Fall/Winter CSAs for 2009/2010
As Summer rolls out and Fall starts to rev up, our CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) subscriptions are approaching the end of their cycle and we’re starting to see the end of the road for the outdoor farmers markets.
There are plenty of farms nearby that are able to continue their growing into the winter and offer CSAs to extend the season. (Not to mention the fact that this winter will have a vibrant indoor market season–more to come).
CSAs allow you to pre-pay for regular deliveries of a farm’s harvest, directly from the grower.
So how do I choose which CSA is right for me?
It’s important to decide what features are most important to you. Price, delivery location, delivery/pick-up hours, size of delivery (half-shares?) variety of produce, organic produce, access to the farm/farmers are all things you should think about when evaluating a CSA. Every CSA has a coordinator who will be happy to answer your questions.
Also, don’t be afraid to sign up if you are part of a small (or even single-person) household. Split a share with a friend or neighbor!
Last Fall, I was a customer of Homegrown Wisconsin’s Fall/Winter CSA (now “Simply Wisconsin”). I received three deliveries that kept me pretty well stocked. For photos of those deliveries, visit my photo set.
Below are a number of fall and winter CSAs and similar programs that represent a good cross-section of different ways to get food to your home as the colder months approach.
20 acres in fertile north-central Illinois using natural methods: no pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizer.
Length of season/ # of deliveries: Fall share starts in November and lasts six weeks plus one storage box. Medium and Large shares available.
What you can expect to get: Seasonal vegetables rounded out with in-season fruits and herbs. Egg shares are available for separate purchase.
Pickup locations: Several locations on Chicago’s north side as well as Hyde Park. Suburban locations include Forest Park, Highland Park, Mokena, Oak Lawn, Oak Park, Park Forest, Arlington Heights, Skokie and Wheaton.
How to sign up or get more information: www.genesis-growers.com/howtobuy.htm or email email@example.com
King’s Hill Farm
Certified organic farm in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, focused on CSA membership.
Length of season/ # of deliveries: Four bi-weekly deliveries starting in November.
What you can expect to get: A variety of seasonal organic vegetables.
Pickup locations: Locations on Chicago’s north side and Oak Park.
How to sign up or get more information: http://www.kingshillfarm.com/csa.htm has complete information.
Broad Branch Farm
An 8-acre organic (not certified) farm located in central Illinois. No chemical fertilizers, soil amendments, herbicides or pesticides are used.
Length of season/ # of deliveries: Two deliveries. Choice of vegetable, egg and meat shares.
Pickup locations: Central Illinois locations plus Naperville.
How to sign up or get more information: www.broadbranchfarm.com. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
(formerly Homegrown Wisconsin)
A cooperative of 20+ family farms in Southeastern and South-Central Wisconsin. Certified organic.
Length of season/# of deliveries: 5 boxes (egg shares, cheese shares, meat shares, and preserve shares) between the first week of November and the last week of December.
What you can expect to get: A wide variety of produce options that could include sweet potatoes, leeks, jerusalem artichokes, winter squashes and cranberries. Cheese shares include seasonal raw cheddar, mozzarella, butterkaese, and more.
Pickup locations: Several pickup locations on Chicago’s north side, plus locations in Evanston, Prospect Heights, Highland Park, and Western Springs.
How to sign up or get more information: http://simplywi.com/content/4147 or call Katrina Pine at 608-333-1227.
Cedar Valley Farm
Ottawa, IL farm raising animals without drugs or hormones, in a healthy and sustainable environment.
Length of season/# of deliveries: You sign up anytime for 3 month, 6 month, or full year shares. Deliveries are monthly.
What you can expect to get: Various cuts of beef, pork, and chicken, plus two dozen eggs per month.
Pickup locations: Several north side Chicago neighborhoods, plus Naperville, Oak Park, and Oak Lawn.
How to sign up or get more information: www.cedarvalleysustainable.com. Or email email@example.com
A community-based urban farm that started in Milwaukee and is now a cooperative including other urban farms in the region.
Length of season/ # of deliveries: This “Market Basket” program works a little differently than a CSA. You place an order by Monday at 5:00p.m. for a Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday pickup. You can do this any time you like, with no seasonal commitment.
What you can expect to get: Late season produce including greens, root vegetables, and seasonal fruit. In the colder months, not all items will come from the coop’s local farms, and your bag may be supplemented with non-local products from small business wholesalers such as Goodness Greenness.
Pickup locations: Delivering to neighborhood sites in Beverly, Bronzeville, Englewood, Humboldt Park, West Garfield Park, Lakeview, Logan Square, Oak Park, and Wicker Park. You can also coordinate your own pickup by recruiting at least ten orders.
How to sign up or get more information: http://www.growingpower.org/market_baskets.htm or call 773.347.1374 to leave a message on the hot-line. You can also email the market basket coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional CSAs and fresh produce delivery options
Harvest Moon Farms: Harvest Moon is a 20-acre certified organic farm in west central Wisconsin’s driftless region on the South fork of the Bad Axe River. Accepting late applications for its winter CSAs, both a vegetable CSA and a meat CSA: http://www.harvestmoonorganics.com/CSA_and_Farmers_Market.html
Scotch Hill Farm: Southern Wisconsin farm offering two deliveries in early and late November. www.scotchhillfarm.com
Creme de la Crop: Offering two sizes of shares for both winter vegetables and fruit. Four weeks, November through December. www.cremedelacrop.com
Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks: Year-round home delivery of local and organic produce, meat, dairy and eggs. No subscription required. www.freshpicks.com
New Leaf Natural Grocery: Produce boxes available year-round for delivery. www.newleafnatural.net
Farmers, did we miss you? If you offer a winter CSA and want to be included in our guide, contact us.