Community-Supported Agriculture, or CSA, refers to a model of farming in which farmers sell shares of the harvest directly to people in the local community. CSA represents a shared commitment—shareholders commit to the farm for the season, providing farmers with a secure customer base, and farmers commit to doing their utmost to provide their shareholders with an ample supply of high quality, nutritious food.
This direct connection between farmer and consumers bypasses middlemen, e.g., marketers and long distance shippers. It benefits the farmer by increasing farm revenue in the pre-season when many expenditures take place, benefits the environment by decreasing packaging and pollution, and benefits consumers by providing fresh, high-quality produce at competitive prices.
The Green Earth Institute uses the CSA approach for selling the produce we grow at our farm. Members of the community purchase a "share" of the anticipated harvest and make payment in advance at an agreed price. In exchange, the farmers plant, cultivate, harvest, wash and distribute a bountiful selection of vegetables and herbs. In short, the farmers and members become partners in the production, distribution and consumption of locally grown food.
We lease 49 acres of farm land at the McDonald Farm, owned by The Conservation Foundation, on the south side of Naperville, where we grow over 45 different vegetable and herb crops, all USDA certified organic. The 2015 season is the thirteenth year of our very popular CSA program.
All our veggies are fresh, locally-grown & certified organic!
The share is about ¾ bushel each week, which is equivalent to 1½ regular paper grocery sacks. There are about 10 different crops each week--the list of contents changes through the year, based on which ones are ready to be harvested.
The first couple of boxes of the season are lighter, providing mainly leafy greens and salad vegetables, with a box typically weighing 5-7 pounds. The quantity and weight increases as more crops mature. In late summer and fall, 15-25 or more pounds of produce may be expected in a box.
One share is generally suitable for two vegetable enthusiasts or a family of two adults and two children. If you are concerned that the quantity of one share will be too much for you, we encourage you to purchase a half share (biweekly pickup instead of weekly) or split a weekly share with a neighbor.
We strive to provide an appealing and ample supply of vegetables each week, but since nature has no guarantees we cannot offer any either. You will be experiencing the ups and downs of vegetable farming: if a crop is plentiful this year, you'll receive lots of it; conversely, if the "pickins" are slim, that will be reflected in your share.
Harvests for our Main Season Shares run for 20 weeks, from June 16 to October 30. The lengthy vegetable list above applies to the Main Season Shares.
A limited number of Spring Shares were also available, for 4 weeks May 19 to June 10. The harvest was comprised of tender spring delicacies grown in our greenhouse, including salad mix, bok choi, arugula, baby turnips, baby chard, spinach, head lettuce, radishes, and more. Note: Spring Shares are sold out.
Late Fall Shares are available in limited numbers for 4 weeks November 3 to November 25. Included are salad greens and spinach; cooking greens such as kale and collards; cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi and possibly other brassicas; root crops of carrots, beets, parsnips, rutabagas, and turnips; winter squash; onions and garlic.
Most of our CSA shareholders pick up their vegetables at the farm in Naperville, but we also offer pickup sites in Batavia, Lombard, Western Springs, and Winfield. Below are the choices of locations and times.
Regardless of which site you choose, to transport your veggies, please bring a sustainable container such as a box or set of tote bags. In keeping with our efforts for sustainability, we do not hand out plastic bags like they do at the supermarket!
300 block of North Prairie St.
Wednesdays between 4 and 8 pm
Victorian Cottage Museum (Lombard Historical Society)
23 W. Maple St.
Wednesdays between 3 and 7 pm
Naperville at the farm
10S404 Knoch Knolls Rd.
Tuesdays between 5:00 & 7:30 pm
Fridays between 3:30 & 6:30 pm (Main Season only)
4000 block of Garden Ave.
Wednesdays between 3 and 8 pm
Near County Farm Rd. & Jewell Rd.
Note: These prices are prorated for the number of weeks remaining in the season.
For the Main Season weekly share, 13 boxes over 13 weeks, from the week starting August 3 to the last week in October, the price is $435.50 if your pickup site is the farm, or $448.50 if you choose Batavia, Lombard, Western Springs, or Winfield for your pickup site.
For the Main Season biweekly share, 7 boxes over 13 weeks, from the week starting August 3 to the last week in October, the price is $252 if your pickup site is the farm, or $259 if you choose Batavia, Lombard, Western Springs, or Winfield for your pickup site.
For the Late Fall weekly share, 4 boxes over the 4 weeks November 3 to 25, the price is $140 if your pickup site is the farm, or $150 if you choose Batavia, Lombard, Western Springs, or Winfield for your pickup site.
For the Late Fall biweekly share, 2 boxes over the 4 weeks November 3 to 25, the price is $75 if your pickup site is the farm, or $80 if you choose Batavia, Lombard, Western Springs, or Winfield for your pickup site.
Pay by credit card on-line, or mail in your check(s) totaling the full amount, as follows:
Single payment: Pay by credit card on-line, or mail a check (or possibly two if you are splitting a share) totaling the full amount.
Two installments by check: Mail two checks (up to four if splitting), paying half the total with today's date, and the other half dated for deposit on August 1, 2015.
The mailing address for your check(s):
Green Earth Institute
10S404 Knoch Knolls Rd.
Naperville, IL 60565