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Mar 13, 2009 09:39 AM

CSA reviews? - Norwich Meadow Farm

Hi all,

Thinking about joining the Prince George - Norwich Meadow Farm CSA (located midtown east, 28th st. and 5th) and, just looking for some reviews. Last season I was a member of the West Village CSA (pickups were at McBurney YMCA) but, thinking about changing.

This farm supplies to:

Norwich CSA
Norwood CSA
Hebrew Institute of Riverdale CSA
Merchant's Gate / Columbus Circle CSA
Prince George CSA
Washington Square CSA
Stonehouse Seaport CSA
Judson CSA
Harvest Astoria CSA
Farmshare CSA

Anyone have thoughts, specifically about the farm's bounty itself, or specific reviews/experiences with the folks who run the Prince George? Thinking about the individual share.

Much thanks in advance!

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  1. My gf and I have done the Wash. Sq. CSA for both summer and winter. We don't hate it, but we are switching to the Chelsea CSA (Stone Ledge -- same as W Vill CSA?) for this summer. Our main problem is not the quality, it's the distribution. There's definitely a weak link in the chain somewhere between the farm and the pickup. The truck is often late, and you'll get situations like non-veg shares allotted 0.5 lbs of granola when the granola only comes in 1 lb. bags, so it runs out super early -- that kind of thing. I don't think it's on the CSA end -- the NYU folks run it very well -- but somewhere between the farm and the distribution things tend to break down. YMMV.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DistrictSelectman

      wow thanks, that's great info. have you guys complained or tried to address those issues? it is a CSA after all. rough!

      we were happy with stone ledge, it was good, but this location is very close to my office and I figure, why not change it up?

      1. re: bigjeff

        I think the CSA is well aware of the issues and has tried to correct them, but there's only so much they can do. The quality does vary, and as celizbla says, best to get there early. If you have the time, it's definitely best to volunteer. If I can I volunteer more than I have to so I can get the cream of the crop, and I always take the earliest shift.

    2. My colleague and I work on 24th and 5th--she turned me on to the Norwich Farms CSA. I liked it so much that I'm now doing the winter share as well, and will likely add fruit to my share for the coming season. She has participated in a number of different CSA's in the City over the years and thinks this one is the best. Great variety and good quality. We particularly enjoy the eggs!

      I know at one point last season there was some grumbling over green potatoes. It's best to arrive early to get the best picks.

      1 Reply
      1. re: celizbla

        thank you, that's great info; sounds good!

        can i ask, which package did you get? is a 1/2 share (individual) enough to split between 2 people, alternating weeks?

      2. Hi - I have been a member of the West Village CSA and love it. I joined a winter CSA that Norwich Meadow Farm handles (not Prince George) and IMO, West Village CSA is so much better, hands down. I agree with DistrictSlectman that something is wrong with the distribution - it seems like the shares are always missing something or short. Also, I think that the quality of the veggies are inferior to what I've received through the West Village CSA. It seems to me (and this is not confirmed, it is only my suspicion) that the CSA gets whatever veggies are not sold in the farmer markets. The carrots have been soft and mold in less than a weeks time and when I've cut into several of the onions, they've been so soft and brown that I've just thrown them away. However, I love the granola, eggs and milk that I've received. All in all, its been an OK winter share experience but I don't love it the way that I love the West Village CSA.

        3 Replies
        1. re: kaffy

          I've heard similar things about the winter share from someone who is with the columbus circle / merchant's gate CSA (they use norwich meadows); she likes the regular share but said the winter share was not very nice.

          o the decisions!

          1. re: kaffy

            I recently looked up this CSA as I've trying to find a good one for years. I always seem to miss the deadlines. I just want to know, on their site they say you MUST volunteer 6 hrs to receive a share. Did you have a problem volunteering as the day is on a weekday and they end at 7. I don't see how I can possibly do that. Did you volunteer and were they flexible? How was the 2010 CSA season? Thanks

            1. re: jetle25

              Volunteer hours at the Prince George CSA are flexible. The pickups last summer were 3:30 to 7:30, and you can do blocks of 2 hours. As a grad student I was happy to take the 3:30-5:30 shift. If you're working, take off a bit early and do the 5:30-7:30.

              I chose the Prince George CSA because of location, and I'm a big believer that you should choose the one closest to you, otherwise schlepping big bags of veg home becomes unpleasant.

          2. Can't speak to their CSA, but I love the farm--they have the best cucumbers imaginable.

            1. I did one of their CSAs 2 (or was it 3?) years ago and I was VERY disappointed. I would never do it again and I will not buy from their stands in the greenmarket. My issues were with both quantity and quality. They were very specific that the amount of produce you received was based on their current greenmarket selling price. That might be ok, if a little cheap given that I paid months in advance, but worse was that it certainly appeared that we were getting seconds and that they were keeping the better quality for the greenmarket stands.

              We subsequently switched to the Hepworths-supplied CSA operating on East 6th Street. We get a half share and have been very happy.

              4 Replies
              1. re: tazerowe

                Thanks for your input. I'm actually taking a Permaculture class in that very same Community Center. Cheers

                1. re: tazerowe

                  Did you try complaining about the produce quality while you were there? I've been in the CSA for 3 weeks and so far I've been somewhat disappointed. Then again, I have not been picking up until 630ish. Will it make a big difference if I go early? Thanks.

                  1. re: liveforever30

                    I think my wife questioned it a couple of times, but we were picking up from middle men, I believe, and we didn't press the issue, but just wrote them off. To clarify, the quality wasn't awful, but a number of items were clearly below what we could see them selling in the markets. I found that insulting given we paid the same price in advance.

                    1. re: tazerowe

                      thanks for the quick reply and clarification!