Reviews for: Smoke Ridge Organics
By: New Member (Nov 26, 2013)
I signed up for the following shares for summer 2013: beef (twelfth share), eggs (full share), chicken (half share), butter (half share), mushroom (half share), and vegetable (full share).
I received 0 chickens, 0 eggs, and 0 mushrooms. Of the 26 weeks, there were 8 weeks when distributions were cancelled. No compensation was offered - neither in the form of a partial refund or in carryover to future weeks. The vegetable share never filled more than 1 standard-size plastic bag, and there was only 1 week when the share actually filled the bag. One week all we got were pears. Another week all we got were 2 squash. This was during the peak summer season when other CSAs were putting out a variety of vegetables. Realistically, we only ever got between 1-3 vegetables a week.
There is virtually no communication from the farmer about what is going on and why shares are not delivered. I left this CSA feeling cheated and deceived. It is not worth the money.
I like Lindsay and her farm!
By: Kelly Lee (Jul 15, 2013)
I noticed this farm recently got 2 bad reviews and I really felt compelled to speak up on her behalf. This is my first year and I have a milk share, an egg share, and a chicken share. I obviously can have nothing to say about the vegetable share, but I did want to stick up for Lindsay about the eggs and chickens. We went and visited the farm in the spring, before deciding to sign up for shares, and she had A LOT of chickens running around. It is my understanding that a MAJOR part of CSA (community supported agriculture) is that we are standing with a local farmer through good and bad. In this case, even if foxes get the chickens. She did send out an email explaining the situation and offered to refund the money for the weeks we'd be without eggs and chicken or we could opt to get a double portion when she is up and running again. As the time frame she gave hasn't passed yet, I think it extremely unfair to give her negative reviews here. I want to add that she has always been great at getting back to me whenever I've left messages for her and has answered all my questions. Our milk share has also been available as promised. I am thankful to have a local organic farmer that can help supply my family and I am happy to support her through good times and bad. I will try to update later in the summer to give a final report on the eggs and chickens.
Comments on this Review:
J / B says: (Jul 15, 2013)
Actually, Lindsay offered 3 options. One of which was to double up on chickens for a period of time, but she said she needed about 6 weeks to get them in place. As of last week, which is 5 weeks into her 6 week requested grace period, she JUST received the baby chicks. This means another couple months before we see anything for meat or eggs, and even they will be on the lean side if she has to start slaughtering them early to meet demand.
Kelly Lee says: (Jan 17, 2014)
I am the original poster. I wrote the original review in good faith, but unfortunately I, too, had a bag experience. We never did get any chicken or eggs and in spite of various attempts to contact Lindsay, we never received any explanation, refund, or barter for our paid-in-full shares. We did receive or milk share most weeks, but not all.
Steals your money and leaves you hungry
By: J / B (Jul 12, 2013)
I wish I could give this less than one star. Save your money, go elsewhere.
My family signed up for a half share, an egg share and a chicken share. I also decided it was worth it to drive to the farm to pick up all my nice, organic veggies which were advertised as abundant. However, each week works out to be about $20 for me for the share, another $7.50 for gas. I have had 6 weeks of shares. For a total of $165 I have received a quart of strawberries (total), enough lettuce/amaranth leaves for 2 salads, chives, some leeks, 4 sprigs of three different types of herbs and a handful of snap peas. I have also received 6 eggs. In this time I should have received 36 eggs, and 24-36 vegetables. I have received not one chicken. She said a fox got a flock of 200 chickens in one night (mighty hungry fox, eh?) and then her dogs unplugged the freezer with the backup chickens in them. If I wanted frozen chickens I would have gone to the store.
We were told we received an email that had directions to a farm for all you can carry cherries, but that never came. Just like the CSA informational meeting, and the list of vegetables being grown for the year, both of which also never came.
We have been told that the money from the CSA goes towards her rescued horses. I have a problem with the money for the CSA going towards anything other than the CSA when you cannot meet the demands of the CSA. I have seen the horses, and they are not well fed. In fact, they are very sickly looking. I don't think much of the money goes to them either.
Supposedly, last year there were under 10 CSA members. This year there are over 40. I have seen the little garden she is trying to pass off as a farm. And in that little garden nothing is growing this year. I don't care how tough a year it has been with the weather, my garden is growing just fine. Other CSA's are putting out produce. The farmers markets are putting out a variety. At a minimum, on produce alone, if everyone only bought a half share, with eggs, she would be making $13,000. If you factor in the butter, soap, meat, and other items she makes, this number is much higher. She should have a decent wage, and there is no reason why she shouldn't have a full garden right now!
A true rip off
By: J (Jul 12, 2013)
I have been a member of other local CSAs but the story of this one made me change. What a mistake! We have gotten absolutely nothing of substance. The farmer has not taken any responsibility for the lack of produce and eggs that people paid in advance for. The other reviews are absolutely correct and I wish I had seen them before I purchased my share with this farm. They cannot compete with other CSAs; they do not tell you that in advance and still charge you the same amount of money. The variety of produce advertised is not accurate by any means! Please find another farm. It pains me to write a negative review of any small business but this is the absolute truth.
