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The 2024 guide to CSA

Sola Gratia box of CSA shares for summer 2023.
Sola Gratia Farm CSA share box; Photo by Sola Gratia Farm on Facebook

Do boxes of local food excite you? If so, great news: it’s 2024 CSA sign-up season. Winter is thankfully nearing its end, and soon plants will sprout and we’ll eat delicious, summer Illinois tomatoes once again. Farmers’ market season kicks off in May (and so does our monthly Market Watch column), but for those wanting to reserve a share of harvests now, it’s already time to commit to a CSA.

A CSA is basically a subscription to one farm, paid at the start of farming season. CSA members are then guaranteed a share of the farm’s harvest all summer long. We are missing some options from last year, but there are still great CSAs to sign up for. Vegetable-lovers can go for weekly (or every other week) boxes of locally-grown, freshly-picked produce. There are also subscriptions for eggs, meat, mushrooms, and milk from various Central Illinois farms. Plus how to sign up for regular summer shares of baked goods from Rick’s Bakery, Berries & Flour, and Bakery & Pickle.

CSAs with Champaign-Urbana Pick-Up

A white hand holds a ripe green pepper inside a greenhouse for 2024 CSA.
Sola Gratia Farm on Facebook

Sola Gratia Farm

In Urbana, Sola Gratia Farm grows over 50 different crops in 125 varieties on their community-based farm that recently expanded to include 29 acres. Sola Gratia offers a 16-week summer CSA of produce that begins the first week of June and a shorter, 4-week fall CSA that begins the third week of October. For what to expect, check out this helpful photo guide of Sola Gratia CSA boxes each week from the 2023 season. Both CSA options also have the choice to add a bread share from Rick’s Bakery in Downtown Urbana or mushroom share from Flyway Family Farm. Pick up is at the Tuesday Champaign Farmers’ Market or the Urbana farm. Delivery to a residence in C-U is available on Thursdays.

Follow the farm on Facebook. Learn more on their website; sign up for the Urbana CSA here.

Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery

Champaign’s Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery has a farm share CSA that includes fresh bread and fresh cheese every week. Pickup is at the farm or the farmers’ market. The box includes recipes and seasonal treats, and there’s no long term commitment because the subscription can be paused at any time. Sign up here.

Mushrooms at the market by Flyway Family Farm.
Alyssa Buckley

Flyway Family Farm

Flyaway Family Farm grows mushrooms year-round and shares of the mushrooms can be started anytime. The farm’s CSA is 24 weeks and includes four complimentary shares. Mushroom CSA members can skip weeks if needed (without losing a share), and most weeks, members can double up and use two shares in one week as long as there are enough mushrooms. Pick up in Urbana; in the summer, find the mushroom stand outside at Urbana’s Market at The Square and in the winter, inside Lincoln Square Mall at the Winter Farmers’ Market.

To learn more, follow the farm on Facebook and check out their website. Sign up for the mushroom CSA by emailing the farm.

Joy of Illinois

In Champaign, Joy of Illinois farm offers weekly shares of eggs and goat milk. The egg shares are available as a full share (up to 18 eggs) or a half share (up to nine eggs) for 38 weeks starting this week on March 9th and running through mid-November. The goat milk shares include a quart of fresh, unprocessed goat milk from the farm’s goats. The milk comes by the quart every week for 36 weeks or half of the season for 18 weeks. Joy of Illinois Farm also offers the occasional share in which buyers set the number of weeks for the season that they want eggs and/or milk. Pick up the eggs and milk at the Champaign farm at time determined between the customer and farmer Penny.

Here’s the Joy of Illinois 2024 CSA sign up form.

Triple S Farms

Multi-generational family farm Triple S Farms has a buyer’s club. Membership costs a one-time $40, and members get first pick of the farm’s beef, chicken, eggs, bacon, and other pork products. Ordering is done online for pick up each week, every other week, or as often or infrequently as one likes — there’s no required amount of buys. Pick up orders at the Urbana’s Market at the Square. Delivery is available for the C-U area on Thursdays.

Sign up on the farm’s website.

Four individually packaged small cakes by Berries & Flour are on a wooden tray.
Berries & Flour small square cakes; Photo by Alyssa Buckley

Berries & Flour

With free delivery for Champaign-Urbana, Berries & Flour has a wild cake subscription club. Each month’s cake comes in a different specialty flavor. Customers pick whether they want to receive their monthly cake as a six-inch round cake, six cupcakes, or six small square cakes. For more about Berries & Flour sweets, check out Matt’s review.

Sign up here.

A white hand with a blue flannel sleeved shirt holds two bunches of carrots: one bunch of orange and one of purple, with stems and leaves inside a cooler.
Epiphany Farms Estate on Facebook

CSAs Beyond Champaign-Urbana

Dearing Country Farms

In Bloomington, Dearing Country Farms has a 26-week summer CSA program with customizable options. The farm offers a weekly veggie share, which includes seasonal produce items for two people. Dearing Country Farms also has weekly add-on shares for meat. There’s a chicken and eggs share (a whole chicken plus a dozen eggs each week), beef and eggs (two pounds of ground sirloin plus a dozen eggs), steak and eggs (rotating grass-fed steaks like ribeye, filet, sirloin, and NY strips plus a dozen eggs). Additionally, the farm has a surf-and-turf shares. These include Florida shrimp caught by fishermen that these farmers know, plus a pound of Dearing Country Farms’ grass-fed steaks. Pick up at the farm or the Downtown Bloomington Farmers’ Market on Saturdays in the summer.

Learn more on their website or send them an email. Sign up for their 2024 CSA shares here.

Epiphany Farms

Epiphany Farms Estate has 70-acre working farm in Downs, Illinois and a CSA with pick-up or delivery. Customers receive boxes starting in June, and CSA members can pick weekly shares or every other week. The main draw for this CSA are the vegetables, but the add-ons are solid. Add a dozen eggs or a bread share (three breads, usually one sweet and two staples) from partner restaurant Bakery and Pickle. Pick-up at the farm or the restaurant. Those in area codes 61701, 61704, and 61736 are eligible for Friday delivery.

For more information, check out Epiphany Farm’s website and their Facebook page. Sign up for the 2024 CSA season here.

The Table Farm & Workshop

The Table Farm of Bentown, Illinois just east of Bloomington is a no-till, no-tractor farm that offers full and half shares for CSA members. Starting the second week of June, The Table Farms’ CSA season lasts 18 weeks. Each week, customers can tailor the produce share, choosing what items (from what’s available) to go into the week’s CSA box. The set-up is hands-on: members pick from a spread of harvested vegetables and grab ten items from the table (or for half shares, five items). For add ons, chicken and duck eggs are available as well. Pick up for 2024 CSAs will be on the farm or from the farm’s stand at the Downtown Bloomington Farmers’ Market.

Check out their Facebook page, and sign up via email.

Food + Drink Editor / / instagram

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