Monday, June 5, 2017

Honey Brook Organic Farm CSA: Week .5 Pennington Boxed Share

We finally started our CSA at Honey Brook Organic Farm.  Well, kind of.  Let's start with the bad.  They have two farms, one in Chesterfield and one at Pennington.  You have two options with your CSA pick up: either get your produce and do your PYO at one farm, or pick your boxes up at a non-farm location and they assign you a specific farm to do your PYO at.

It seems that Chesterfield people started their PYO earlier than Pennington.  And then there was a message that people that pick at Pennington could start their PYO, but non-farm pick up people couldn't.  WTF?  Then they said, everyone can go, but that was on Memorial Day, we already missed the weekend and we had to work.  The whole thing was bonkers and honestly, unfair.

We went this Saturday to do the PYO.  It seemed liked on-farm members were picking up their vegetable shares, which I think means they were getting an extra week than non-farm members in both boxes and PYO. Also, Chesterfield had strawberries, roses and herbs.  Pennington had strawberries and herbs, but when we got there, no one said anything about the herbs, so we didn't get any.

It seems like they've been doing the whole CSA thing for a while now, so I'm surprised it's not more streamlined.  Why all the inconsistencies?  They should be transparent from the beginning that one farm might offer items the other isn't, or that people at one farm might be able to pick up items before the other.  Certainly, on-farm pickup members shouldn't be getting benefits non-farm pickup members aren't getting since they're already paying less than the latter.  Everyone there seems nice and I don't believe these to be malicious acts, but merely the issues of a badly managed and run CSA program.  One way to destroy a program like this is to make your customers feel they are being shortchanged and that all members are not equal.  Hopefully, things will improve.

The equally annoying part was the weather was lovely over the weekend...ya know when on-farm pickup members got to get their strawberries.  Saturday was raining, but we still had fun.

The man at the tent was very nice.  I will say, I think doing the PYO at the farm makes this worth the price.  Organic strawberries in Jersey are hella expensive.  They're about $6.99 a quart, so we picked about $42 worth of strawberries.  All were perfectly ripe and delicious.  The farm is about 45 minutes from us, but it's near the Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and "the good" Target we go to.  I think we'll keep going down during berry season.  After that...we'll see....

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