Frequently asked questions
Why should I join the CSA?
We get this question frequently. Why not just shop at the farmers' market or the farm stand? Well, the CSA has a number of benefits for both the members and us as a business. CSA members are ALWAYS our number one priority -- if we have a less than stellar growing season, we're going to fill out the shares before we sell produce anywhere else. If we have an abundant season, we give our CSA members even more. If you're one who uses lots of veggies, the CSA is also significantly more cost-effective than just buying your produce outright. Smaller shares average about $12/week, but are typically valued between $15-$20. Larger shares offer an even better value and can be a great way to stock your freezer! With the potential variety you can get from a CSA box, you'll always be trying out new things and expanding your horizons with food. The CSA is also a great way for us to develp connections with our members, and it helps keep our business running during the off season.
Are you certified organic?
The short answer is "no." Certification is a long and expensive process, and we believe we can put our resources to work in other places more effectively. That said, we do follow many of the guidelines -- we rotate crops, utilize cover crops and manure, minimize synthetic soil inputs, and keep our pest control focused around OMRI-certified treatments. Even then, we only use sprays when we absolutely have to; we sustain ourselves on the produce we grow too, and want it to be as safe and environmentally friendly as possible. We employ an open-book policy on our controls, so if you would like more specific details about what we use, please don't hesitate to contact us.
How does your CSA work?
We have four different share options, ranging in size and cost. Our main season begins in late May and runs through late October. After your upfront payment over the winter or early spring, you can get a traditional CSA box (in varying sizes) each week that's packed with a variety of in-season and very fresh veggies, or go for our customized flex shares that allow you to take the veggies you want! You can pick up your share at Bethel Baptist Church in Galesburg and at our farm in Rio (see specific details in the CSA and membership agreement pages). Flex shares are currently offered only at the farm stand in Rio; full and half share are available at either location.
What happens if I can't make it to a CSA pick up?
To keep things running smoothly for everyone, we do require that CSA shares are picked up within the given timeframe for your location. If you can't make it, we recommend sending a friend to grab your share for you. Alternatively, we will donate missed shares to FISH food pantry, the pick up site host, or otherwise use it ourselves.
Where can I find your produce?
Our farm stand is open late May through late October (and sometimes into November). Find us just 7 miles north of Galesburg, right off of highway 150. Look for the blue signs! Address is 279 Knox Road 2550 N, Rio IL 61472.
What's a Farm Card?
Farm cards are a great way for you to take advantage of the off-season winter prices of the CSA without the commitment of a weekly pick up. For example, if you buy a farm card for $250, you'll receive a card in the mail loaded with $285 that you can spend down at any of our locations -- farm stand or farmers' markets. They help us keep the business running during the off season when we aren't selling many actual veggies, and they get you a great discount on produce when the season rolls around! There's no commitment, either -- these cards can be used at any time, and in any quantity you want (you just can't use them to buy a CSA share). And if you don't use them up in one season, they do carry over to the next.