Register for a Share of the 2014 Harvest!
What is Community-Supported Agriculture?
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. It was adopted in America from Japanese and European models, largely as a response to the dwindling number of small farms. 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. CSA brings together community members, farmers and agricultural land in a relationship of mutual support based on an annual commitment to one another.
The Green Earth Institute CSA
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 40 different vegetable and herb crops, all USDA certified organic. The 2014 season is the twelfth year of our very popular CSA program.
Planting started in mid-February and continues into October. Our Main Season CSA vegetable harvests run for 20 weeks, from June 17 to October 31. We also offered a limited number of Spring Shares for four weeks from May 20 to June 11 and Late Fall Shares for four weeks from November 4 to November 26.
How Much Each Week?
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 to 7 pounds. The quantity and weight increases as more crops mature. During late summer and through the fall, 15 - 25 or more pounds of produce may be expected in a box.
How Many for Dinner?
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.
Sharing the Risks and Rewards
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.
When is the Harvest Season?
Harvests for our Main Season Shares run for 20 weeks, from June 17 to October 31. The lengthy vegetable list above applies to the Main Season Shares.
A limited number of Spring Shares were also available, for 4 weeks May 20 to June 11. 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.
Late Fall Shares are available in limited numbers for 4 weeks November 4 to November 26. 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.
Where and When Do I Pick Up My Vegetables?
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!
Organic and Sustainable Growing Methods
Green Earth Institute is strongly committed to using organic and ecologically sustainable agricultural practices free of synthetic chemical pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and genetically modified organisms. All of our produce meets the federal organic standards and is officially certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Want to Help at the Farm?
Shareholders and others are invited to visit the farm and help with farm work such as planting, weeding, and harvesting. We can let you know by email when there are volunteer work days scheduled. Sign up at our website. Come connect with nature! Work in the soil and help grow your food!
Choices and Prices
Following are the base prices for the entire season. The next page, where you may place your CSA order, shows the current prices prorated for the number of weeks in the remainder of the season.
For the Main Season weekly share, 20 boxes over the 20 weeks June 17 to October 31, the price is $670 if your pickup site is the farm, or $690 if you choose Batavia, Lombard, Western Springs, or Winfield for your pickup site.
For the Main Season biweekly share, 10 boxes over the 20 weeks June 17 to October 31, the price is $360 if your pickup site is the farm, or $370 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 4 to 26, 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 4 to 26, 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.
NOTE: All shares are sold on a first come - first serve basis. Capacity is limited for all products, but the number of Spring and Late Fall Shares is substantially lower than Main Season Shares because we have limited greenhouse space to grow crops at those times protected from the frost.
Sign-Up Process and Payment Options
First go through the sign-up steps on-line and then, for payment, you may either use a credit card on-line or mail in your check(s).
Payment Options for CSA Shares
If paying by check, your CSA sign-up will not be complete until we receive your payment and send you a confirmation. The mailing address for your check(s):
Green Earth Institute
10S404 Knoch Knolls Rd.
Naperville IL 60565-5447
Green Earth Institute, 10S404 Knoch Knolls Road, Naperville, IL 60565-5447 | Phone: 630-664-5681
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