Reviews for: Karl's Farm
Love Karl's Farm Veggies!
By: Debra Pence (Nov 14, 2019)
I've been enjoying Karl's Farm veggies since 2016. The shares are generous, the produce is economical, diverse and always tasty! The half share subscription (for a 1-2 person household) is a perfect size to ensure fresh, in season salads and meals with enough to spare to freeze and ferment some for later in the winter! Karl's farm is a wonderful resource for locally grown, healthy and tasty fresh veggies and eggs!
A Life-Changing Experience
By: Catharin Dalpino (Nov 25, 2015)
We have just finished our 7th year as participants in the Karl's Farm CSA and signed up for an 8th. Over the years we have written about the advantages of CSA's for urban dwellers - from better health to increasing culinary confidence. It is also a unique opportunity to get a glimpse of the wonders and difficulties of farming. Vegetables picked and eaten the same day are the other side of the moon (the better side) from even the most "perfect" produce at Whole Foods or Dean and DeLuca. Eggs with bright yolks make those in supermarket cartons seem like pale imitations - literally. But this year I came to appreciate Karl and Paula's ability to overcome obstacles that the urban consumer would otherwise never know about, and overcoming them gracefully, from hens that don't feel like laying to trucks that decide not to run. And yet every week, a full box of delicious vegetables and eggs would arrive at the door on schedule without fail.
Freshly Harvested Veggies - Delivered
By: Kathleen Dwyer (Feb 5, 2015)
We have been with Karl's Farm for the past 6 years, and we are looking forward to starting the 7th this spring! What originally stood out to us as we looked at different CSAs was that Karl's offered a home delivery option, and this continues to work out really well for us. Once a week for 28 weeks, we come home to a box of vegetables that had just been harvested earlier that day. Over the years we have found things that we really like to do with all of the vegetables that are typically on the planting list. (Never in my life did I think that I would be so excited about Fridays in the spring and fall because it means radishes!) Every year there are some new veggies or varieties to discover, as well. Many of the vegetables lend themselves to Asian-style cooking, but there's enough variety to keep things interesting. The quantity is usually just right to get us through one week, with some careful planning and occasional pickling, freezing, or otherwise storing a few things for later use.
A Lesson in Persistence
By: Catharin Dalpino (Dec 2, 2012)
2012 was an historic year for weather on the East Coast: a severe drought followed by a late-season hurricane. Throughout it, Karl and Paula managed (with no small amount of scrambling) to keep our weekly baskets full of a variety of vegetables. The year was yet another object lesson in the advantages of having a CSA subscription: you have a personal stake in the weather and a more intense awareness of the impact of weather on the food on your table. Kudos to Karl and Paula for coming through under such trying circumstances.
Each year of the CSA encourages the development of new skills to manage the variety and abundance of vegetables that appear at our door,and to extend the year beyond its formal December close. This year I learned to pickle and was surprised by how easy it is. We have jars of pickled turnips, beets, rutabagas, daikon, okra and jalapenos to see us through the winter, as well as pastes made from greens sauteed with shallots in our freezer, to use in sandwiches, pastas and soups.
This is our fourth year with Karl and Paula's CSA and there is no question that we will be signing up for a fifth. And a sixth. And a seventh...
Consistency, Creativity - Another Great Year
By: Catharin Dalpino (Dec 2, 2011)
This is our third year with Karl's Farm and, although we had excellent first and second years, this year was even better. As always, each week we got an abundant basket of a variety of vegetables, delivered promptly to our door with a newsletter that described the contents of the basket and offered innovative recipes. (Paula's recipe for squash soup with Thai red curry was ambrosial - the soup has made a regular appearance at our dinner table since.) This is the first year that we purchased eggs, and I cannot say enough about the taste, texture and appearance of fresh eggs. (Once you have them you realize how anemic - and old - supermarket eggs are.) We bought eggs episodically this year but in our subscription next year we are going to get them on a regular basis.
There are specific reasons why Karl and Paula make wonderful partners for the urban consumer that I've noted in previous years but bear repeating. They are very responsive to members' needs and very creative in their approach to farming and to cooking and eating. And they make it easy to belong to a CSA with their home delivery service (which the vast majority of CSA's don't offer.)
