Introducing the 2013 CSA Guide: What’s New, What’s Old in Community-Supported Agriculture

April 1, 2013 at 7:40 am

Find Your 2013 CSA Now



The Local Beet is pleased to provide its CSA Guide as a service to farms and consumers. With 90 farms listed, we believe it is the most comprehensive CSA Guide for Chicagoland. In 2013, we continue to expand the Guide to include farms outside of Chicagoland in downstate Illinois, Southeast and South Central Wisconsin, Northern Indiana, and Southwest Michigan.

To assist users with the size and wide range of this Guide, we have made it completely searchable and sortable. The search box in the upper right-hand corner of the Guide may be used to narrow down the farms by typing in key words. For example, by entering the name of a specific town, nearby towns, or Chicago neighborhood, the Guide will list only farms delivering to those areas.

The search box may also be used to find farms offering unique services or goods (such as, “certified organic”, “eggs”, “poultry”, etc.). Each column may be sorted alphabetically by clicking the arrows in the header of each column. Finally, I have denoted non-traditional CSAs with an “A”, noting that they aggregate their products from several sources (as opposed to growing everything on one or two parcels of land).

WHAT’S NEW FOR 2013: CSAs continue to adapt as more of them enter the market and compete for customers. That means subscribers have more options than ever. Be on the lookout for some new information in this year’s CSA Guide.

Home Delivery. As so many CSAs are adding home delivery to their offerings, I’ve added a new column for “Home Delivery,” permitting you to scroll through the CSAs that will deliver to your home if that’s what’s most convenient to you.

Type of Farm/Farming. I’ve provided more detail in the “Type of Farm or Farming” column so that you can make a conscious choice as to the type of farm you choose to support. Also, if you have a preference as to the size of the farm, how diversified it is, or how long it has been in operation, then pay close attention to this column.

Diversified Options. CSAs continue to expand their offerings to appeal to different people’s needs. For example, if you thought that your household was two small for a CSA — think again. More CSAs than ever offer a small or a biweekly share (permitting you to stretch out a CSA box over two weeks). Although Logan Square, Green City Market, Oak Park and Evanston continue to be popular dropsites, it now seems like dropsites are stretching into every corner of Chicagoland. And more CSAs are offering a variety of products beyond produce, such as egg shares or meat options, making your weekly or biweekly CSA truly a one-stop shopping trip. – WA

Go here to look at our 2013 Directory of CSA providers.


One Comment

  1. Jacqueline says:

    Love love love my CSA. I have ordered from a few different CSA’s over the past several years and am constantly spreading the word.

    Just a few Reasons I love my weekly share:

    Adventure! I eat a variety of plants that sometimes I have even heard of
    Creativity! I get to craft new recipes to use what is in my share
    Smoothies! We drink at least one green smoothie a day
    Local! We eat seasonally – no blueberries in January
    Organic! There are a million reasons for this which I will share in another post
    Community! Supports local business
    The greater good! Supports sustainable farming
    Fresh! Is tasty way longer than store-bought – some items are still fresh after more than a week
    Ripe! Food is picked when it is ready
    Flavor! It honestly tastes better
    Knowledge! I learn about what grows locally and how to eat seasonally
    Greener! Less transportation and packaging
    Suspense! Every week is like Christmas morning, when I open up the bin, I immediately start dreaming up new recipes

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