Reviews for: A Fresh and Local CSA
Tasty, fresh food!
By: Priscilla E (Jul 3, 2014)
We've been participants in Allan and Maura Balliett's Fresh and Local CSA for almost 10 years. We stay with them because the food tastes great and because we know it is good food. Allan and Maura are picky, picky, picky when it comes to their farm. It is a biodynamic farm - if that isn't a familiar term, just understand that they don't use chemicals and avoid all GMO - we know, because we've spent enough time at the farm to understand what they do and how hard they work.
We love the lettuces, beans, garlic, potatoes, squash, tomatoes, turnips, onions.... We also get eggs from them. In fact, we've stopped eating eggs (even the eggs that say organic at our local stores) from anyone else, so it is a BIG DEAL when Maura starts delivering eggs. Our friends love coming over for brunch - as long as we have eggs!
On top of all of this, we've learned a lot about food and farming from Allan and Maura (enough to know that it is hard work to raise tasty, nutritious food).
I didn't know what real food tasted like
By: Natalie Cooper-Berthe (May 17, 2014)
Before we joined Fresh & Local CSA, we had no idea just how GOOD fresh veggies could taste. I once heard a CSA member said that once she had veggies grown by Farmer Allan and Maura, she felt she'd been robbed most of her life. I think that's a pretty fair assessment! The eggs, the beef, the array of interesting vegetables...incredible! My kids have become huge fans of veggies they might never have tried. Garlic scapes are a huge favorite, and my kids clamor all year until late spring when we get them again. Purple carrots, colored chard, Japanese radishes, sorrel, lamb's quarters--nothing I'd have bought, but all of which we've eaten because it was in our CSA bag. It's a delight! And it's an added bonus that we get to help out on the farm, too. They've really taken ownership of "our" farm and what grows there. I'd highly recommend this CSA!
By: Priscilla E (Apr 12, 2014)
We've been participants in Allan and Maura Balliett's Fresh and Local CSA for almost a decade. Over the last few years, we believed that we could buy extra shares, freeze portions and enjoy Fresh and Local's tasty veggies all year round. Alas, we never make it through the winter - the food is too good! So, while we are still dining on the excellent lamb and beef from the farm, we are anxious for the real season to begin so that we'll have access to their excellent veggies once again.
(In addition to the food, we've learned more about food, our food supply, and farming from Allan that we'd have thought possible. He is an incredible resource. Check out his blog - bdnow.org. Thanks to Allan, we've had an eye opening education.)
Fresh and tasty
By: Alex Kincannon (Apr 2, 2014)
We have been members for several years now and are continuing to enjoy the variety, flavor, and fresh quality of the food offered by this farm. I feel good about providing top quality vegetables to my family and the Ballietts work hard to deliver that. We have also ordered eggs, fruit shares and beef, pork and chicken through them. Highly recommended.
Love Fresh and Local
By: (Apr 1, 2014)
I have been a member of the Fresh and Local CSA for several years now. I have been very happy with the vegetables, eggs, chicken, pork and every other product I have gotten from them. It's convenient to pick up (right near my house in DC) and the bags are always full of delicious vegetables. Allan and Maura are always interesting to talk to and are responsive to special requests. I highly recommend joining this CSA
Comments on this Review:
says: (Apr 1, 2014)
Whoops, I meant to click 5 stars!
By: Brittany Khan (Feb 17, 2011)
I had a great experience with Fresh and Local. I found them very reliable and their food to be delicious! They were reliable and reliably good. I had a good relationship with the owners and felt that I could get advice and information about my produce. I recommend this CSA to anyone in the DC area!
Dedicated Farmers Deliver
By: Michael Myers (Feb 16, 2011)
Having worked at the Fresh and Local CSA farm for a good deal of two seasons (2008 and 2010) I feel that I can offer a unique perspective on the integrity of the practices and on the work ethic of these hard working and honest farmers. The wealth of knowledge that Allan possesses regarding the growth of wholesome, unadulterated food has yet to be surpassed in my farming experiences and this is clearly evident upon consumption of any of the foods grown on the farm. The amount of flavor that is contained in the diverse array of crops grown here is incredible, which is a remarkable accomplishment when taking into account how uncooperative the weather could be (draughts, heat stroke temperatures). Joining this CSA might not guarantee receiving brocolli in the middle of the summer (which is highly unlikely unless you live in Colorado where brassicas can thrive in cooler temperatures) but you can be sure that you are supporting sustainable farmers who are dedicated to offering a diverse share of vegetables (staples included!) grown under the greatest diligence.
Agricultural Sanity & Food Security
By: Nick Arturi (Feb 15, 2011)
It is apparent from the few negative comments that not everyone who joins Fresh and Local actually has a clear understanding of the nature of Community Supported Agriculture. Buying a share in a CSA means more than sharing in the bounty. it also implies shared commitment, and shared risk.
Anyone who doubts that the last few growing seasons have represented an unusual challenge for farmers in the eastern USA just wasn't paying attention. From cold, wet springs to prolonged summer droughts, to the regional appearance of novel fungal diseases and peculiar insect infestations (i.e., stinkbugs), the farmers haven't caught many breaks.
(From Penn State: "The brown marmorated stink bug, an insect not previously seen on our continent, was apparently accidentally introduced into eastern Pennsylvania near Allentown in 1998.")
Perhaps in the past this combination of challenges would have been enough to finish-off many of the thousands of small, dedicated organic farmers who remain afloat because of the CSA model. Buying a share in a CSA does more than provide artisan-quality fresh organic food for your table; it is a vote for agricultural sanity, and food security.
Even when a local, organic CSA experiences a crop failure, it is certain that the national supermarket chain can still guarantee to provide what it always provides; stale, nutritionally-bankrupt, pesticide laden, flavorless produce, indifferently grown with chemical stimulants, picked and packed by exploited labor, and shipped-in from distant, anonymous, factory-farms.
I'll stick with Allan and Maura.