If you’re like most of Illinois’s busy parents, you find it more challenging than ever to provide your family with tasty and nutritious meals. Of course, there are many places around Warrenville where you can shop for produce, but what’s the best way to ensure nature packs your fruits and vegetables with the vitamins and minerals your kiddos need? Have you heard of a CSA box? If you’re not familiar with this exciting opportunity, stick with us. We’ll explain the concept behind this program and help you find a CSA box near home.
What Is a CSA Box?
Before you dive into a CSA subscription, it’s important to know what this exciting program is all about. A CSA, or community-supported agriculture box is a subscription service where you get a periodic package of freshly harvested seasonal fruits and vegetables from a local farmer.
Each program varies. Some organizations offer delivery services, while other plans require you to pick up your box at the farm or a local market. Each grower offers different goods, too. You can get items like eggs, meat, cheese, bread, milk, and even fresh-cut flowers in your box. Most programs require a monthly subscription fee, or you can pay for the entire season upfront and save a few dollars.
What Are the Benefits of Joining a CSA?
Signing up to receive a CSA box comes with numerous benefits. It’s a convenient way to routinely purchase a variety of produce, picked at the peak of ripeness. It also offers loads of other perks, such as:
- Access to foods you may not find or buy at the grocery store.
- The chance to try new recipes.
- Promoting a healthy diet for you and your kids.
- Supporting local growers and the neighborhood economy.
What CSAs Are Available in my Area?
There are many ways to find a CSA box in your area. Local Harvest is a terrific resource that lists many farms, CSA providers, and other agricultural suppliers. We narrowed down some of the many choices to these top picks for CSA programs near Warrenville:
Green Earth Harvest
Head out to Green Earth Harvest on Knoch Knolls Road and get your CSA box from Sheryl. This grower’s season runs May through November, and you can get your share of flowers, local eggs, meats, fruits, organic grains, and herbs at the farm or one of five pickup sites.
The Conservation Foundation runs the farm with a mission to provide Warrenville residents with organic vegetables that it cultivates with environmentally sustainable methods. The program here is a bit different than most CSAs in that you can select the contents of your box. There are no set ingredients here in the hopes of reducing food waste. This organization also offers community outreach events like pizza nights and U-pick days. Even your finickiest kindergartner is more likely to try a new food if they get to harvest it themselves.
Bray Grove Farm
Award-winning Bray Grove Farm in Morris operates its CSA box program between June and October. Members can get their shares from Brian at the farm on Tuesdays from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. or at the pickup locations in Oak Park and Downers Grove. This farm charges by the season, so you can conveniently pay one lump sum for a full or partial box and either a weekly or biweekly schedule.
This 10-acre, family-run farm adopted a holistic, polyculture market garden method of growing food. By utilizing farm-grown botanicals, compost teas, and ferments, these producers have eliminated the need for chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Instead of a modern tractor, they even use a team of Belgian draft mules named Loretta and Emmylou to cultivate a wide variety of vegetables and herbs. You can choose from the basic staples to heirloom, heritage, Old World, and Asian varieties.
Located on Rockton Road in Caledonia, Angelic Organics has offered a customizable CSA box to residents since 1990. You can purchase a 3/4 bushel crate filled with organic, biodynamic vegetables, fruits, and herbs. The season runs from early June through early November with either the 20 weekly or 10 biweekly options.
These farmers only offer their goods to members and their families. You won’t find them at a roadside stand or farmers market. Instead, plan to stop by the farm in Northern Boone County on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. or meet them at any one of 40 Chicagoland area sites.
Angelic Organic’s comprehensive approach to farming follows the philosophy that agriculture is more than merely raising vegetables. It’s about nourishing those people who eat them, especially growing toddlers. So if you jump on the wagon later in the season or if you’re not sure you want to commit, Shelly and John will pro-rate your subscription.
FulBuschel Farms LLC
Located on the historic Primrose Farm in St. Charles, FulBuschel Farms offers a 20-week CSA box. This chemical-free farm has been in operation since the 1860s, and today it grows plenty of seasonally selected produce. This CSA typically starts the first week in June and runs through the end of October, plus you can purchase items at the Primrose Farm stand on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The spring box contains handfuls of lush leafy greens. Then, once summer hits, everything is at peak freshness, from cucumbers, peppers, and onions to tomatoes. You can also add-on goodies like pastured raised eggs and home-baked bread to this reliable, well-rounded CSA share option. This lid-friendly facility even offers loads of wholesome attractions for the whole family.
There you have it. Crème de la Crème of Warrenville shared this information about CSA box programs and where your family can find one close to home. What did you think of our guide? Do you have any questions about this outstanding agricultural program? If you do, let us know! Drop us a line. We’ll be sure to update our guide so that other Illinois parents can benefit from the information, too.