Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I buy your produce?
We only sell our produce through our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in which members sign up to receive a box of freshly-harvest vegetables and herbs each week.
Where do I pickup my produce each week?
For the 2013 season, we have several pickup locations: Hawthorne NJ, Ringwood NJ, Ramsey NJ, Union City NJ and East Orange NJ. The main location is in Hawthorne where we have a permanent location where we also sell other local items as well as items such as baked goods, chili and soups made in Hesperides Kitchens right next door.
How do I sign up?
Simply download the sign up form from our website, choose your pickup location, choose your payment option and mail in the form with a check made payable to Hesperides Organica.
Do you take credit cards or paypal?
We avoid anything and everything corporate and multinational like the plague. We do like cash! And will also accept gold or silver, just not your first born.
How do I know what I'll be getting each week?
The pickup is every Tuesday and we sent out an email every Sunday (sometimes Monday) with a list of what will be in this week's share. There is a caveat however, sometimes we will pick late Monday night or even Tuesday morning and sometimes the list can change depending on conditions in the field. As the season goes along, most members get accustomed to the flow of seasonal harvest. Nature always gets the last word!
Can I customize my share of vegetables?
Unfortunately not. If we were to customize each share, we would have to raise our prices substantially to pay for the extra labor it would require.
We strive to grow a wide variety of vegetables and based on each year's feedback from CSA members we decide what and how much to grow for the following season. Many people have also found a new love of certain vegetables such as beets, callaloo and tomatillos after trying them. We recommend giving any vegetables that you may not like or use to an elderly neighbor or anyone who has lived through the depression. Just make sure you have a couple of hours to spare to listen to what life was like then.
What if I can't get there on time to pick up my share?
We are often there at least an hour after the last pickup cleaning up and loading the trucks. Also, we will leave any shares in the refrigerator so that a member can pick up their share within the next day or two. There is almost always someone working in the kitchens who can help you find your share.
What if I go on vacation for two weeks, can I get a refund?
Unfortunately not. We recommend that you arrange to have a friend or relative pick up your share in your absence. (We've actually have gotten new members this way!)
We begin ordering seeds in January in order to prepare for the number of people who will be in the CSA for the season. And we limit the number of members. We also work very hard on our planting schedule to make sure that we have enough quantity and variety each week so that our members are happy and satisfied.
If we could plant in such a way that we could go to the shore for two weeks in the summer, we would!
What if I find out the CSA is not for me?
Tough luck! (Just kidding). We want our members to be happy with the vegetables that we work hard to provide. We do realize however, that the CSA is not for everyone. After all, you really have to like to vegetables and be creative in kitchen (or with the VitaMix) when joining a CSA. (Many members are surprised at how many more vegetables they do eat over the course of the season and miss them when they're gone!) Our policy is to refund your money with a $25 cancellation fee. If you have any issues, please talk to us right away.
Are you organic?
We are NOT certified organic and have absolutely no plans on getting “certified.” (See the section of our website which discusses in detail our farming practices). We practice sustainable methods of agriculture and even go beyond the organic standards by practicing “Veganic” methods which do not use factory-farm waste products such as blood, bone meal and manure (which is allowed in USDA Certified Organic Regulations). Do you think that the large multinationals who sell “organic” had anything to do with crafting this legislation? Hmmm, I wonder. If you're not a little paranoid, you're not paying attention!
Are you vegan?
No, we love meat. Well, not just any meat but grass-fed, local meat. The reason we practice “veganic” agriculture is because the black dirt region (where our farm is located) cannot support animals (or houses for that matter, thanks goodness)and we believe it is possible to have a self-contained farm and limit the number of outside inputs (i.e. manure) in order to have a sustainable farm.
So, what do you use for fertilizer?
We love compost. And compost tea. We had the good fortune of spending a day with the Queen of Compost Tea (Elaine Ingham) and have built our own compost tea brewer. We also plant cover crops, have permanent planting beds and areas to drive harvesting equipment and do use Neptune Harvest Organic Fertilizer.
Can I visit the farm?
Yes, we like when our members visit the farm. We have found that it works best for us and our members to have special days when the farm is available for members to visit. One year we had a day where we harvested extra vegetables for the homeless shelters and food pantries; another year we had an evening of picking sweet corn under the full moon, this year, well, we'll let you know!
|Dan The Fruit Man|