|Address:||1 Alstede Farms Ln, Chester, NJ 07930, USA|
|Working:||9AM–8PM 9AM–8PM 9AM–8PM 9AM–8PM 9AM–8PM 9AM–8PM 9AM–8PM|
A Private User
I was really hoping to get out of the suburbs and find a great experience on a "Family Owned Farm" so you can imagine my excitement when I stumbled across this gem. Well, I did the whole circuit with my family and let me tell you AVOID AT ALL COSTS. Before we even got there the traffic was a nightmare. It was like the capacity of Six-Flags was trying to cram into one lot off a tiny one-lane road. I hope the taxpayers arent giving a cent to the cops that have to come and do the farms work directing traffic! Once Inside the person who directed me to my spot (which wasnt there..) had to have been at most 13 years old. Uhhh... yellow flag..? I remained optimistic though and tried to play with the animals at first. Most were uninterested in coming to the fence for us to pet and those that did were met with a mob of people clearly from the city because they showed no respect to our personal space, even bumping my daughter out of the way. I moved on to the pick your own admissions tent... hold your horses there... Im paying for what I pick AND the right to pick them? Thats like putting a toll-booth in front of every supermarket. The line to get in took at least 45 minutes to get through just to reveal only two cashiers to handle the massive crowd they tried to herd into their fields. One of the two spoke broken english and had difficulty answering my questions about whether or not the crops were organic, the other... well, suicidal would be an understatement.. The scenic hayride was uncomfortable and annoying, again more city people made it impossible to even breathe. I got to the fields and the pumpkins were completely destroyed. Worst of all, people were marveling at the fact that they were real home-grown pumpkins as advertised... just without the stems..? What does the farmer just call them into existence? Then to top it all off a chinese woman (I am not racist in the least-bit) was encouraging her son to go around smashing the pumpkins and even took pictures. Then I saw numerous large Indian families actually eating bits of pumpkin setting up their own picnic. How can the farmer let that happen to his crops that people pay for? Speaking of prices. Out of this world, but Im sure any of these reviews will fill you in on that. The line to check out was even longer than the one to get in, I believe it may have even been upwards of an hour to get through altogether. More depressed employees on far too few registers. Its like they were trying to run something the size of Disney World with the staff size of a Chuckie Cheezes. Infiltrating the market was like some sort of delta-force deal. We waited a good 45 minutes in what we thought was the line to get in, but it turned out it was just for the "Homemade Ice Cream" settup. I asked how they made the ice cream, and no one seemed to know. They didnt even have a list of ingredients (my daughter is lactose intolerant and they couldnt even give the simple nod to dairy or no?). The workers hands were disgusting I would not even want them serving me food anyways, but once more three big families surrounded me on all sides trying to place an order so I just gave up. We were hungry, they had a tent that served food but a long line looked to be led by an angry group holding things up so we didnt even bother. Overall, rip-off. No one who worked there seemed to know anything about the farm, a lot were volunteers who probably didnt even know the name, few spoke proper English, and the masses of people that went overwhelmed the amount there should have been ten-fold. NOT A FARM. DEFINITELY A DRESSED-UP AMUSEMENT PARK.
If I could give this place less then 1 star I would!!! I visited their farm today to enjoy some fun time with my family. I honestly had the worst experience EVER!!!! The staff is BEYOND RUDE, especially the security team!!! They need to make their policies more clear. I took my 3 year old daughter to enjoy some time picking fruit. My child obviously doesnt know the difference between a good apple or a bad apple. Once we got off the wagon they literally force you to purchase at check out by force I actually mean harass you and follow behind you to the point where it is uncomfortable.The security spoke to me like i was a piece of garbage and not a paying customer!!! I didnt even have an opportunity to sort out the good fruit from the bad fruit before the security began harassing me, telling me I had to purchase everything wether it was a rotten fruit or not!!!! Saying "you have to pay for it because you picked it, what are we supposed to do with it now, its a waste, so you have to pay for it" As if thats my problem, when you have a farm you have to factor in sunken costs with lots of losses! thats the cost of running a business especially when you open your doors to customers. I shouldnt be forced to buy rotten apples just because its their ridiculous policy! Expensive apples at that, its highway robbery! a supposed "you pick, you buy policy" which mind you I didnt see not 1 sign anywhere saying that, maybe if I had Seen signs" everywhere" like they falsely stated i wouldnt have allowed my child to have fun picking apples and enjoying the experience of nature to later be harrassed for it. You have to pay a fee just to pick the apples, pay for the cardboard box to hold the apples, then you pay for the actual apples, all those charges should cover that loss of rotten fruit without having to harass everybody to pay for fruits and veggies they dont want especially if they turn out to be bad. And it wasnt just me, they harrassed an old lady because she also didnt realize this stupid policy. I repeatedly explained to this rent a cop reject my daughter is a child and she picked some rotten fruit and that I refused to purchase rotten fruit and they threatened to call the police on me and treated me terribly even though I had every intention of Purchasing the good fruit. They make you pay $2 for the boxes to put the fruit in and then weigh the box and charge you again with the fruit. I paid over $50 for a few apples (half rotten) and 1 small pumpkin. EXTREMLY over priced and not worth it at all. During the few hours I was there I witnessed security harassing people left and right arguing Infront of children. Its horrible, never again !!! Worst place ever!!!! Ill be sure to tell everyone about my terrible experience at your establishment. A family farm who treats people like common criminals while trying to enjoy time with their family, I will not be returning.
A Private User
I would never want to say anything that takes business away from a farm. I love farms and have the deepest respect for people who work on them. So let me start by offering advice to the Alstede Farms team. When a customer comes to your farm looking for the fun of "pick your own," they are immediately put off by the idea of paying and entry fee just to walk on the grounds. If you really need this extra revenue, why not just add it to the per/pound price instead of making people feel unwelcome right away? Next, keep good tabs on what fruits are no longer available. Yes, that is part of your job. That way, people will know where not to waste their time looking in vain under the hot sun. This happened to us today. We followed signs looking for peaches and found nothing. Very discouraging. Next, when asked why one cant find any of the fruit promised, it is unhelpful and uncourteous to become defensive and act like it is your customers fault. When we told employees of Alstede that we were having trouble finding peaches today, even though we followed their clearly indicated signs for an hour, we were told that we werent looking hard enough. We were told this as if they were doing us quite a favor for even letting us on their property. One honest person, clearly a temporary employee who had not been trained by management to fault their customers, told us that yes, there was very little left on the trees to pick, we should have come in the morning when there was much more available. Good to know! We finally did find some peaches but they were mostly either rotten, unripe, or full of bugs. An employee reproachingly told us he could easily find peaches enough to fill our boxes. Perhaps he could have but what kind way is that to help a customer? Did he think we were lazy and not trying hard enough? I think he did. We asked for a refund of our $27. It felt yucky enough paying the $5 per person for our family to walk on the orchard grounds but even worse when we were told, too bad, just because we ended up with no peaches, doesnt mean they should give us our money back. This person actually said, "you knew the conditions when you walked in here!" I guess its true, I should have paid more attention to their no-refunds signage. But the conditions I did not know of, were that their were no peaches for us to pick even though the farm claimed there were. To be fair, this person offered us a gift card with the total amount we spent. We used it to buy peaches out of their farm store and went home. This farm is beautiful but we will likely never come back. What a shame! There are just too many other great farms in New Jersey where they offer honest policies and employ welcoming people. It seems from the other reviews here that we were not alone in our experience with Alstede. Maybe they will consider some of what people are saying?