Zahradka Farm's produce and workers rock in my book!
By: Lisa Wingate (Mar 14, 2012)
I'd like to share the VERY positive experience I had last year participating in the Centennial [26-week summer/fall] CSA using the Zahradka Farm, and echo the point of the previous reviewer that great produce trumps minor communication issues. It was my third CSA year, and therefore third farm, so I speak with some experience.
We had great produce delivered weekly to Ellicott City in a lovely tree-shaded parking lot. Set up farmers' market style, we were able to select individually from the amazing bounty that Zahradka Farms supplied. It's the only CSA I know to offer such choice, add-on options, and three different share sizes as well, all within my home community.
The scorching dry heat at the beginning of last summer stunted the tomatoes' ability to flower and polinate. Then in the same growing season, can you imagine being a farmer and planting your peppers something like 18 times because they washed out with all the torrential rains we had? ZF harvested in the rain and walked through mucky fields to get us fresh food on Thursdays. Farming is VERY hard work, and it's year 'round. There are ALWAYS jobs that need to be done.
I agree with previous reveiwer who pointed out the reality that what makes it to one's table trumps some communication flaws. We hope they can work on those skills, but more to the point, I can't wait to bite into a just-picked, juicy heirloom tomato, bursting with flavor grown by these sweet and extremely caring people. They epitomize the Japanese saying for CSA which is "food with a face" -- knowing George grew my tomato makes me happy, and I wish there was more I could do to help heal his broken ribs!!! His crew is friendly and helpful. I'd rather have the farm crew in the fields tending the crops and graciously delivering their bounty, than sitting in a "customer support center" that as a patron, I'd have to help pay for...Just saying...
George grows with Integrated Pest Management, meaning most wholesome, best-management-practice techniques, so he only sprays when his livelihood is in jeopardy. True, it's not organic, but it's close.
If you live in the Ellicott City or Clarksville or Columbia area, this is the best CSA option available. Probaly also true elsewhere that Zahradka delivers, but I haven't checked out that competition.
Zahradka Farm's folks rock in my book!
Comments on this Review:
Dave Milford says: (May 1, 2014)
Note - This person is one of the five CSA organizers. You should identify yourself as such so potential customers know who is posting.
Lisa Wingate says: (May 24, 2014)
Here it is two years later, and I still enjoy supporting Zahradka Farm. I get no compensation except the satisfaction of supporting hard working local farmers doing good work, and an occasional stalk of Brussels sprouts or head of cauliflower. I like this farm's produce so much that I did organize another ZF CSA pick up site closer to my house so it's easier for my neighbors to get fresh picked veggies. So yes, I voluntarily encourage folks to sign up for weekly delivery of fresh produce grown by a farmer I have met and feel comfortable calling by first name. I love Zahradka Farm's sweet carrots and grape tomatoes. I marvel at the fresh Romanescue's mild taste. I drool thinking about their blueberries and delicious, nutricious Globe pumpkins! Great stuff! Nothing wrong with crowing about it. Please try their produce through a farmers' market. You'll be glad you did!