This year I began to realize more of the longterm benefits of belonging to a CSA:
First, I got a better understanding of what it means to eat "seasonally." It's fashionable to do so (and doubtless better for taste and nutrition) but it's almost impossible for an urban consumer if they don't have a direct and regular link to a farm - if there are shortages in the vegetable supply in urban groceries (because of the season and/or weather) the store will simply fly produce in from other regions, even other hemispheres (at higher prices). But eating seasonally is a matter of coping with scarcity at some times and abundance at others, and I have to marvel at Karl and Paula's fast footwork that kept our baskets full week after week in a year of dramatic weather (an historic heat wave and a late-summer flood). And I learned to appreciate the bonanzas that seasonal eating can bring. We had a wonderful supply of tomatoes this year - a cook's dream - and I finally understood why Mario Batali only cooks with fresh tomatoes the three months of the year they are in season and uses good canned tomatoes the rest of the year.
In addition, a CSA membership will teach you frugality and the art (highly prized in every great cuisine) of using every part of the vegetable. In the literature of CSA's there is a fair amount of moaning among first-year members about "veggie fatigue" but it's quite easy to avoid. We settled into a routine of consigning any leftover veggies at the end of the week to the saute pan or the roasting pan, and we had ready ingredients in the refrigerator or freezer for pizzas, risottos, omlettes, frittatas, pastas, soups and all manner of sauces.
We can't wait for next season!
It Just Keeps Getting Better
By: Catharin Dalpino (Jan 18, 2011)
Last season was our second year with Karl's Farm, and, if possible, it was even greater than the first. Karl's hits all the marks of a great CSA in terms of quality and variety of produce, service, communication, etc., but with a few extras.
Every year there will be vegetables or herbs you've never heard of that will expand your scope and understanding of food (and your cooking skills). Or there will be varieties you have heard of but never had before. (This year we got some lemon basil which was so fragrant I couldn't bear to actually use it - I kept it in the fridge to inhale once a day). You will also learn to adjust your meal planning and your cooking to the cycles of nature - a very useful skill in a number of ways. (Chances are it will be an upward adjustment, i.e., you will be coping with surplus. This year I made a point of cooking and freezing extra veggies. This is not only frugal but also helps in the awkward period when a season ends and your mind does not quite understand that baskets of veggies will not appear magically at your door once a week. In my freezer I have pestos made from all varieties of greens; purees from beets and squash for risottos; and tomatillos and chili peppers for winter pots of chili.)
But the extras that Karl and Paula provide really make them stand out as a CSA. When they introduce new vegetables or herbs they will provide not only descriptions but also recipes. Their home delivery is invaluable for the urban client and there wasn't a single hitch in delivery. But most of all, Karl and Paula see their CSA participants as partners. Before the second season, when things were still in the seed catalogue stage, I asked about French sorrel, a lemony green that I had seen and used often in California but had never found on the East Coast, and that is ambrosial when cooked with eggs, fish or in soups. In response, Karl and Paula planted some, and it was unbelievably special to have it.
When Karl's Farm opened subscriptions for the new season I signed up immediately for both the spring/summer and the fall. Honestly, if I could take out a ten-year subscription I would.
healthy wealthy and wise
By: Mary Wilson (Dec 17, 2010)
I second the rave reviews by the six previous reviewers. I love my vegetable basket delivery from Karl's Farm and can't wait for the spring season. The weekly delivery of fresh vegetables prompts us to eat better. It's fun trying new vegetables and developing new ways to serve old favorites. And, ultimately, I think it saves us money because my husband and I are motivated to stay home and cook the fresh harvest rather than go out to eat or get delivery. Also, I enjoy the weekly newssheet that comes with the vegetables, with news of the farm, or a suggested recipe for that week's vegetables.
Lovely veggies at my door!!!
By: Kristen Grieninger (Dec 1, 2010)
This is the end of our third year with Karls Farm CSA and they continue their remarkable service. I love the fact that we get a good variety of such fresh produce week after week delivered right to us. We have gotten things we have never heard of or seen before, Hon Tsai Tai being a new one this year. Karls Farm along with other share holders help alot to come up with good interesting uses and recipes for such items. The mysteries of farm shares from Karls Farm make for a nice surprise and introduce new delicious and interesting produce into our diet. I loved the sweet potatoes this year they were lovely for our Thanksgiving dinner and they arrived fresh that same week! Karls Farm is also very accommodating when it comes to deliveries and changes in our schedule.
We have been getting their summer and fall shares for 3 years and it's always sad when the year comes to an end, but we look forward to another year and more surprises in our baskets.