Reviews for: Honey Brook Organic Farm
Honey Brook Organic Farm is the BEST!!!
By: pat ritter (Feb 24, 2012)
I have been a member of this CSA on and off for 10 years or so (back when they were Watershed Organic Farm). I started as a boxed share member and am now an individual share member.
There are several CSAs in this area, there were more when I became interested after hearing Mike McGrath tout them on his show. What caused me to choose this one first was that the boxed share delivery wasn't too far away and the share cost fell within my budget. The produce was always very nice, and fresh. They also would put in things that I had no idea what they were (looks like something alien to me) so I'd head online to research and find out more.
A couple years ago, I changed from boxed share to on-farm pickup. I like that much better than the boxed share. One of the advantages is that it makes me go to the farm to do the PYO stuff, I rarely went when I was a boxed share member. And if there is something in the share that I don't like (no beets for me, please), I can trade/give it to another member or, if it is available, put it in the food bank box.
Now that they've opened a second farm in Chesterfield, I am a member there (it's a lot closer to me).
I've heard grumbling in the farm stands on the "lean" years and I have explained to them that I have been a member for YEARS and some years are AMAZING (like the year we supplied our neighbors with tomatoes and pumkins there were so many) and some are not so. Over time it all evens out.
As for variety, I think the variety is great! I don't mind there being so many different strains of the same vegie. We got this cauliflower one year that was green and looked like no cauliflower I'd ever seen before. And some squash we didn't know and are hooked on them. There are also the "warty" pumpkins that we now search out. Sure there are some strains that have too much variety (my only complaint is that the signs for the hot peppers get so obscured by the plants I have trouble telling them apart, though now that I know the Red Birds, I go for those).
I suggest this CSA to all my friends and anyone else who asks. We love it!!!
We love Honey Brook Organic Farm
By: Sparky Morrison (Nov 10, 2011)
We been members of Honey Brook Organic Farm for 3 years now and we are very pleased with the vegetables we get in our share. being a member of this CSA and be able to walk through the fields and pick certain crops is mentally relaxing. The farm closes for the winter next week and already I am going through fresh, locally grown, organic vegetable withdrawal. Nothing can compare to the wonderful taste of honey brook's vegetables.
Another great season with Honeybrook
By: virginia lamb falconer (Nov 10, 2011)
We have been members of Honey Brook's boxed share program for the past 7 years (hosts for the past 6) and have been very satisfied with the quantity and variety of produce received. In fact we split a share with another family and still have a good quantity of great vegetables. Our host site has grown each year, from 23 member families at the start to 46 this year. Each year members are surveyed as to their likes and dislikes and adjustments are made. For us this has resulted in more produce that our entire family likes, in addition to the less traditional stuff like kohlrabi, fennel and celeriac (always fun to find new ways to make new vegetables). This fall we have had an avalanche of the most beautiful and flavorful greens--leaf lettuce, mesclun mix, arugula (love that arugula), as well as carrots, beets and SWEET POTATOES (yum). Although we live an hour away we try to visit the farm at least once a season. My kids (now 9 and 11) love it there, it's just a farm, no "agritourism" or gimmicks--kind of refreshing in our culture of constant overstimulation. The kids happily run through the fields for hours, picking vegetables, flowers and herbs, and are proud to know where their produce comes from. I love Honey Brook and recommend it without reservation. It is a New Jersey treasure.
Decent Volume, ok quality, no variety...
By: kathryn lewis-peacock (Oct 19, 2011)
I love the herb garden, but I can replicate that myself with a little effort.
The volume of produce is good. But the variety is poor. I see the same things over and over and over again. Gets rather boring. My previous CSA (in a different region) had about 4x more variety. I want sunchokes, leeks, romanesco.... not 15 eggplants. I like eggplant, but I also like variety.
The tomatoes are only ok and not enough paste tomatoes are grown. The tomatoes are much better if kept on the counter to ripen a little more, except for the heirlooms.
I have also found the staff to be often uneducated about the produce and the storage / preparation of the produce they are offering. They often do not greet people and seem disinterested in the customers.
