For the 2017 season we will be taking a hiatus! While we are away, we want to let you know of wonderful farms in the area that could serve as an equal replacement for your CSA needs.
For our Andersonville and Lincoln Square customers, beginning farmer Yoram Shanan at Sandbox Organics will be utilizing our amazing site hosts this upcoming 2017 growing season.
What is a CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, the idea that a family or household becomes a “member” of the farm for that growing season. A share of the farm is purchased at the start of the season to help the farmer buy supplies like seeds, greenhouse heat, irrigation equipment and pre-season labor. Once the harvesting begins, the share member/family is then paid back weekly with a box of fresh, seasonal, and local produce of our choosing, harvested rarely much more than the day before you pick-up. Weekly email newsletters containing recipes, farm news and photos will help our members stay connected. This model allows the farmer both flexibility and much needed pre-season support. We have been using this model to distribute our fresh farm products since 2010. This 2016 season we are offering the following CSA options:
(see tables below for more info based on your closest delivery location)
- Spring Vegetable and Egg Share (one time delivery, Wisconsin only)
- Summer Vegetable Share (16 weeks)
- Specialty Fresh Upgrade Add-on (16 weeks)
- Fresh Rainbow Egg Add-on (16 weeks)
- Tomato Add-on (8 weeks)
- Pantry Add-on (8 weeks)
- Local Dairy Add-on (16 weeks)
- Fall Vegetable and Egg Share (one time delivery, Wisconsin only)
Scroll to our FAQs section below for more information about CSA.
Chicago, Illinois CSA Options:
Due to logistics issues – we will no longer be offering delivery to the Evanston, Illinois or Downtown Chicago areas. We are incredibly thankful for the the support of our past customers in these locations. Should folks want to collaborate on their own inter-city delivery, please feel free to contact Farmer Lindsey to discuss options.
(Choose ANDERSONVILLE near Foster and Clark or LINCOLN SQUARE near Western and Foster)
Madison, Wisconsin CSA Options:
(Choose WEST near Whitney Way at Williamsburg Way or EAST near Commercial and North Ave.) :
Monroe, Wisconsin CSA Options:
2016 pick up site is near 20th Ave and 9th St., Monroe (close to East School Park)
How do I get it?
Members will pick up their produce, dairy, fresh egg, cut flower, and local product shares each specified week at the location choice that fits best. This season WEDNESDAYS will be the pick-up day of the week for all CSA members, regardless of location. Most sites are located at home porches, covered and protected from weather. No delivery location in your neighborhood? Have interested friends/neighbors With enough interest in your neighborhood, we may be able to add a site closer depending on where you live.
Each week your share will be delivered on the day/time assigned to your pick up site. Specifics of pick-up will be revealed once members have completed our Agreement Form and sent payment. Because we are a small, high quality producer, we must limit our produce membership for the 2016 season to a total of 80 members, including our worker-share members. Sign up soon to reserve your place!
How do you price your shares?
All of our CSA shares are priced based first on our cost of production or purchasing from our farming friends. This is the “weekly minimum farmstand value” column in the tables show below. Growing organic vegetables and keeping livestock on a small farm is both more costly and much more labor intensive than foods produced on a large scale on factory farms. The benefits of small scale local food production are almost endless, from personal health to local economic to environmental benefits. This considered, our prices remain competitive and aligned with the amount a farmer would charge for the product if it were sold directly, right off the farm. An additional set of fees (weekly packaging and delivery cost) is added to cover the cost to custom package your CSA share for delivery, then to bring it to your neighborhood. A CSA share is more than just produce purchased fresh from the farmer, it is harvested within a few hours of careful packaging for transport, and stored properly, for immediate neighborhood delivery via farm truck and friendly driver. As we approach our 7th year of CSA share farming, we are coming to better determine our actual costs to produce and deliver our fresh, certified organic produce and other farm products, and feel our 2016 prices are most fair, leaving us with a very modest income and a fantastic quality of life. Thank you for supporting our efforts and lifestyle to provide safe, healthy food with minimal negative environmental impact!
On a side note, it is very important to us that our Grassroots Farm Certified Organic produce and the high quality, chemical-free produce of our friends and neighbors be accessible to folks of all income backgrounds. We are willing to devise a custom payment plans to best suit our customer’s needs.
Our 2016 CSA Lineup:
All vegetable shares are packed from both Certified Organic Grassroots Farm produce and the no synthetic chemical, fresh and local or Certified Organic produce of our farmer friends. The local farm origin and certification status of your vegetables will be noted each week in your newsletter. For a list of other area Farms we purchase fresh from, see below, question #1 in our FAQs.
