Review for: Treasured Haven Farm CSA Shares

from: Treasured Haven Farm

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Was hoping for the best, left disappointed.

By: Steph Manthe    (Oct 31, 2013)

As avid organic gardeners on our urban lot, we were excited to join our first CSA. We understood the risk we took, investing in the farm through thick and through thin. Unfortunately, even with that understanding, we are ending the season underwhelmed, under stocked, and unwilling to return to Treasured Haven Farm.

Every week, the CSA newsletter came. I anxiously awaited it for the first couple of weeks: excited to hear news from the farm, the produce that would fill our boxes, the recipes that would be shared among this community of farmers, consumers, and enthusiasts. Instead, I came to dread it. Every week, the first three paragraphs quickly became the lament of the week: too much sun, too much rain, bad CSA members at the drop-sites. What about the positives? Tell me how delicious those cherry tomatoes are if you slow roast them at 225 for 6 hours on a cool fall day. Explain that even if you don?t like squash ? try spaghetti squash sautéed with just garlic and olive oil and it really will change your mind. Be grateful for the 99% of members that aren?t squealing tires outside of a drop-site or using profanity (Really? Could we not have narrowed that down to those involved? I felt scolded.). We know there are struggles. We get that. That?s why we chose to support a local farm. But, that can?t be the whole story.

With a box never more than half-full, I end this season feeling similarly. Beets, carrots, cabbage, arugula, eggplant, brussels sprouts, bok choy? I missed you this year. With so much money invested in the CSA, we couldn?t justify more money at the market on vegetables in addition to the staples we?re able to grow at home. I thought that?s what we would be getting: the variety of our brief Minnesota growing season. I know that not all CSAs struggled to fill boxes this year. We had the opportunity to pick up one of my sister?s shares from another farm earlier in the season, and they could literally not close the top. She forwarded the newsletter, as well, filled with photos and recipes and stories collected from their members. It?s what I?d always hoped a CSA would be. Unfortunately, Treasured Haven just wasn?t that CSA. It?s back to the farmers? market for us.

Comments on this Review:

Steph Manthe says:    (Nov 5, 2013)
Peg reached out to me after this review, and I appreciated the response. She provided us with a VERY full box of extra veggies from the farm to make up for challenges during the year.

Peggy Johnson says:    (Feb 24, 2014)
For a great CSA experience, open communication is key between members and their farmer. We sadly did not know of any challenges for this member until this review was posted and immediately sought to find the cause and seek a satisfactory remedy since the regular delivery season was already complete. We now realize we must communicate more clearly to members how critically important boxes be picked up by designated times, and if not, boxes may, or may not, be left intact as business site hosts do utilize any remaining produce quickly so it does not go to waste.... Our CSA has been built strongly on member input. Members have desired for newsletters to serve more as notifications and reminders with a few pics and most of the recipes, suggestions, meal ideas, etc. either on Facebook where members can interact, or linked from newsletters to the farm's or other websites, we will make this notice more prominent..... Through surveys, members have also decided what specific veggies we grow and a list is available on our website as we do not want anyone to be disappointed expecting something we do not grow. We apologized that smaller partial or infrequent shares like this one may unfortunately not receive every crop or variety simply due to peak quality harvest and delivery schedules not aligning, but there would have always been another crop packed in their place.... As farmers, especially with multiple meteorologists in the family, the weather blurb is a key educational component that most of our CSA Families love as it directly impacts the crops grown and veggies received. We will do a better job of explaining why we include it..... We apologized to this member for any newsletter content they felt inappropriate, but it should be acknowledged personal interpretation can occur and context is everything. We will strive for better clarity in the future.... As in anything that happens in life, sometimes to no fault of anyone, styles may just not match, and as such, no CSA is going to be a perfect fit with every potential member. For others looking to join a CSA, please always research each farm thoroughly and make sure all your questions are answered before you make your CSA choice.... Thanks and Blessings!