Frequently Asked Questions
Do you offer half shares?
Yes, we offer a full share biweekly option for those who feel the full share each week is too much food or they don't have time to pick up each week.
Simply, check the appropriate box when filling out the sign up form.
Do you offer exchanges at pickups?
We offer members who pickup at the Riverfront Market to exchange one item per week. Additionally, exchanges are built in to the shares quite often. Sometimes I give members options such as parsley or dill, potatoes or green beans, and beets or carrots.
The beauty of the CSA comes from members' willingness to share in the same risks and rewards as the farmer. Therefore, a certain "submission to the elements" is necessary for members to respect, just as the farmer does. They must be willing to eat spinach if the arugula got attacked by flea beetles. This forces us to eat with a more mindful awareness of the fact that this food does indeed grow utilizing only the soil, sun, and rain.
Additionally, the CSA allows members to experiment with their cooking and tastes to create a more mindful way of cooking and eating.
That being said, we hope to one day add an element of selection, as I know there are certainly vegetables that I prefer over others.
Do we have a say in what we get?
While I can't offer specific preferences, I REALLY want your feedback throughout the season.
If you feel you're receiving too much kale, please let me know. If you prefer french breakfast radishes over red radishes, let me know. I like hearing that feedback so that I can better serve my customers in years following. I want you to enjoy the experience and the food so please tell me your thoughts!
Do you have a payment plan?
Yes, we offer a payment plant for full share CSA's. $250 at the time of sign up and $250 due by the first pickup. If you sign up after the first pickup, reach out to me and we can work something out.
Above all else, we want our food to be affordable to anyone who desires it. Feel free to reach out if price is an issue, occasionally members want to donate money to subsidize other peoples' shares.
What if I can't make a pickup?
The easiest way is to ask your neighbor or a friend to pick it up for you.
But if you contact me a week in advance or more, we can plan to give you a double share on an agreed upon date.
Miss a pickup?
Contact us ASAP if you'd like to pick up your share at the farm. If we don't hear from you 48 hours after your pickup time, your share will be fed to our volunteers, friends, or family.
Who is the CSA model best for?
The CSA model is not for everyone. In the spirit of having everyone on the same page before beginning this journey, you should have an idea of what kind of people the CSA is best for:
1. People who are willing to put in a little time to cook.
If you already find yourself not eating many vegetables or not cooking very often, you may find it difficult to get through all of the produce in a week. For some, it is a lot of food and sometimes more to cook than one can handle. However, if you love vegetables and to cook you will have no problem getting through your share every week. Kira and I cook through a CSA share in one or two meals. It all depends on where you're at AND the amount of effort you are realistically able and willing to put in.
2. People who want to try new vegetables.
There are some crops we grow that you can't even get in the store. Therefore, I send out e-mails each and every week to help guide members through different items by giving them recipes or information on how to cook them.
Additionally, because every share is seasonal, the items are always changing and you may not always have time to plan your whole week of meals. A willingness to improvise is necessary and will help you get the most out of the experience.
3. People who simply want to eat healthier.
I've known many friends and family members who desperately look for the next new diet to try next in order to lose weight or feel better. I strongly believe that the real answer is to simply put quality food into your body. That is, food that is grown in healthy soils by someone you can trust. Also, adding more diversity to your diet can help drastically. The CSA is great for giving you the opportunity to add diversity to what is going into your gut.
4. People who want to save money.
CSA members received an average of 20% savings on vegetables compared to shopping at our booth at market last year.
5. People who are willing to put in a little more effort to achieve maximum benefit from this amazing produce.
Compared to the grocery store, the CSA is not as convenient. You DO have to remember to show up every week. You DO have to be willing to cook more than you might be used to. And you DO have to make a separate trip each week to pick up your vegetables from your pickup location. While this is a small price to pay for all the benefits of eating quality vegetables, it is something that I don't think all members think about upon signing up.
Again, this list is to bring everyone's expectations to the same place. The CSA model is absolutely fantastic for those wanting to learn more about food, cooking, farming, and themselves. It is also excellent for those who simply like cooking and want some quality vegetables to cook with. If you're unsure whether the CSA is for you, feel free to contact us at email@example.com for any concerns. Also, feel free to simply continue supporting us at market. For some people, the opportunity to choose what vegetables to buy is worth the extra cost. I think the CSA model is the best way to connect with the extremely fertile soils of Illinois and enjoy some healthy food at the same time!