Spring Vegetable CSA Share (Wisconsin Customers Only)
Our 2016 Spring Vegetable and Egg Share (a one-time, Wednesday, June 8 pick up site delivery) is a small vegetable and egg share offered to distribute some of our early Spring crops when they are fresh and in season. The total cost of our Spring share is $30 delivered to your nearest Wisconsin pick-up site. Your Spring Vegetable and Egg Share would likely include the following:
- Lettuce Heads
- Fresh Garlic
- Fresh Herbs
- Fresh Rainbow Eggs
- and if ready, strawberries!
This is a great opportunity for our Wisconsin members to get a taste of the upcoming fresh food season! Fresh Eggs can be replaced with farmer’s choice veggies of equal value, please let us know if this is your preference.
Summer Vegetable CSA Share
Although several varieties of staple/seasonal crops like lettuce heads, fresh garlic, cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes may be in your box two or more weeks in a row, the share will be noticeably different from week to week. Although our base share contents are the same and set at a minimum $20 farmstand value weekly, your Summer Vegetable Share will cost you more or less depending on your delivery location. Consider signing up for two vegetable shares if you have a larger (more than 2) or heavy vegetable eating household. We respect vegan members’ preferences and handle all produce accordingly.
A typical Summer season 16 week share would provide enough produce for an omnivorous couple or single vegetarian who eats at home roughly 4 or 5 meals per week, or an omnivorous family of four who eats at home roughly 3 times per week.
Example of a “Week 3” delivery:
- Fresh Onions- 3 large red
- Lettuce Heads- a red leaf and a green butterhead
- Green Curly Kale- a large bunch
- Fresh Dug Carrots- 1/2 lb.
- Fresh Sage- one bunch
- Summer Squash and Zucchini- 2 lbs.
And an example of a “Week 8” delivery:
- Savoyed Cabbage- one large head
- Tomatoes- 1 lb.(4 small) green zebra plus 1 lb. (2 med) red slicers
- Fresh Sweet Basil- one large bunch
- Rainbow Swiss Chard- one 3/4 lb. bunch
- Fresh Dug New Potatoes- 2 lbs.
- Garlic Bulb- one large
And an example of a “Week 14” delivery:
- Fresh Spinach- 12 oz bagged and washed
- Beets- large bunch red and gold, with tops
- Tomatoes- 2lbs. san marzano paste
- Popcorn- 6 ears carmel crisp variety
- Bell Pepper- one red, one yellow
- Fresh Sweet Basil- one large bunch
- Lettuce Head- one head of romaine
Specialty Fresh Upgrade Add-On Option
NEW in 2016! Well, kind of… This is what our previously titled “Local Foods Share” has morphed into. Considering the deliciously basic and “staple” variety of fresh produce included in our Vegetable Share, we see the need to offer this upgrade to include some of the more specialty vegetables, fruits, and herbs that grow here in Wisconsin, boosting the volume and flavor of your Veggie share each week. This is an every week add-on (16 weeks), including 2-4 additional fresh items to supplement your Vegetable share. Similar to the previous season’s Local Foods Share, the Specialty Fresh Upgrade will likely include the following, grown either here at Grassroots Farm or by our friends and neighbors who practice Certified Organic OR chemical-free farming:
- Black Raspberries
- Shiitake and Crimini Mushrooms
- Patty Pan Summer Squash
- Purple Cauliflower
- Fresh specialty herbs
- Chioggia beets
- Rainbow carrots
- Specialty Asian greens
- Cherry tomatoes
- Purple and Fingerling Potatoes
- Sugar snap and snow peas
- and more!!
Tomato Add-On Option
Back for 2016! The Tomato Add-on option is designed to boost the tomato lover’s fruit quantity from a base 1-2 lbs of tomatoes that is provided within your regular Summer Vegetable Share, to an averaged total of 5 lbs./week during tomato season. We recognize many folks could consume/process several times the base 2 lbs/week amount, where as other folk’s scratch their heads wondering what to do with much more. This is why we have added 8 weeks of additional 3 lbs. of our own certified organic (and practically famous!) heirloom, slicing, and paste tomatoes to your share during tomato harvest season. The additional cost is $80 total for this add-on.
20 lb. cases of many of your favorite heirloom, slicing, or paste varieties may also be available through the tomato harvest season at a wholesale price, and safely delivered to your pick-up site.
Certified Organic Fresh Cut Flower Share
Not available this 2016 harvest season.
We have decided to take a one season hiatus on our cut flower share option, with plans to pick up where we left of for the 2017 harvest season. We apologize to our loyal cut flower share fans but really plan to bring this share option back next season! Thanks for your understanding.
