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Here’s your CSA 2022 preview

Buying a share of crops is a great way to support a local farmer and enjoy fresh produce all season long. Some CSAs are already full for 2022, and sadly, a few favorites (Blue Moon Farm and Red Crib Acres) won’t be offering a CSA this year. There are still some CSA shares available, but you’ll want to sign up soon if you want to participate this year.

What is CSA? Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is one way to support your local farmers and eat locally grown produce, protein, and other food by the box weekly. CSA functions like this: you pay a set amount of money before the season starts, and then each week over the course of the growing season (late-May through October, though some are year-round), you receive a set amount of product. 

If you’re not quite sure about what to order, reach out to the producer you’re interested in supporting; they will be able to answer your questions.

On a brown wooden counter, there is a May box of CSA from Brackett Farm. Photo by Brackett Farm.

Photo from Brackett Farm’s website.

Brackett Farm

Bob Brackett of Brackett Farm has been growing produce since 1980, and in 2000, he started his own CSA. Brackett’s CSA offers a wide variety of organic fruits and vegetables. Peek at what a typical monthly box looks like from Brackett Farm here.

Brackett wants to “provide as much variety as I can. To some, that’s not enough. For others, that’s too much…[but] there are shares available. The more the merrier.” Download the CSA contract here, and mail or deliver it with your first installment payment to 611 W Union Street in Champaign. Check out more Brackett Farm CSA information here.

24 weeks of tasty, local fruits and vegetables is still only $500, the same price it’s been for several years. The farm will pre-bag your share, and a weekly $2 tip is encouraged at pick up.

Two brown paper boxes are overflowing with freshly picked Illinois mushrooms for sale at a white table at the Urbana farmers' market. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Flyaway Family Farm

If you like mushrooms, this CSA is for you. Flyaway Family Farm grows year-round and offers a lot of flexibility. Shares can be started anytime, and the mushroom farm allows weeks to be skipped if needed (without losing a share). The CSA is 24 weeks for $200, with each week receiving $10 in mushrooms; the CSA includes four complimentary shares. Most weeks, you can also double up on your shares and use two in one week as long as there is enough.

Shares are picked up at the farmers’ market, and you can usually choose whatever variety you’d like. If there is something you specifically like (or don’t like), the farm is flexible and will work to to either include (or exclude) those varieties. Sign up via email or by calling 618-319-2168. Flyaway Family Farm mushrooms can also be added to CSA shares with Sola Gratia, but there is less flexibility as it follows Sola Gratia’s share schedule.

Hendrick House Farm

The farm is sold out of CSA shares for this year, but there is a waitlist. You can email them to be added to the waitlist as sometimes spots open up around June 1st. 

Hendrick House Farm CSA members pay an upfront cost for weekly or every other week fresh, boxed vegetables over a 20 week period, from June to October, during the peak farm season. Hendrick House Farm grows celebrity tomatoes, purple cauliflower, chioggia beets, purple haze carrots, kale, bolero carrots, romaine lettuce, spinach, and Cherokee red lettuce.

Joy of Illinois

For a quarter century, Joy of Illinois has sold milk and eggs through CSA-style shares which remains the backbone of the farm. In 2020, Joy of Illinois opened a dedicated sales area for customers after they pull into the north driveway during open hours to pick up farm products. You can order shares of unuprocessed goat milk and free-range chicken eggs, in a full shares, partial shares, or the occasional pint of milk or dozen of eggs. In addition, if you’re looking to buy a live animal, Joy of Illinois sells live ducks, lamb, goats, and guinea hogs.

The website has an order form, but you can contact the farm by email for more information.

An overhead photo shows a variety of produce from Sola Gratia Farm's CSA. Photo from Sola Gratia's website.

Photo from Sola Gratia Farm’s Facebook page.

Sola Gratia Farm

Sola Gratia Farm grows 150 varieties of over 50 different crops following organic growing methods. There are CSA shares available for the upcoming summer season, but the spring shares have already sold out. 

The summer share runs for 20 weeks from mid-June to October. Full shares will have nine to eleven items weekly for $715, and partial shares with five to seven items weekly cost $435. If you choose to have your Sola Gratia produce delivered, it is $150 for weekly delivery throughout the summer season. Fall shares are available for $100 which will have six to eight items in a box for four weeks in November. Produce is distributed each week at the farm. Pickups are either on Tuesdays at the Champaign Farmers’ Market between 3 and 6 p.m., on Thursdays at the farm in Urbana from 3 to 6 p.m., or delivered to your house for an extra fee.

There are add on shares available including a bread share from Rick’s Bakery, mushroom share from Flyaway Family Farm, flower share from Delight Flower Farm, coffee share from Luna Verde, and à la carte sales of honey from Second Nature Honey. 

On a light colored wooden cutting board, there is a large piece of meat, grilled to perfection. In the bottom right corner of the cutting board, there is a black inscription of

Photo from Triple S Farms’ Facebook page.

Triple S Farms

Located in Stewardson, Illinois, Triple S Farms offers a buying club that you can join anytime. They do deliveries in the C-U area every week and sell at the Farmers’ Market on Saturdays. It is a very user-friendly, customizable ordering process. Members order whenever they want and can choose from anything in stock on the website. Currently, you can find pork loin, beef sticks, bratwurst, whole chickens, molasses bacon, beef patties, beef cheeks, turkey broth, chicken gizzards, burnt ends, ox tail, steak, ground beef, liver, bones, and more.

Bane Family Meats

This meat and egg CSA is available year-round and can start at any time. Payment is due in full by cash or check at the delivery of the first share. The options for meat shares are in five pound, 10 pound, and 20 pound monthly meat and poultry packs. You can choose between a six month or 12 month commitment.

Monthly deliveries will include beef, chicken, pork, lamb, and turkey — and the bundles will vary monthly. Five pounds a month for six months is $297; 10 pounds a month is $528, and 20 pounds of meat a month is $985. If you’re wanting a 12 month share, you can get five pounds a month for $582, 10 pounds for $1,020, and 20 pounds costing $1,845. Pasture-raised eggs from their farm can also be added for $5 per dozen, available monthly.

Shares can be picked up at the farm or delivered (for free) to your home or business. For more information, call 217-722-2188 or email David.

Not CSA but a subscription offer:

Berries & Flour offers a subscription for baked goods once a month. Each month features a choice of four cake flavors available. You can have your cake in a six cupcakes, six small square cakes, or a six inch round cake. You also select the date and time for your pick up or delivery. Sign up here.

Non-food CSAs

Delight Flower Farm is currently sold out of shares for the 2022 season, according to their website. If you want to be added to the wait list, you can email them.

Illinois Willows offers a local, fresh-cut flower Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) where you can receive a large, farm-fresh bouquet every other week from June 5th to October 23rd. 11 weeks of beautiful flowers for $300. Buying a share of the flower farm before the start of the season helps the farm to purchase supplies like seeds, plugs (starter plants), and plant material.

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.

Food + Drink Editor / / instagram

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