Hesperides Organica

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. We do not sell at Farmer's Markets.  We do not sell wholesale.  We do not sell to restaurants.  This means our members get the best of everything (and everything) that we grow!

Where do I pickup my produce each week?

Our pickup location is located at 27 Utter Avenue in Hawthorne, NJ on Wednesdays. Vegetable shares are packed and stored in waxed cardboard boxes.  Arrangements can be made to pick up shares later in the week (although some of the tender greens may not last!)

We also have several pickup locations throughout Northern New Jersey.  Check the sign-in sheet for specific locations.  

Or get 10 friends or coworkers together and we’ll deliver to your door!

How do I sign up?

Simply download the sign up form from our website, choose your payment option and mail in the form with a check made payable to Hesperides Organica.

We feel that everyone should have access or healthy food!  So, if you're interested in joining and need a more flexible payment plan, just ask!

Do you take credit cards or paypal?

We avoid anything and everything corporate and multinational like the plague.

How do I know what I'll be getting each week?

We send out an email on Monday (sometimes Tuesday) with a list of what will be in the week's share. The list of vegetables is also listed on our Facebook page each Monday.  However, there is a caveat, 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 to pay for the extra labor it would require. Besides, we'd rather spend our time in the dirt!

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 found a new love of  vegetables such as beets, kohlrabi and garlic scapes after trying them.   We recommend giving any vegetables that you may not like 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 the many ways to cook kohlrabi!

Do you offer half shares?

Yes, we offer two size shares:  a Family Share and a Single Share.  The Family Share contains 10-13 items (vegetables, herbs & fruit) each week and is packed in a 1 1/9 bushel waxed box.  The Family Share is intended for a family of four or a couple who likes to cook several meals a week.

The Single Share contains 5-8 items (vegetables, herbs & fruit) each week and is packed in a 5/9 bushel waxed box.  The Single Share is intended for one person or two people who want to be part of a CSA farm but with less produce.

What if I go on vacation, 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 many new members this way!)  We can also leave your share in the walk-in cooler and you can pick it up the following week (although some tender greens may not last!)

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 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.

Can I change my pickup location?

Yes, you can request a change in pickup locations for the season as long as you notify us one week in advance.

What if I find out the CSA is not for me?

Give peas a chance! And arugula, leeks and turnips.  It just might turn out that you'll be a convert by the end of the season.  It's happened quite often.  And many members have remarked on how many more vegetables that eat just because they're there. But you are welcome to sell your share to a neighbor or friend.

Are you organic?

No, we are beyond organic, we're Hesperides Organica!  Seriously, when we first began farming and attended our first NOFA-NY Conference (Northeast Organic Farmer's Association – New York) we talked to several other farmers, both “certified” and not and quickly realized that the very term “organic” had been co-opted by corporate, aka $$$, interests (read My Story on the website for more information).  When Walmart began selling “organic” food, we knew exactly what the farmers were talking about.

We practice sustainable methods of agriculture and go beyond organic standards including not using factory farm waste (no Perdue chicken poop for us! Yes, Perdue was able to have it listed as “organic”) on our land.  We pride ourselves on growing nutrient-dense vegetables that taste almost sweet – and not just the corn even the lettuce and spinach!

So, what do you use for fertilizer?

We love compost.  And compost tea (thanks to spending a day with Elaine Ingham, Queen of Compost Tea). Of course, we have an unfair advantage in this department; the Black Dirt is naturally 90% organic matter compared to most farms' 5%.  The better the soil, the better the produce!

We also rotate fields, plant cover crops and have permanent planting beds.  We also use an integrated program based on bio-dynamics to feed the soil microbes.

What about the fruit?

There are very few orchards in the Northeast that are certified organic.  However, we work with a few small fruit farmers who use sustainable methods of growing including IPM, integrated pest management.  Most of the orchards we partner with never even spray after fruit develops. And most grow several varieties of heirloom apples, peaches, pears and plums. You just can't buy fruit in the supermarkets that taste this good!

Can I visit the farm?

Yes, yes, yes! We strongly encourage our members to visit the farm. We love having kids visit the farm. We have several acres dedicated to growing a wide assortment of herbs and vegetables for our members to pick.  

We host several days during the season when members can visit the farm and “pick-your-own.” (We send out an email to members.  Also, check our Facebook page for notices!)  Many families will make a day out of visiting the farm, the Black Dirt region and the Warwick area as there is much to do and see.

If I can’t make it to the farm, will I be missing out on vegetables?

No, the shares contain all the vegetables.  The Pick-Your-Own fields are just for fun!  It’s a chance for members to visit the Black Dirt and see where the vegetables are grown and pick additional vegetables.  We also grow some of the more labor-intensive “picking” vegetables such as sugar snap peas, pole beans and cherry tomatoes for members to pick.  We also plant a variety of several other vegetables so that members and kids can see how specific vegetables are grown. Potatoes are a favorite for kids to pick!  (Grown ups too!)

 It seems that the Black Dirt gets not only into the shoes and socks of members, but also their hearts as many members visit again and again!

Be sure to keep up with our farm on Facebook page and sign up for our newsletters!