Starting in 2014, our cut flowers are now Certified Organic! Each week a bouquet consisting of 18-30 freshly cut, custom arranged, mixed seasonal stems will be delivered for you to one of our many available CSA pick-up sites. Six continuous deliveries will be offered from Early July through mid-August. It is not uncommon to get a bonus bouquet week as the season in willing! Pricing is again dependent on delivery location, please see delivery location/pricing tables above for more info. Consider purchasing our flower share as a gift, or just simply for yourself. Let us know early if you have any favorites to suggest! Because of the minimal transport distance from field to customer, and the short time between harvest and delivery, our cut flowers often last as long as 10 days, when properly cared for. Along with your weekly cut-flower delivery, all share members of the farm receive our CSA newsletter, which will include a list of the flowers contained in your bouquet, as well as any additional information related to the care of your share.
See our Cut Flower page for more information on how we grow our flowers and what stems we grow.
Fresh Rainbow Egg Share
Back in 2016! We will be offering a first-come, first-served Fresh Brown/Rainbow Egg Share with no additional delivery fee for our Summer Vegetable Share members. Our base price for fresh farm eggs, raised on only Certified Organic feed and pasture, remains at $5.00/dozen. We choose not to carry certification on any of our livestock products due to the unique nature of our very small and diversified scale. We do, however, use the USDA’s organic certification guidelines for livestock and egg production as a guideline for our systems.
See Our Animals page for more information on how we raise livestock at the farm.
Local Dairy Share
This season’s dairy share will be slightly different than the previous two seasons as a response to feedback received from our wonderful customers. We have decided to simplify this year’s Local Dairy Share, and bring the total weekly value back to $10.00 each delivery. In the spirit of diversification, each week will have one half pound fresh cut cheese and one roll butter, yogurt, or specialty cheese. Happy with the quality, customer service, and commitment to growth-hormone free local dairy, we will be including items from the following sources:
- Decatur Dairy (Brodhead, WI)
- Amish Style roll butter Alcam Creamery from Green County milk(WI)
- Sugar River Yogurt (Albany, WI)
- Montchevre goat cheese via Betin Coop/Misty Meadows Dairy (Monroe, WI)
Simplifying and lowering the weekly value of our dairy share will allow us to pack dairy within your zipper-close cooler bag, alongside your chilled veggies, and will also appeal to more folks who consume dairy at a non-Wisconsinite volume.
Despite attempts to include fluid, certified organic milk in your dairy shares last season, we decided the logistics were too difficult to tackle this season. Should one of our dairy farming friends begin their own pasteurization and bottling, or raw milk become legal in Wisconsin, we will let our customers know ASAP and get the milk train back on the tracks…
Our Local Dairy share is farmer’s choice, so please no custom requests for share content. Custom bulk orders of any of our Local Dairy share items is always a possibility!! Contact us throughout the share with special requests and we will do our best!!
Pantry Add-On (Pilot Season)
Build your winter pantry with our 8 week Pantry Share Add-On. Shelf stable, locally produced by Grassroots Farm and friends, and processed in a certified kitchen. Pickles, relishes, jams, preserves, our famous vine ripe tomato products (ketchup, whole and pieces in juice, and garden salsa) – all recipes developed by Gail (licensed processor), tested by Farmer Lindsey (certified eater). Also – expect local grains, honey, maple syrup and much more. For customers that have been with us the past few seasons who have enjoyed specialty and storage dry goods, condiments, and Grassroots Farm pickles and preserves mixed throughout the Local Foods Shares of the past- Don’t miss out, shares are extremely limited! The Pantry Share will coincide with the Tomato Add-on, August 10 – September 28. The average value will be $13.00 per week, with a $2.00 per week packaging fee. Should you want to re-order something you receive throughout the 8 week share, we will provide a custom order form for customers to pick and choose their favorites for a final delivery, October 5, 2016. . Stock up, your pantry will thank you!
Fall Vegetable CSA Share (Wisconsin Customers Only)
Our 2016 Fall Vegetable and Egg Share (a one-time Oct. 26 pick up site delivery) will include all the favorites of Fall in storage quantities. A combination of long lasting roots and bulbs and freshly picked greens, our Fall share is the proper good-bye box of the growing season. Storage instructions will be included with your Fall Share newsletter to help keep your produce fresh and lively for the upcoming holiday meal! At $60 each, your share will likely include an abundance of the following crops, delivered to your neighborhood pick up site:
- Lettuce Heads
- Winter Squash and pumpkins
- Fresh Herbs
- Storage Beets
- Storage Onions
- Fresh Rainbow Eggs
A Final note about CSA…
Content, variety, and volume of produce in each week’s share can fluctuate throughout the season (often in your favor!) depending on weather conditions, bumper crop, and crop failure beyond the control of the farmer. This could mean an abundance of any one crop or a lack thereof. That said, keep in mind our CSA customers are our 1st priority, and fulfilling our commitment to you trumps all other sales opportunities (except in multiple cases of extreme, extreme crop failure, when the model of CSA saves our farm business from the devastating effects of severe weather..)
