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Aug 6, 2007 06:23 AM

Say no to Idylwilde in Acton

How do you check your fruit? Do you pick up a peach and check for firmness? Do you touch the tomatoes to see if it's the perfect one. How do you judge asparagus? Or Bannana's, or cherries?

You can't pick up or touch any of the fruit at Idlywilde with out getting yelled at, embarrased and down right kicked in the face by the staff at the store. The man put on a production as if here were performing on broadway, the only thing missing was him dressing in drag and doing the hula! He says "OUR customer's don't want their food touched." I replied, " wasn't licking the food, or spitting on it. I just was looking at it. You had a basket with bad strawberries, I wanted to make sure the one I purchased had good berries!"

I have been shopping at Idylwilde since I moved from Louisiana a few years ago. It was great, I loved it there. I could get almost everything I could get back home to make the dinners I missed most.

But I will not do it, again. Lull Farm is the way to go, almost every fruit and vegitable is grown at their farm, it's fresh, and the owner's,manager's nd employees actually smile and are proud of what they do and sell.

By the way, Lull's corn, my family couldn't get enough! Heading back today for more!!!!

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  1. Wow, I've had nothing but great experiences there. Whenever I'm oiut that way, I look forward to stocking up on whatever deal they've picked up at the CHelsea markets, or from the local farms. There always seem to be platters out to actually taste the fresh fruits...I'm still dreaming of last September's peaches. No one has ever been anything but helpful to me.

    1 Reply
    1. re: galleygirl

      On any other day, I would be right there with you. I was amazed and befuddled..

    2. I shop there weekly and your encounter is out of character from my experiences there. Just out of curiosity, were you picking through a basket of berries? Honestly, I would not like to see another customer do that.

      And where is Lull Farm?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Angel Food

        To be greatly honest, I picked up one basket of berries, my partner said ooh, those berries on top arer bad, so I put it and by it, I mean the basket of berries, I looked at another basket and picked up the top berry. That's as far as I had gone when the employee jumped my hide. But I am with the Bostoncookiemonster, I like to pick my fruit up. I am not going to hurl it across the isle and ask my partner to check it out and throw it back to me before placing it back in the bin.

        And I agree MaineRed, that any time I've ever gone I've been wonderfully happy with Idylwild. This time though, I was extremely embarrased, and truly don't want to go back.

        Lull Farm is in Hollis, NH. (And they have bin's for you to throw berries if you find one that is bad, they don't yell at you infront of other patrons.)

        1. re: SouthernGrl

          I don't blame you for not going back.

          They could have spoken to you politely if they had concerns.

      2. Wow -- that's surprising for sure! as with the other posters, this place is always a winner for me and for our friends that live down the street.

        But berries are tricky -- I guess I would have pointed out the bad basket to him/the mgr and asked if you could go through the basket you intended to buy first -- berries are very delicate and if every customer picked through them they would indeed be damaged and rotten...

        the only Lull Farm I found on a Google search was in Hollis, NH...

        1. Sounds like you were a good customer and unfortunately will not return because of this. I must mention how distressing it is to buy fruit and pay good money when it has been squeezed, pinched, pricked, poked, peeled, pressed and "fingernailed". I like my fruit purely ripe without the ugliness of bruising when it is peak to eat for me. I was at Whole Foods recently and saw a woman firmly pressing her thumb into every nectarine. The Produce fellow told her all of the fruit was perfectly ripe and there was no need to compromise what other people may buy. She had a FIT ! When she stormed away, the young fellow showed me a basket of what he has to pick through and throw away when this happens. Once someone presses into the fruit, that bruised spot becomes exposed, brown and will rot. After a day or so, the Carbon is released and draws flies, fruit flies and that carbon as well as flies with compromise other fruit. Hence the "one bad apple theory". So maybe the clerk at Idyl had too much coffee, threw ot too much bad fruit and just overstated the epidemic problem. Afterall, bruised .. badlooking fruit will turn away customers just as quickly as a forward produce person. And folks may say "ooh, their fruit 'looks' terrible, I'm never going back". And so the cycle goes, that the farm can never win when lots of this could be caused by Fruit Offenders and their thumbs.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Buddernut

            Well, it is certainly true that it's rude to actually BRUISE fruit and leave it for them to try to sell to others, but it is also certainly false that all the fruit at Whole Foods is perfectly ripe. I have no experience with this Idylwilde place. But I'd want to be able to pick up a peach and smell it, or whatever.

            1. re: BostonCookieMonster

              I agree and NEVER intended to state that at "all the fruit" at Whole Foods is perfectly ripe. That would be a miracle on the largest of scales!! It was that particular bin of Nectarines. I happen to love nectarines and know that there are optimal times of the year to get them at their best. And it was a lovely "one area" display of perfectly ripe nectarines. There are extremes to all sports... fruit squeezing, bread squishing, meat poking, even cookie crushing (No pun, I know people who will crush bags of cookies at a bakery looking for the soft one :(

            2. re: Buddernut

              Completely agree with the heavy pressing of various fruits. I do, however, at least pick them up so I can tell their ripeness. There are some peaches I picked up at Wilson Farms on Sunday that were definitely hard, whereas others were perfect. You can tell that (usually) by just picking them up. No need to squeeze or press your fingernail into them.

            3. On a related subject, are there any tips for getting the fruit sellers at Haymarket to allow you to pick the ones you want, and not the rotten ones they slip into your bag?

              3 Replies
              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                smile nice :) I've never had any luck so I don't even of my most traumatizing moments as a kid was a veg guy yelling at me "dont touch my cucumber!" (my dad laughed) could try something like "i'm not going to eat these until Monday, do you have some firmer ones" ...I was shocked when this year one stand let me pick out my own produce...but that was just one :)

                1. re: MaineRed

                  I was traumatized too. My first visit many years ago - nice old guy - I wanted a lb. of oranges - he hands me a bag of oranges - dialogue went something like this -

                  "I want to pick the ones I want."
                  "You can't"
                  "Well, then, I don't want them."
                  "Fine, have a nice ******* day!"

                  Wow...welcome to the bean.

                2. re: Bob Dobalina

                  I'm pretty sure you can't pick your own there. But I do recall (with the caveat that I haven't shopped at Haymarket in ages) that the informal rule was that you could inspect your produce on the spot and hand it back for better stuff if it looked sub-par. I did that a few times and they always complied - not necessarily with a smile, but not with a snarl either.