Reviews for: Hilltop Farms
LOVE getting local organic food
By: Leila Goodwin (Jan 27, 2015)
I think 2015 will be our 8th season as members. We love the convenience since we live near Willow Springs. We like the format of getting what is available each week (all members get the same thing); we enjoy cooking and like the challenge of figuring out how to cook what we have. Because it's all organic, the veggies sometimes aren't as pretty as what you get in the store, but always better tasting! We enjoy picking up our food right where it's grown and getting to know Farmer Fred. And, supporting local, organic, sustainable farming.
For the love of Organic Food!
By: Aaron Tschetter (Jan 22, 2015)
My family and I moved to Raleigh a year ago and I was immediately on the hunt for fresh, locally grown, organic food. In doing some research about farms in the area I found out about Hilltop Farms, and so glad I did.I was on a mission not to buy any vegetables from a grocery over the growing season, and I succeeded! Farmer Fred's enthusiasm for providing a source of wholesome, organic food is quite contagious. I partake in the working share which allows me to actively be a part of the farm and get to pick Farmer Fred's brain about our mutual respect for growing food the right way. The drop sites are convenient and the produce spectacular. Farmer Fred makes it so easy to eat healthy and supporting him in his quest is a no-brainer! Taste the goodness, join Hilltop Farms!
9 Year Member
By: (Jan 22, 2015)
This season will be my 9th year at Hilltop Farms. I've done Summer, Fall, and Winter CSAs there; I believe my husband and I are the oldest members! When the CSA is not in season I forget to buy food, I've gotten so used to Fred providing me all I need most of the year! It's amazing to know that every week I'll have local, fresh (often still covered in dirt, right out of the ground), organic, in season produce without having to hunt it down - Fred picks what's ready and I just go pick it up! There's some flexibility in what you get -you pick your own within the limits on the board each week (1 lb. potatoes, 2 lb. okra, either this bean or that bean, etc). I love the variety. My son loves visiting the animals at the farm, we love picking strawberries in the spring, and Fred and all of the staff are so much fun to talk to. We've done work shares most years, which gives us a discount and allows us to participate in growing our food - what a treat. I can't say enough about Hilltop Farms!
NC Best Organic CSA
By: (Jan 21, 2015)
We have been members of Hilltop Farms CSA for five years now and it is just tremendous.
Farmer Fred is a great resource of information on produce, growing, and cooking. Everything on the farm is done transparently, we have helped in the fields and are always checking out the barn and animals with the kids when we visit. The CSA food is as fresh as can be had .... yes it might still have dirt on it from being pulled that morning (or as a layer of protection for the sweet potatoes). Fred and the family are always giving updates on how things are looking, what coming produce to expect and an honest evaluation of its condition (as dictated by Mother Nature). Being a member of the CSA has gotten the whole family eating foods we wouldn't have eaten otherwise (I thought Boc Choy was for chinese dishes, on Fred's advice I now saute it with a little oil and have it in my eggs ... ). I would really go on and on, but i'm now out of characters..... can't recommend Hilltop Farms highly enough!!!
Love Hilltop Farms!
By: (Jan 20, 2015)
I have participated in Hilltop Farm's CSA for the last two years and have been extremely happy both years. The veggies are local and fresh and allow me to try things that I may not normally choose. I love supporting local agriculture (Fred is the best!) and I love that I have a box of veggies in my fridge each week encouraging me to cook more healthy options at home. In response to what the last customer said, of course the veggies are dirtier than what we are used to seeing in the grocery store. They come straight from the ground to you! Not sure why this is a deterrent :) Everyone should check out Hilltop Farms!
By: Elif Balkas (Jun 14, 2014)
This was my first year to try a CSA program and I picked the Hilltop Farms based on the reviews. However, after receiving the produce for 4-5 weeks now I don't share the same opinion: The produce is stale and extremely dirty. Fred was very responsive until I signed up for the CSA, since then he wouldn't even reply to my emails. Don't waste your money. You can buy the same amount of produce (or more) from whole foods for cheaper and they would be cleaner and tastier and you would know for sure that they are organic. As much as I would like to support the local organic agriculture, it is frustrating to be taken advantage of. Never with Hilltop Farms, again.
Comments on this Review:
Fred Miller says: (Oct 15, 2014)
Well, I'll just say, a CSA is not the right fit for everyone. We just finished our best summer ever with 99 % of very happy CSA customers and record sales to Eastern Carolina Organics, the Produce Box and many area restaurants. Most of our CSA members signed on for the fall season, too, and many will be back in the spring. Unfortunately for Ms. Balkas she started late and then bailed on us after just a few weeks that came along during the 42 day dry spell (1 day of rain) we had in May and early June. She didn't get to experience the bounty that the great rain and cooler temps produced throughout the rest of the summer. A CSA is about the good and the bad throughout a season just as your home garden would experience. We made up for any slow periods with over-packing boxes in the summer. It's all about averages. Also, we do rinse some of our veggies (greens and lettuces) to cool them off from the field heat but recommend further washing before using at home. Picked veggies begin to deteriorate when they get wet and will have a longer shelf life with minimal washing. As far as responding to her, it was a lot easier to timely return emails before the season started than during the 14 hours workdays of summer, but I did respond several times and even called to talk with her. I never had a chance to speak to her face-to-face because she always sent her assistant to pick up her veggies and never visited the farm. Very disappointing for me, too. Oh, we are certified organic, too, so you can trust our methods. We are inspected annually by the USDA and provide a detailed (12+ page) report of our farm practices every year. That validation is the difference in being certified organic and not certified. Sorry things did not work out for her but we do try extremely hard to make everyone happy and healthy as I did for Elif.
Fabulous organic produce!
By: Jeanette Fuccella (May 14, 2011)
This is my third year as a CSA member with Hilltop Farms, and I'll never go back to grocery store produce again. Fred always supplies his members with a great variety of produce and lots of fun chatter at the drop site. I have a 7 year-old son who goes crazy over anything that comes from Fred's farm, making it easy to get healthy, organic, fresh produce into him. I especially love having the "work share" option, which allows me to spend time on Fred's idyllic country farm. I highly recommend Hilltop Farms!
By: (Dec 24, 2009)
I've been a member of Hilltop Farms for the past 5 growing seasons and I love it! Great selection of organic produce. It's always a pleasure to deal with Fred. In addition to a great CSA, he invites members to the farm for parties to kick off and end each season. It's a great CSA and I feel lucky to have found it.