Wednesday, January 28, 2009

You be the judge

My experience with the Indianpaolis area-based organic CSA I subscribed to in 2008 is the subject of some heated conversation on my blog yesterday.

A commenter on my blog has stated he or she gotten an attorney involved over comments I made about my CSA experience with one of the area's oldest CSAs, claiming I made "attempts to damage our business" and goes on to accuse me of slander and libel. Obviously I disagree.

This poster requested that I remove the end-of-the-season survey about my experience. Despite my beliefs of the First Amendment and the truthfulness of my comments, I will remove Nature's Harves Organics' survey questions from the post.

However, I am summarizing my responses here, because these are my words and my commentary of my experiences of the 2008 season with this particular CSA.

  • The organic CSA went beyond my expectations in providing shitake mushrooms, which was not listed on the original listing of produce for 2008.
  • I enjoyed the recipes provided and would have used them more if we had larger amounts of certain types of produce in the featured recipes.
  • I felt that at times we could have had better instructions on identifying produce. I stand by this due to my cilantro cooking disaster and to my frustrations in trying to identify the various greens.
  • We had some challenges due to the crazy early summer weather, which impacted the produce selection for farmers in Indiana. I felt that I had too many tomatoes, peppers and lettuces as a result.
  • I felt that at times the variety and quantity wasn't what I had expected.
  • I did feel the pick up was convenient.
  • Many of the items promised were never delivered* or were not delivered in usable quantities for the recipes. I signed up for this CSA because of the distinct variety promised and felt that didn’t happen for our family.
    * These included: arugula, beets, thyme, parsley, lavender, mint, chamomile, garlic chives, kohlrabi, leeks, kale, melons.

You can read my back posts on the 2008 CSA season here. I encourage everyone who is considering CSA participation to research a variety of sources when making a decision.

As I stated on my blog earlier today, these are challenging times. 50,000 people lost their jobs in one day alone, according to our local paper. Our state's unemployment is 8.2 percent, one of the worst in the nation. More than a quarter of a million Hoosiers are unemployed.

I think it is a sad statement that a local CSA is threatening an attorney at a former customer because their business is down, given the challenges of today's economy.

Written later Jan. 28: I am deleting references to this CSA's name. I am tired of the bullying and the name-calling by this particular person. I offered to compromise with a written Q&A with their article to educate people on the challenges of running a CSA and organic farming and was told that the "proposal is inadequate." I feel as if I am being threatened by their representatives with legal action. Thank you, CSA representatives, for ruining my perception of your CSA operations in less than 48 hours. The funny thing is, I'd planned to re-sign up once my husband found work. I am glad to know there are many, many other options from which to choose.

1 comment:

Corie said...

You are absolutely in the right here. Don't let these bullies bully you. He/she (for simplicity's sake, we'll say he) is ticked off about his business' failure and is looking for a scapegoat. I highly doubt that one blog post is causing his troubles. It sounds like, based on your experiences, there are a number of reasons it's failing. And you have a right to share your opinion. You're not purposely trying to slander this business. You're sharing an honest experience. Let him waste his money on an attorney (if in fact that's true). A good attorney would have advised him he doesn't have a case given your rights. Don't worry...this won't go far. I hope this person loses some sleep over the way he's treating you. Sounds like he needs a new business and a course in stress management. Rest easy, girl. Stick to your guns.

PS I see there are several additional posts since this one. I'll try to catch up...but it will have to be later! Got to get back to work!