, ripe

1/3 cup melted butter or margarine

¾ cup of sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. baking soda

Pinch of salt

1 ½ cups flour


Mash bananas until soft and minimally lumpy. Stir in butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until mixture is smooth but not runny. Add salt, baking soda, and flour. Mixture scoops easily into muffin tins or in a loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 22-25 minutes for muffins, 55-65 minutes for a loaf. If you’re feeling crazy, go nuts and add some walnuts or chocolate chips.

Chicken Stir-Fry:

Renée McMillen / The Runner

5 chicken thighs, or 2 chicken breasts

½ cup of broccoli, and cauliflower each

½ cup chopped onion

½ red pepper

½ carrot

2 celery stalks

Handful of bean sprouts

Pinch of salt

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. minced garlic

Teriyaki sauce to taste

Brown the chicken in a stir fry pan until cooked. Add olive oil, garlic and chopped onion and reduce heat to simmer. Chop vegetables and add to simmer for approximately 15 minutes in the teriyaki sauce. Broccoli and cauliflower should be firm and crisp but able to be “forked” out of your pan for a taste test. Enjoy!