Covered Bridge Produce

News from the Farm

Wednesday Jun 28th, 2006
Smoldering Transformers, Constant Rain and Bad Broccoli

We've received several comments from Tuesday shareholders about the sorry state of the broccoli and spinach they ordered this week. Having looked into the matter, it is clear to me that we sent out some nasty produce. I apologize for the disappointment caused by this lapse in judgement.

First let me remind any victim that we atone for our sins. We adhere to a "Double Replacement Policy" which means that we replace any missing or defective item with two items in a later ordering cycle. Please email us if you have received spoiled produce or if you are missing ordered items which were not replaced by an alternative you selected. We will respond with instructions about how to order extra items to make up for our error.

For those interested in the workings of our farm, I'll explain how this trouble came about. Last week, I switched on one of our coolers. Instead of the reassuring rush of newly cooled air, I heard an ominus hum and observed white smoke drifting up from the 220 volt control box. Steve, the electrician who maintains our refrigeration equipment, pronounced the unit dead and ordered a hard to find power supply for which we are still waiting.

A few days later, a nice planting of broccoli needed to be harvested because it was getting ready to flower. Since our cooler was on the fritz, we stored the broccoli plus a preliminary harvest of spinach in a "cool room" we use for tomatoes. It's a dark shady spot with a dirt floor that's cooled by an air conditioner. However, it doesn't get anywhere near freezing which is the proper temperature for storing spinach and broccoli.

On Monday, the constant rain wrecked our harvest schedule and muddled our thinking. From six am to nightfall, we picked and processed vegetables, but couldn't complete our harvest. We decided to pack only the boxes bound for Philadelphia and to try harvesting for our other shares in the morning. Matters were made worse by a serious shortage of sugar snap peas which required us to pack over a hundred alternative selections. Of course, this caused many other shortages.

Wet and weary, we finished up around midnight, evidently cutting a few corners in our effort to get the truck packed. Last night, after returning from the Allentown and Bethlehem deliveries, I read my email, felt the guilt of providing inferior produce and resolved to check the stored broccoli (now in a proper cooler). Earlier today, I discarded over half of the stored broccoli and all of the stored spinach. I haven't yet heard the report from the pea patch, but I'm getting ready for another long day.