By: Sharon Calkins (Sep 10, 2010)
I decided to try Dawson Farms this year for the CSA. The first few weeks were sparse, which I understand during the spring when things are not comming on fully. She keep putting a new type of vegitation -- which I knew my friends feed to their pigs, in my basket, and alot of collard and mustard greens. I wrote her an e-mail requesting that she not put these in my basket. All the greens and lettuces were mixed up and I told her that it made for a bitter surprise in my salad. She informed me that there was an "education problem" and that I wasn't using these vegitation correctly, I should ask her for recipes, not send her an e-mail. etc. After receiving a stern lecture on preperation, I took my basket and just pitched the 'hog-weed'.
I found that the basket share I received seemed small and dissappointing. Although it was nice to receive some fresh herbs, there wasnt enough salad greens, nor where the baskets planned so that you could cook things together. I believe that in 8 weeks I got 1 green pepper and mostly collard, mustard greens and kale. I liked getting fresh eggs, but paying $350 up front for 1/2 share, it was too costly for the eggs and fresh herbs. I had to continually go to a local Farmer's Market to get salad greens -- lettuce, romaine, decent tomatos, yellow squash. I never did receive any squash from her. I got more tomatos and lettuce out of my own garden than what I got from the farm!
Things were okay for a while, but the share was small and dissappointing. I had some circumstances beyond my control and was unable to make it for pickup for 2 weeks in a row. I showed up the 3rd week and she was angry at me and told me that she didn't have a basket ready for me because I didn't show up for 2 weeks and didn't contact her, which she reminded me I "signed a contract" to contact her if I couldn't pick it up. I was stunned by her reaction and asked when she would have a basket ready. I apologized for not contacting her and didn't understand why she was so upset with me. She told me "don't start with an attitude".... I told her that she already had my money (which was paid upfront), so it wasn't any more cost to her to prepare a basket -- she could split it up later. I told her that I was done with her farm, she won, she had my money and I wont be coming back. This was a very unpleasant experience with someone that I paid $350 to for a summer worth of fresh veggetables. This person could not handle feedback from a customer about what I was looking for in my basket, (more salad stuff, less bitter stuff), and she lost this customer because of it.
Although I support CSA mentally, emotionally and spiritually, I can no longer support it financially. This is the second farm that I have tried, and haven't felt I got my money's worth. I can go to a local Farm Market and have my pick of veggetables.