Carrie Vaughn

Responding to Deborah,

I am very sorry to hear that you have not enjoyed your experience as a CSA member this year. I appreciate that you have shared your thoughts with us.

Because the season is unpredictable, we cannot guarantee that everyone will get the amount and variety of vegetables that they want each week. The best we can do is be as open as possible with what we have distributed in the past, which is one reason why we post the week’s share on our blog. And we also post the complete results of our member surveys, in the years that we conduct them. And we tell people accurately, that most members tell us in surveys that a typical share is appropriate for 2 adults. Clearly every household is different, and we can only make broad generalizations without knowing how any particular household will enjoy our CSA share in a particular year.

We had several months of extremely wet weather, which might explain the yellowish color that some of the greens had for a bit. The rain washes water-soluble nutrients from the soil, including Nitrogen, Sulfur and Boron. The yellow color can be an indicator of low Nitrogen. As for the insect damage, this is an example of a moment when we have to make a judgment call whether our members will be happier having the item with insect damage, or if it's better to leave it in the field. Typically, we try to pick only the produce that looks appetizing to the person picking it. Since insect damage in greens is a cosmetic problem that does not affect the eating quality of the food, it's a subjective decision.

As a point of contrast, it's worth noting that we've also had some rather sublime items in the CSA share this season, so far. There were several weeks when our CSA members could pick as many strawberries as they wanted, and there were plenty of people who walked out of the field with heavily-laden bags and baskets, without coming close to picking them all. It's a rare treat to find all-you-can-eat organic strawberries in this region. Also, we had some remarkably sweet cabbages and white turnips this spring.

I, too, wish that many of the shares so far this year had been heavier. In moments like these, I am tempted to reduce the number of CSA shares for next year so that each share will be larger. But the reality is that we need to make enough money to make ends meet, and some of my dear co-workers are already working for much less money than they deserve. In our next member survey, a question I will ask is whether our CSA members would prefer to pay a little more for a slightly larger share (and therefore I would need to sell fewer of them).

I hope you are able to find a CSA that fits your needs better next season. There are many in the area, and I'm certain that some of them offer share sizes that are larger (for a higher price). On the other hand, it sounds like you prefer to use recipes when you cook, and you might be better served with the wider selection available at a farmers' market.

Best of luck to you, and thank you again for your thoughts. You are correct, that without honest feedback, we cannot meet the needs of our customers. We will keep your comments in mind as we consider changes for next year.

Yours truly,

Deborah Santor

This is my first year with Claggett Farms CSA and it pains me to make the following comments because I admire what you are trying to do but if you don't get feedback you will never improve.

Being a vegan, I make entrées using primarily vegetables and I find that the CSA portion sizes are problematic for this type of cooking. As an example, I would like to make an okra dish that calls for 1 lb of okra but this week the maximum amount of okra I can get is 3/4 lb or I would like to make a ratatouille dish that calls for 1.5 lb of eggplant but I am limited to 3/4 lb of eggplant. The CSA portion sizes require that I halve most of my recipes which converts them into side dishes or go buy more okra or eggplant for the dish. I am trying to make vegetable entrees so side dishes don't work for me. Needless to say needing to go out to buy an additional 1/4 lb of okra or 1 1lb of eggplant is irritating.

I been surprised by the small portion sizes. When the season first started, I attributed the size to the early season but now the season is in full swing and it has not improved.

In addition, the quality of the food in the beginning of the season was subpar. Most of the collards and kale were riddled with insect damage and the color of the greens (tending toward yellow) made me wonder about the nutrient quality.

To date, I do not feel that I have gotten what I have paid for.

Mary Woznysmith

I get the email updates with what will be in the share this week, and my husband would like to get them too. Can I add his email address to the list for weekly updates?

Jerry richman

We have a share that we pick up at the farm. We have been away for a couple of weeks and would be picking up a double share this week. Since there is a break we would do that next week on 7/13. The problem is that we will be out of town and will miss the following two weeks and will not be able to get a share until 7/27. That means we will have missed four weeks.
We were wondering if it would be possible for our daughter Patricia to pick-up our share at DuPont next week. This would be a only one time activity.

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