Reviews for: Bull Run Mountain Farm
By: Nina LaTour (Jan 23, 2010)
I've been a member of Bull Run Mountain Vegetable Farm for 7 years and I love it. Leigh provides excellent quality in-season vegetables. We have consistently received the typical vegetables that you would expect in Virginia, along with many other interesting and hard to find herbs and veggies.
My kids love to visit the farm, see the chickens, take a hike or just experience life in the country. Leigh is a very engaging story teller and shareholders are always welcome at the farm.
I think that sometimes people who join CSAs don't really understand the concept of local, in-season produce and they don't get with the spirit of the program. I also really like the egg and fruit shares.
Anyone who wants to enjoy in season vegetables, has reasonable expectations and also wants "belong" to a farm, will love this CSA! The farm is well cared for and beautiful.
Great produce, honey and eggs
By: Jeromy French (Jan 17, 2010)
I had a two person share for the 2009 season and couldn't have been more pleased with the value. The eggs were a revelation, and we particularly enjoyed the honey. I miss those apples; I can't wait for the 2010 season to start!
By: Erica Hanna (Jan 6, 2010)
I am surprised by the negative comments, so I also wanted to write a review to share my very positive experiences with this CSA. I have been a member for 3 years and plan to sign up again this year. I have friends who belonged to other CSAs who were getting much smaller shares at the same time as I was during the 2009 season, so it probably just depends on who you talk to and when. The early shares often have a lot of purslane which is one of my favorite vegetables!
I don't want my CSA share to be packaged into disposable bags just to make things convenient. I like that we line up with our large totes and supply any smaller bags that we might like. I use cotton bags for greens and just throw the rest all in the big tote. I like getting to look through what is available and pick out my own items. Other people might prefer a box with each item picked out and placed in there for them, and there is nothing wrong with that. It is just a matter of knowing what you want and making sure that is what will be provided.
One exception is that I liked that this year Leigh went to picking out the tomatoes for us. I think that helped to cut down on the squished ones, and I think that I got more tomatoes than ever in 2009. I think the tomatoes that I get in my CSA are far superior to the ones that I get in the store, so I don't mind that I have to be careful with them.
I got the fruit share one year (2008) and was overwhelmed with the number of apples and peaches, so I didn't get it again. I have only a small under-the-counter fridge, so I couldn't just make a bunch of applesauce, peach sauce, or peach salsa to eat later. If I had a larger fridge, I would love being able to make the summer's fruit into something delicious to eat all winter. There definitely wasn't a lack of fruit that year!
Not every CSA is right for every person, but I think it is important to research first so that your expectations are calibrated to what the farmer plans to provide, both vegetable and experience-wise.
Bull Run Farms 2009
By: Burt Wagner (Nov 22, 2009)
This was my first year as a CSA customer. While I really enjoyed the CSA concept, I was a little less than impressed with Bull Run Farms.
As others have posted, the vegetables were never washed, and the variety was less than what I expected. The quality of vegetables, particularly tomatoes, weren't very impressive. They were small, often not ripe, and frequently bruised. Every week, I threw away half of the peaches I was given because they were bruised beyond usability.
I understand 2009 wasn't the best year in terms of weather. I did see, however, that vegetables at local farmers markets, were of far superior size and quantity to what was provided by the CSA throughout the entire year.
Yes, Leigh is a nice guy, and his newsletter was enjoyable reading. At the end of the day, however, I'm paying him for the quantity, quality and variety of produce. I was less than impressed.
By: Maura Collins (Aug 5, 2009)
I wanted to write this review simply to respond to all those who expressed disappointment, since I have been very pleased with the vegetables from Bull Run.
According to all accounts, the weather this year has been pretty crazy. In past years, the bounty has been greater but part of the CSA deal is risk sharing. That said, we still manage to get delicious veggies and herbs every week. I can't comment on why other CSA farms are harvesting vegetables at much different times, but so far the CSA vegetables have differed very little from what is listed on the farm's website for past years. People should check this out before committing.
The farmers also offer a lot of opportunities to visit and be involved in the farm. It is a wonderful experience and I highly recommend it. Leigh is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about farming, and very easy to talk with.
All around, the CSA has been a great experience, and I'm sorry that others have been disappointed.
By: Astrid Bella (Jun 24, 2009)
I've only been with this CSA for a couple weeks, so things may improve...but right now, it's really really bad.
Leigh Hauter runs one of the biggest CSAs in the DC area. Apparently, he manages this feat by never bothering to weed, fertilize, or wash his vegetables. There are other CSAs in the area wash and bag their vegetables. I have a friend who is a member of another CSA and her baby onions are washed and bunched, and ten times the size of what I got from Leigh.
My friend has already gotten corn, beans, peas, summer squashes, full sized heads of lettuce, and full size beets from her shares. From my 3 shares so far, I've gotten a few garlic scapes, a couple unwanted herb plants, pitiful baby onions that look like scallons, a handful of basil, some pakchoi, and what amounts to maybe 2 pounds of weedy and wilty greens.
If the produce does not improve soon, I will stop picking up shares and shop at the Alexandria farmer's market instead.
By: Heather (Apr 8, 2009)
We subscribed for a full share, but hardly ever got enough vegetables for a single side dish. We got a broccoli head the size of ping pong ball. Really? And that was the only time we got broccoli. I understand yeild my vary, but I still ended up going to local farmers market to buy vegeatables. So I felt it wasn't worth the subscribion amount.
A Great CSA
By: Dawn (Feb 22, 2009)
I've been a member of Bull Run Mountain Vegetable Farm for two years and plan to continue. We compared the prices of many local DC CSAs before choosing Bull Run. The price is right. I love that my food is local and almost all organic! The pick up locations are pretty convenient, and it feels good knowing exactly where my produce is coming from. I also like that we're invited to visit the farm often. Leigh keeps his subscribers informed via a weekly newsletter and blog, and is a really nice guy. He's flexible and does his best to accommodate folks. I moved halfway through last season and he was happy to let me change my pickup location.