Friday, March 17, 2006

Considering a CSA

One of the easiest ways to eat local is to have a share in a CSA. Each week during the growing season, you get a box of materials from a local farm. I especially note the Spring CSA from Farmer Vicki. This CSA gives you a chance to get real produce WAY before the markets open. Here's a list of CSA's from my friends at Seventh Generation Ahead:

SGA's 2006 CSA Farm Directory

2006 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farms

Serving the Chicago Area

*for more details on any farm, contact Seven Generations Ahead at 708 660-9909

1. Angelic Organics, Caledonia, IL: Angelic Organics is the largest CSA in the country, offering vegetables and fruits during the growing season and during an extended winter season. Angelic drop-off sites include 12 sites in Chicago, one in Rockford, and sites in Oak Park, Evanston, Arlington Heights, Bartlett, Elgin, Highland Park, Park Ridge, Warrenville, Westmont, and Wilmette. To get their brochure with pricing and options, go to

2. Genesis Growers, St. Anne, IL: Genesis Growers, a female operated farm run by Vicki Westerhoff, offers a traditional vegetable, herb, and fruit CSA where you pay up front and receive weekly deliveries of seasonal organic produce. Spring CSA April 1 (9 weeks) for $180.00 with drop offs in Oak Park, Chicago, and Wheaton. Summer CSA will begin June 7 and last until the end of October. Two size shares will be offered - full and 3/4. Full shares will $550 or $600, depending on whether they receive farm processed products. 3/4 shares will be $375 or $425, same scenario. For more information contact Vicki at 815 427-6617 or at

3. Green Earth Institute, Naperville, IL: Green Earth Institute is a working farm and learning center located in the heart of Naperville and offers fresh organic vegetables and herbs, grown at their farm, for shareholders from mid-June through October for pick-up at the Naperville farm location (10S404 Knoch Knolls Rd, Naperville). Full shares (weekly) and half shares (biweekly) are available for the 2006 season. Details and sign-up form are in the 2006 CSA brochure . Call Steve Tiwald at 630-664-5681 for more info.

4. Kings Hill Farm, Mineral Point, WI: Kings Hill Farm is a vegetable and fruit CSA that delivers weekly during its growing season (June-Nov) and every other week during its winter season when it accesses organic produce from farms that grow year round. Kings Hill requires weekly payments for shares, and gives customers the option of canceling on any given week if they know they will be out of town. Kings Hill requires a $50 annual membership fee, and offers “a la carte” purchases of produce in addition to its prepared shares. Pick-up locations are in Oak Park, Chicago, Lombard, and Barrington. To subscribe, contact Farmer Tom Ulick at 888 752-2301 or visit the Kings Hill website

5. Sandhill Organics at Prairie Crossing, Grayslake, IL: Sandhill Organics is located in the heart of Prairie Crossing, a nationally recognized conservation community just 40 miles northwest of Chicago. Sandhill Organics is certified organic by Midwest Organic Services Association, and offers CSA options for fresh vegetables, fruits and flowers. Sandhill CSA drop-offs are located in Oak Park, Wheaton/Glen Ellyn, Barrington, Chicago, and Prairie Crossing. To download Sandhill Organics’ brochure with pricing and options, visit their website

6. Sweet Earth Organic Farm, Wauzeka, WI: Sweet Earth Organic Farm is a female operated farm run by Renee Randall that offers organic vegetables, herbs, and fruits for CSA shareholders. Chicago Locations: Austin/Addison, Belmont/Ashland, Montrose/Pulaski, Chicago/Damen, Lincoln Park-North/Clark. Suburban Locations: Northbrook, Elgin, Evanston. For more information contact Renee at 608-875-6026 or download the Sweet Earth brochure here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Tana shares her blog

When I started "seriously" getting into eating local, I gravitated towards sources that knew more than me. Tana was WAY ahead of me, and I've always been a secret admirer of hers. Until last week. I finally got to put my devotion in the open, getting the chance to dine with her (and also, another hero, Paul of Kiplog). Now, instead of checking her blog weekly, I'm there 3, 4 times a day (at least, I bet her numbers have gone way as I click waiting for updates). Today's guest blog, a reprint of an article by Nina Planck is worth the visit (fer sure).

Monday, March 13, 2006

Meet Farmer Vicki in Oak Park

From the folks at Seven Generations Ahead:

Bringing the Farm to Your Home
Thursday, March 23
7:30 p.m.
1131 N. East Avenue, Oak Park

You’re invited to spend an hour with farmer Vicki Westerhoff of Genesis Growers, a premier organic farm located an hour south of Chicago. Join friends and neighbors interested in fresh food, good health and social justice, to talk and learn about:

· Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) – buying a “share” in a farm and receiving weekly supplies of delicious field-fresh veggies and fruit

· what “sustainable” and “organic” mean

· the importance of supporting family-run farms, and fostering a connection to the land and those who grow our food

· details of Genesis Growers’ CSA program, and how you can enroll

The genesis of Genesis …Vicki began growing her own organic food several years ago after a long illness that wasn’t responding to traditional medicine. Dismayed at the condition of the soil and the ecology of her family’s conventionally-farmed land, she set out to heal her small section of earth. She soon saw her land come alive and her health improve! Vicki and crew grow more than 60 varieties of vegetables on 20 acres.

About the Genesis CSA … Vicki’s CSA program begins in June, with pick-up at the Oak Park Farmer’s Market. Large and mid-sized shares are available. Benefits include out-of-this-world produce, family farm visits and an e-newsletter with photos, farm news & recipes.

Come and learn more. Bring friends (and a checkbook, in case you want to enroll)!