By: Tara Rice (Jul 6, 2012)
I am a new member in 2012 and this CSA is just getting started again after a year (or two? not sure) off. Right now my family is enjoying lots of veggies from our share as well as the experience of working on the farm. I really appreciate that this farm is one of the few CSAs that offers members an opportunity to work in order to reduce their share cost, since memberships in most CSAs I've looked into are out of our price range.
Comments on this Review:
J says: (Jul 12, 2013)
It should be noted that Tara works for the farm...
Tara Rice says: (Aug 7, 2013)
Excuse me. I am a member of the farm the same as you are a member of the farm. I work for my shares. I am NOT an employee. I do not receive any compensation for the time I spend working at the farm and on the farm website and facebook page besides what I receive in shares, which is no more than you receive in shares. I believe that I am a member with some understanding of how CSAs work and how this farm in particular works. It's been a difficult season. I posted the above review last year when things were going quite a bit more smoothly. I for one am working hard in the hopes that we will turn things around for the rest of the season. I'm just a more involved and invested member than some.
an update on my first review
By: A.T. (Sep 14, 2010)
I'm the one who posted the rave review last April, when we first started with this CSA. I debated for a long time about posting an update, and while I would never want to hurt a small-scale farmer's business, I also felt my first review may mislead people. We were extremely happy with this CSA when we started. As I mentioned before, we purchased a farm share, which buys you a wide variety of items from the farm every week. In April, we weren't expecting any produce beyond the potatoes and sweet potatoes we received. My husband worked far more hours on the farm than was required by our work share. He genuinely enjoyed it, so that wasn't a problem, but he did begin to express some concern that the farm was not being managed effectively enough to provide for all the CSA shares. He worked harder (even building a greenhouse from the ground up) to help the farm succeed. Warm weather arrived and there were no vegetables beyond the occasional baby lettuce. I knew what to expect locally because I was now buying my produce at the South Wedge farmer's market, which is strictly limited to local farmers.Their stands (including one belonging to another local CSA) were piled with a wide variety of fresh produce. We asked Smoke Ridge's farmer about her vegetables, but she only became defensive. In the meantime, our deliveries had steadily dwindled - even items that had been guaranteed to be delivered monthly and didn't depend on seasonal availability (ex. nuts, household cleaners, bar soap) were consistently missing. I was getting upset, but I knew the farmer was dealing with personal difficulties beyond the farm, so I let it be. One day, as I was taking our share out of the plastic grocery bags it was delivered in, I found a receipt. It showed 8 dozen brown eggs purchased from a convenience store that day. I'm sure you can do the math on this one - no one buys 8 dozen eggs for home use. We confronted the farmer, who became extremely defensive. We asked her which items came strictly from her farm, never from a store or another source. The answer: only dairy items. She confessed that she'd been buying many items from Wegmans to try to keep up with the demands of the share. I was appalled. We bought a CSA share so we could eat from a source that could be trusted. If I wanted someone to deceive me about my food, I would be happy to continue funding factory farms. We tried a dairy-only share for a couple weeks. Our "heavy cream" was 75% milk once it settled in the fridge. I wondered if she would also lie about the quality of the milk or cleanliness of the operation (especially important when dealing with raw milk as we were). So we cancelled our subscription. We inquired about a partial refund (as we'd been purposely misled about what we were purchasing), but were told no refund was possible - the money had been spent. I left this CSA feeling incredibly naive and angry. As other reviewers have said before: disappointing.
By: A Customer (Aug 18, 2010)
I recently withdrew from this CSA because I was very disappointed in the vegetable offerings of our basket - we bought a sweetheart share which is described as 1/2 chicken, 1lb pork, 1lb beef, 6 eggs, various dairy items, 2 oz mushrooms, and a selection of fruits and vegetables. The meat and eggs were great and consistent, but the vegetable offerings ranged from a few sprigs of basil or garlic scapes (and nothing else) to a load of plantain - which is a field grass that can be used for wound care or as medicinal tea - and this is in the middle of growing season when the local farmers' markets are brimming with gorgeous produce.
A complaint about the amount of produce in our box resulted in a suggestion that we come help plant some - even though we paid extra for a no-work share. When we withdrew from the share, no attempts were made for reimbursement. Thankfully I remain committed to supporting local agriculture despite this experience, but I will also be taking our support elsewhere.
By: Jennifer Richter (Jul 20, 2010)
Having heard of CSA's for many years, I was quite excited to join Smoke Ridge. I've been a member now for about a month & am disappointed with the inability of the owner to coordinate & communicate in a timely manner. Tonight I waited for 1/2 an hour beyond the promised drop off time & heard nothing from the owner that she was running late. Also the meager amount of produce hardly justifies the cost invested for this subscription. Example: last week I received eggs & a head of lettuce, another week I received a small bag of Garlic Scapes & a handful of loose Chard. I'm done participating with this CSA & will take my support elsewhere next year.