2015 CSA Program
Welcome to our 2015CSA Info page. Below is a description of our CSA program for this year. We will add more details as we finalize them (such as pick up sites and where delivery will be available). This year is especially exciting for Purple Leaf Farms, because we will be relocating from Elgin, Illinois to an urban agriculture site in Chicago. In years to come we hope to expand our product offerings to perhaps include perennial crops (fruits, asparagus etc), eggs, honey, and mushrooms. But, for 2015 our product offering will be similar to what we've offered in the past. Everything will be grown at the new Chicago urban farm using organic methods. Continue reading for all the details.
Ready to Sign Up? CLICK HERE to download the 2015 CSA sign up paperwork.
You may choose to make your payment using PayPal. Using the button below. (If you sign up via PayPal, prices are slightly higher to reflect PayPal fees. Alternatively, you may always submit your payment by mailing your check to our PO Box).
What Does CSA Mean?
The term "CSA" stands for Community Supported Agriculture and is a way for farmers to sell directly to their customers, assuring that you get fresh and local produce for your family. As a CSA member you will receive a box of veggies, herbs and flowers for fifteen weeks in summer. By purchasing a CSA, you are supporting your local farmer as well as sharing in the risk and reward inherent in agriculture.
How It Works
The basic concept behind a CSA membership is that you pay in advance and receive your products during the growing season. By paying in advance you are helping us fund our operations for the year. The advantage to being a CSA member is that you get our best produce and you get more for your money than you would as a non-member customer shopping at our stand.
Here are some examples of what a weekly box will look like:
Our Growing Philosophy
All of our products are grown without the use of any synthetic chemicals such as insect sprays or weed killers. We use earth-friendly growing methods including green mulching, cover cropping, low flow drip irrigation, reusable weed barriers, and row cover for insect protection.
We grow a variety of common (and some not-so-common) annual veggies and herbs. We do not offer perennial crops (such as asparagus), fruits other than melons, or anything that cannot be grown in northern Illinois. By definition, everything we offer is season specific. Many crops are only available for a few weeks in the summer. The items you get in your box will vary from spring, summer and fall. For example, tomatoes aren't ready until late July, and spinach won't grow during the heat of summer.
Here is a chart of what I plan to grow this year and generally when each crop will be harvested.
Two Membership Options
We offer two membership types:
- “Farmer's Choice” Membership $300- This is the traditional box-a-week option where you pay your membership fee in advance and get a box of vegetables, herbs and flowers that we select for you. Each week, you get a 1/4 bushel box (approx: 3 gallon capacity) with at least 6 different vegetables, 2 herbs, and a large bouquet of cut flowers. The Farmer’s Choice option is the best value: you’ll get the most products for the least amount of money, and it's like getting a box of surprises every week!
- “Flexible Choice” Membership $375- Some customers would prefer to have more choice when it comes to what items they get in their box each week. To address this need, we offer the Flexible Choice membership which allows the customer to select their items, based on availability. We provide you with a list of what’s available each week, and you tell us which items you want. For example, if you don’t want flowers, you can select another item to replace the bouquet. If you don’t like eggplant, you can exchange the eggplant for tomatoes. You can also choose to forgo your box for one week and instead get two boxes the following week. Choices will depend on what's ready to harvest at a given time and how much is available.We use the website FarmMatch.com to let customers know what's available each week and to collect customer orders. All Flexible Choice members must join FarmMatch for an additional fee of $3.95 per month.
Pick Up Locations
For 2015, pick up locations are as follows. We will no longer offer pick up in Hyde Park or Elgin.
· Day TBD: At the farm in on 87th Street in Chicago. Time: 5PM-7PM
· Day TBD: At Gensler downtown Chicago office (Gensler employees only.)
· Thursdays at the University of Illinois at Chicago campus (West side) Time: 8AM-9AM
· Thursdays at the Hines VA Veterans Hospital Farmers’ Market (Hines, IL) Time: 7AM-1PM
· Thursdays at Jessica’s home in Forest Park, Illinois Time: 7pm-9pmSaturdays at the Printer's Row farmers market in Chicago
Our CSA boxes are distributed on a weekly basis for 15 weeks starting around the 1st week of July and ending in late October. Exact start and end dates depend on the weather and crop availability.
To sign up, use the link at the top of this page to download the 2015 CSA sign up documents. Read it, fill it out, and mail it back along with your check to our PO Box. You can also submit your payment via PayPal using the link at the top of this page.
Have questions? Email or call us any time! Email: carpediem80 (at) gmail.com Phone: (312) 437-7542