Good experience in a hard summer season
By: Karen Chandler (Oct 11, 2010)
As a first-time CSA member, I was very happy with the produce in my box each week. I liked the variety and the quality. Without exception, the fruit and vegetables tasted better than similar items from Whole Foods, Paul's and Kroger. Also, Kathy and Ralph were very supportive, taking time to share basic information about unfamiliar items. The posted recipes also were helpful.
Kathy and Ralph were at times apologetic about the dryness of the season and the loss of crops, which I know I would have been very frustrated about if I were farming. Another reviewer mentioned a week in which her box had only a few items. I think I had a similar experience one time, but every other week there was more than enough. Indeed, the week there was only a little, my family was still enjoying the surplus from the week before.
It has been a wonderful experience to be able to count on such wonderful produce, from the chard and kale of the spring to the squash of the summer and fall, and the sweet and lush apples, cantaloupe, peaches and watermelon.
My family and I had no complaints.
Comments on this Review:
Sarah Cole says: (Oct 8, 2010)
I think it is very important to remember the reasons for joining a CSA. It is not just about what you get each week in your box; that is a very selfish reaction to have in this situation. To me, being a part of a CSA is about giving back, doing your part to promote local agriculture, feeling like you are taking part in a food movement, supporting a family of farmers, and so many other rewarding things. Of course it is wonderful to reap the benefits and have loads of fruits and veggies to enjoy each week, however that is not always 100% possible. It is ignorant to spend the money on being part of a CSA and then not fully appreciate what your money is going towards. It is much greater than an abundance of fruits and veggies. I urge anyone who feels similar to the original posted comment to look further into CSAs and think it over before signing up for one; it may not be for you.
Kathy & Ralph Packard says: (Oct 8, 2010)
Jane, I appreciate your concerns. I know your 1/2 share box seemed much smaller than you had anticipated, but frankly, we were pleased to be able to do that since we've had no rain since June at the farm and here it is, October!. 100 degree weather for 3 mths didn't help any.
In all fairness to Misty Meadows Farm, had you picked up your share boxes throughout the season (you only picked up half of the 15 boxes delivered so far for you to your site drop) you would have seen many wonderful things, i.e. lots of summer squash, cucumbers (slicers and picklers), bell peppers (red and green), watermelons, cantaloupes, peaches, blueberries, apples, pears, sweet corn, beans, pumpkins, winter squash (several varieties), beets, potatoes, tomatoes (several different varieties), basil and much more. We managed to deliver all of this despite lack of rain, [thank God for our irrigation system] and despite the very hot days for many months. Had you picked up your shares you would have gotten all of that too; if the delivery spot was a problem, I wish you had communicated that to us, we could have worked out something a little closer than the one you chose. Several attempts to reach you to pick up boxes went unanswered.
I hope you are kind to us when you talk about us, as we have been to you. Clearly, a CSA program is not what you're looking for.
I think you'll find that even with our weather troubles this year, most of our almost 100 CSA members were quite happy.
Chele Zehnder says: (Oct 9, 2010)
I don't expect my full share to feed my family of four for a whole week - though some weeks, we could come pretty close. What I do expect is to have tasty, healthy vegetables and, surprise! fruit and herbs - that complement and supplement our meals - grown by people I trust and know. I chose to join Misty Meadows CSA because of the added benefit of being able to buy meat and eggs with that same level of trust and knowledge of where they've come from and how the animals are treated. Knowing Kathy and Ralph - and how hard they work, and how much thought they put into what everyone receives every week - too much rain/ too little rain/ heat/ cold - whatever the weather brings - is what keeps me subscribing every year. It's COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE!
Carrick Arehart says: (Oct 9, 2010)
Ralph and Kathy have been great and provided quiet a bit when you consider the lack of rain. When you sign up for a CSa you assume the risks as well as reap the rewards.
rachael fasciotto says: (Oct 9, 2010)
My husband and I have had no problems eating on our half-shares from Misty Meadows. Granted, we are meat eater, so our veggies are used as side-dishes for dinner every night. Not only do we love the veggies we've been getting, but we've been learning some great new dishes to cook. We've never cooked with squash before and now we're pros! If you can't make your half shares work, then a CSA is not for you. Ralph and Kathy are two of the hardest working people I know and we appreciate all of their efforts to bring us healthy, home-grown food each week.
Kara Amundson says: (Oct 9, 2010)
My boyfriend and I also signed up for a half-box, and this was our first year with a CSA. Naturally the produce this year did not live up to what we had heard about Misty Meadows's quality from former satisfied partners. But we have a somewhat different take on the situation than Jane Coldwell. She--and certain others--seem to believe that by plunking down their dollars, they are owed a certaon quantity and variety of food, rather as if she had paid ahead to shop at a somewhat unusual grocery store. But the reality is quite different. By joining a CSA, we join a community--and we acknowledge the reality of the natural world and human impact upon it on food production. My boyfriend and I are professional gardeners and we are well aware of how difficult this year's weather has been on even the urban landscape, where backup resources of water are available. Kathy and Ralph, unlike the operators of several Metro-located CSAs, had to rely on natural water sources and I know they worked hard to make the most of the little they had. As My boyfriend remarked, "We joined a cooperative to support farmers...we should give them money even if we get nothing back."
In future, I suspect that their situation will be the model all of us have to follow. Food diversity will doubtless diminish as the human energy footprint is forced to grow ever smaller.
Richard Brown says: (Oct 11, 2010)
On the contrary, I have been pleased at what we have received this year. Had this drought happened 5 years ago, Ralph & Kathy would not have had the expanded pond they now have, nor the more water-efficient methods they now use to SSSTTRRREEETCH their limited water supply, and the drop off in supply and cancellations would have started sooner. You need only look as far as your grass to see how dry it is--last month was the driest Sept. on record, and the 3rd driest month...AND IT STILL HAS NOT RAINED SIGNIFICANTLY.
I think some folks forget that their contract is not only with the farmer, it's with Mother Nature as well--and she doesn't always play fair. If you're not willing to accept that risk, then a CSA is not for you.