1. Is all the produce Certified Organic, locally grown, or grown by Grassroots Farm?
During the 2016 growing season we will buy in locally, about 30% of the fresh produce you will find in your Summer Vegetable Share. We buy ONLY pesticide-free and non-GMO extra fresh produce from our friends and neighbors that we trust completely and know well. A list of the farms we have sourced from in the past:
- Misty Meadows Dairy, Monroe, WI
- Peacefully Organic Produce, Waunakee, WI
- The Bee Charmer, Brooklyn, WI
- Hazzard Free Farms, Pecatonica, IL
- Sandhill Family Farms, Brodhead, WI
- Morningstar Farm, Brodhead, WI
- Eplegaarden, Fitchburg, WI
- Ten Eyck Orchards, Brodhead, WI
- Muddy Buck Acres, Ft. Atkinson, WI
- Big A Farm, Monroe, WI
The source of your produce each delivery will be listed in your weekly newsletter. We pick up all off-farm sourced produce directly from the producer’s farm each week, where we see their high-quality standards and attention to detail first hand. Although many of our producer friends are not certified organic, we are fully aware of their growing practices which may never include the use of chemical pesticides or genetically modified seed sourcing. All of the produce in your vegetable share is locally produced, and all of the produce we grow here at Grassroots Farm, LLC, is Certified Organic by MOSA and the USDA.
2. What does my share come in?
Due to the success of our pilot customer-assigned cooler bag packaging method back in 2013, we will be continuing this into 2016. Thank you to our customers who returned their cooler bags each week during the CSA season!! We found that even on the hottest of summer days, our fresh produce stayed cool when packaged in our insulated cooler bag. These bags are fully washable and re-usable and much gentler on the environment in comparison to the landfill bound, easy-to-destroy traditional waxed paper box. The only way for us to continue using these awesome cooler bags is if our customers continue to return their assigned (and cleaned up) bag at each pick up time. Customers may also transfer share(s) into their own container or plastic bags provided for you at time of pick up.
3. Why wouldn’t I just shop the Farmers’ Market?
Do Both! Grassroots Farm shareboxes will have first of the season and exclusive to CSA produce, and the occasional fresh farm product from our producer friends, providing a unique selection of fresh food. It’s a great way to try new veggies! CSA membership is an important and crucial way to support healthy farms, healthy eating habits, and to support area small business. Farmers’ Markets are an excellent way to find fresh often locally grown produce, but through our CSA share the customer is assured all produce is grown either right at our farm using Certified Organic methods, or by a neighbor and friend grower with no chemical pesticides or harmful fertilizers. Our CSA share also offers a weekly full-color newsletter filling you in on the progress of your crops, informing you of whats in your box, how to use and store it, and who our farmer-friends are who contribute their products to your share.
4. What else comes with my Vegetable CSA membership?
In addition to your choice of weekly vegetable share options, you are welcome to visit the farm and…call it your own. “Our farm is your farm”. Without the continued support our customers, it would be impossible to have this amazing place to share. See our Opportunities page for more info about coming to the farm. Also, every year since 2010, we have held the annual Grassroots Farm late Summer harvest party. Don’t be fooled by the name, no work required! Just show up in your farm-lounging/softball bat wielding clothes, bring your camping equipment, prepare to eat and drink a VERY local farm-fresh dinner, and enjoy a bonfire on us. As a member of our CSA you will always receive first “dibs” on our small-batch organically fed whole chickens, geese, turkeys, pork cuts/halves, and pasture-raised beef and lamb, personally and humanely raised right here at our farm. Click Here to see more about the way we raise our high quality meats. Sign up with our CSA and be sure to let us know if you need a larger quantity of any of our farm products throughout the season. Receive wholesale pricing on our high quality veggies, meats, eggs, or cut flowers for your special event or bulk canning/preserving needs. Contact us by email or phone (608)938-1550 with as much notice as possible.
5. What happens if I miss a pick-up day or know I will be unable to make the pick-up?
If you know you will be unable to pick up your CSA share for the week, contact us to let us know a preferred 48 hrs or more before your regularly scheduled pick up day/time. We suggest gifting the share to a neighbor or friend, who can pick up in your place, or we can make other arrangements with enough notice. If you are often traveling through any of our CSA share seasons but still want a fresh box of local produce for the weeks you are home, consider splitting the share with a friend or neighbor and planning your pick-ups accordingly. If you completely miss a pick-up window, please notify us ASAP so we can contact our site host and track down your produce. Shares will be donated to a food pantry or otherwise dispersed to those in need in the event you miss your pick-up without timely communication with us. Because our fresh veggies eagerly await your arrival (often temporarily out of refrigeration) we cannot guarantee the condition of your produce after the designated weekly pick-up window. We also recommend picking up your share as close to the beginning of your site’s time window as possible, especially in extreme hot weather. Consider setting a computer or cell phone alarm to help you remember your weekly box pick-up routine.