Supporting Local Farms in the Garden State: Honey Brook Organic Farm CSA


Dean’s Natural Food Market is very proud to support the Honey Brook Organic Farm local CSA program as their new Monmouth County CSA Boxed Share pickup location.

Photo: David Hunsinger for The New York Times

Dean’s embraces the value and importance of supporting local, but more importantly the significance of supporting local organic farming in the Garden State and we are committed to supporting local farmers and their mission to bring healthy, organic produce to our tables.

What’s Honey Brook? What’s a CSA? What’s a Boxed Share? To help explain, we asked Susan of Honey Brook Organic Farm to give us a little background.

Tell us a little about Honey Brook Organic Farm.

Honey Brook is one of the oldest operating organic farms in New Jersey.  In 1991, farmer Jim Kinsel established our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. We currently operate four farms, two in Pennington and two in Chesterfield, NJ. All are certified organic, which means our fields and growing practices meet or exceed federal organic standards and that our farms are inspected and reviewed by an independent party every year.

What kinds of organic produce does Honey Brook grow?

We grow a wide range of vegetables – from arugula to zucchini! Depending on where we are during the growing season, members will find a variety of lettuces, greens like kale, spinach and escarole, snap beans, onions, regular and sweet potatoes, peppers – both sweet and hot, summer and winter squash, heirloom tomatoes, watermelon and much more. This time of year, our members eagerly wait for our season kick-off crop of sweet, juicy strawberries. A complete list of the crops we grow can be found on our website, www.honeybrookorganicfarm.com, under the title, Harvest Calendar.

Can you explain what a CSA is?

CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, is a type of cooperative in which a consumer commits to purchasing a full season of produce months in advance of the growing season. CSA provides the farmer with several practical advantages, including the resources to buy seeds and other supplies before the first spring lettuce leaf ripens and allows the focus to be on growing crops instead of fretting over sales and marketing.

How does the boxed share program work?

We deliver Boxed Shares on a weekly basis. Each bushel-sized box will contain a variety of vegetables that were recently harvested. Members, who have signed up for the Dean’s delivery at Ocean or Shrewsbury, will come to their specified location any time from 3-7pm on Wednesdays, check off their name that’s on a members’ list and take home their box full of vegetables! There are also times that we have an abundance of crops that we pack outside of the bushel box. For example, tomatoes may come in an extra box, flowers in a bouquet and melons in an open container. Also included in the Delivered Boxed Share membership are weekly Pick-Your-Own privileges at our Chesterfield farm.

We email weekly Boxed Share updates that highlight what will be found in and/or outside the box, feature recipes that use those vegetables and give general farm updates. Our member’s CSA experience is enhanced when they read the weekly updates, our on-line monthly newsletter, The Local Harvest and “like” us on Facebook. 

Can the public visit the farm?

The public may visit the farm during the season; however, we do not sell to the public. All crops we grow, including pick-your-own varieties are for our members only. Only Honey Brook’s members may take advantage of our pick-your-own crops; the privilege of picking once per week is included in the annual membership fee.

To  learn more about Honey Brook Organic Farm or to sign up for a CSA membership, visit www.honeybrookorganicfarm.com

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