Benefits of Down River Farm's CSA

Benefits of Joining a CSA:

  • Weekly bag of freshly picked, nutrient dense, seasonal and tasty vegetables pre-packed for your convenience

  • Down River Farm canvas bag to hold your produce in each week (yours to keep at the end of the season!)

  • Savings compared to purchasing straight from us at market

  • Exchange opportunities: Sick of kale? If you pick up at market, you may exchange one item per week for another  

  • Special order listings of discounted produce in bulk

  • Weekly e-mail newsletter containing recipes, storage tips, and farm updates

  • Invitations to special events throughout the year such as our Spring Farm Tour and our Fall Harvest Party

  • Pride in keeping your dollars local to stimulate economic growth within your own community

  • Being able to shake the hand of the farmer who grows your food

While the benefits for members are vast, it is also an ideal concept for the farmer. With the CSA model, the farmer has capital at the beginning of the season when the majority of large expenses occur such as infrastructure developments, seed orders, and soil amendments. Since farmers market attendance is dependent on weather conditions, the CSA program also ensures that the produce grown is enjoyed and not wasted. 

Truth is, in a time when we are constantly bombarded with information, media, and advertisements it can be difficult to know who or what is actually telling the truth. Who actually has your best interest at heart... For me, the CSA model counters everything our culture has become.

By purchasing a CSA you are voting for good, clean, nutritious food grown by people who care more about you and the land than any food advertiser or CEO. You are voting to keep your dollars in the local economy. By supporting Down River Farm, you support Paul and his team at Better Earth Compost in Peoria. You support Peoria Brick Company. You support Kelly Seed in Peoria. You support Sancken Automotive in Eureka. You support the gas station down the street. You support restaurants in Peoria. You support our landowner, Dave Bishop, who owns PrairiErth Farm, an organic vegetable and livestock farm in Atlanta, IL. You support the local farms that sell us straw each year. What does that mean? You support the growth of Peoria and Central Illinois. With an economy so convoluted and muddled, it's hard to look past when you hand a dollar to a business, company, or individual. But to know that a CSA purchase means your money largely stays right here in Peoria, is hard to conceptualize and equally difficult to place a value on. You are voting for a type of agriculture that is centered towards soil health, which will prove beneficial for generations to come. As a young farmer, who cares more about the future of the people and planet than someone who will occupy it and someday raise a family in it?


The CSA model also allows the farmer to sell produce that might be slightly blemished. While perfectly safe to eat and just as tasty, it simply wouldn't be accepted in the wholesale market or farmers market. This allows members to get large quantities of quality produce and remove waste from the food system. Food waste is one of the biggest problems with our agricultural system, our economy, and our culture. It changes with systems like this. 

I don't wish to be idealistic, ask anyone I know, it's not in my nature. But the CSA model is something that everyone can feel good about being a part of. Guilt free food, grown with time-tested techniques that will benefit the community, the environment, and your body. This is about a lot more than just a bag of vegetables all season long. It's a way to change food as we know it. But it starts with you. We can't do it without you. 

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