Thinking I will try a different CSA next year. Gave this one a couple years to try it out since so many people raved locally. Frankly, a number of the group of families that I am close to are planning to switch. Maybe it was better in the past?
Comments on this Review:
James Kinsel says: (Dec 17, 2015)
Kathryn, we are sorry that you were disappointed with your experience. We do make an effort to provide variety for our members, but that can also be a double edged sword - not everyone likes Mizuna, Broccoli Raab, Komatsuna, Malabar Spinach or the almost endless assortment of greens that could, at the correct season, be grown in our climate. We do grow Romanesco cauliflower, leeks and excellent tomatoes -- don't know how you missed these. Additionally, since 2011 we now offer certified organic blueberries, baby ginger, summer baby lettuce and the best certified organic sweet corn in the area. We are expecting certified organic peaches, nectarines and apricots possibly as early as 2016. Maybe give us another try? -- Farmer Jim
Love this place
By: Colin Marsh (Jul 18, 2011)
My wife and I have been members at Honey Brook for six years. I have been nothing but happy with the selection and quality of the fruits and vegetables they deliver. The staff are friendly and though the place has grown over the years they remain professional and courteous always answering questions and concerns. From Strawberries in early May to Fall squash and pumpkins I have enough fruits and vegetables every week( for what amounts to about $15 a week) to feed my wife with some to spare.
Keep up the good work
Colin and Jennifer Marsh
By: Jess Niederer (Mar 21, 2011)
I farm right down the road from Honey Brook, and I was lucky enough to work there for a couple years. I learned most of my farming skills there. The past couple of seasons have been very difficult climate years for NJ farmers, and I have been amazed at what HB was able to produce, given the difficulties. The farm and all its staff have been wonderful mentors and neighbors!
Not as good as it used to be
By: Jackie Bunn (Feb 9, 2011)
I have been a member of Honeybrook for approximately 5 years and in the beginning really thought it was wonderful. In the last two years, I have, however, been disappointed. At first I thought it was an aberration due to weather conditions but this last year I realized that it was more than that. I feel that the farm has become too big and too commercial. The amount and variety of crops has diminished and at the same time I just don't think the crops taste as good as they used to, especially the tomatoes.
Also this year I found the attitude of the farm manager very insulting and disrespectful and not at all customer oriented. This was probably due to stress but after all the farm is also in the service business and there are now a lot of different options available. I am very saddened to see the changes in this farm as it used to be a simply magical place.
Comments on this Review:
James Kinsel says: (Dec 17, 2015)
Jackie, we are continuing to add variety and have made consistent improvements in quality as our experience has developed over the last 25 years. I am not seeing the loss in variety that you speak of, although I will admit to not doing Mizuna like we did in the early years. In fact we have been consistently adding variety and new cropping systems over the years, such as sweet corn, baby ginger, certified organic blueberries and are expecting our first crop of peaches, nectarines, apricots and asian plums in 2016. The farm remains a magical, sacred place for me - so many elements of life swirling about here. Would you consider giving us another try?
Incredible value/ amazing produce
By: Cate Hartzell (Jun 16, 2009)
This is only our second year as members of Honey Brook's delivered boxed share CSA program, and we couldn't be more thrilled. The produce from this farm is outstanding, and I'm constantly amazed at the sheer quantity delivered each week. -I think my neighbors look forward to CSA season as much as we do because I share what my family won't eat with everyone so nothing will go to waste. There's no way I could buy this much organic produce throughout the year for the price they ask for a boxed membership!
My favorite thing about the CSA (which some people will argue as a strike) is that you get produce you wouldn't otherwise buy. For example, my family hates beets. We would never buy beets, and I have yet to find a recipe that works for us for beets. However, I have plenty of friends willing to take them off my hands. For other items I wouldn't typically buy, I've had a lot of fun finding creative ways to serve them. Swiss chard quiche, homemade pesto (from all the basil!), winter savory marinade, grilled romaine, and kale smoothies (yes, kale) top our growing list of family favorites!!