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Discover Amazing Farm Finds In 2024 With Community Supported Agriculture

Discover Amazing Farm Finds in 2024 with Community Supported Agriculture

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has surged in popularity since 2020 when the COVID 19 Pandemic started to impact food distribution across the United States. Although not a new concept within the farming industry (early CSA models in the United States date back to the 1960s and 70s with a group of Black farmers from Alabama who began advocating for smaller and smarter farming through the creation of “Clientele Membership Clubs”) the popularity of the modern CSA arrangement creates several rewards for both the farmer and the consumer. For the farmer, having a consumer pre-pay for a “share” of their farm’s output helps them in planning and budgeting for the upcoming growing season. For the consumer, their prepayment locks them into a share of the farm’s output, or sometimes known as “membership” or “subscription”. The share, which consists of seasonal products from the farm, is then distributed to the consumer on a regular basis throughout the growing season.

Right now, during the winter months, farms are beginning to open their CSA registration for the upcoming growing season. In 2024, we’re finding more farms are offering flexible subscription options, a choice of pickup or delivery, and payment plans to further entice consumers to join. And while produce may be the main attraction of many CSA farms, there are some amazing farm finds showing up in this year’s CSA options that give us much to look forward to as we wade through the dark, cold days of February.

From flowers to eggs, and herbs to winter storage shares, the farms we’re highlighting in this month’s blog are making CSA shares more exciting than ever. Read on to discover the amazing farm finds at Delight Flower Farm, Rustic Road Farm, Flora Bay Farm, and Star Farm.

The CSA that puts a smile on your face: Delight Flower Farm Summer Flower CSA Subscription

If you’re in the Champaign-Urbana area and you’re looking for a unique CSA option this year, look no further than Delight Flower Farm. Delight Flower Farm, established in Champaign-Urbana in 2011, is a woman-owned business growing sustainable, fresh cut flowers for regional farmer’s markets, florists, retail, and weddings. What started as a slice of a backyard garden plot in 2011 to now a 5-acre property, Delight Flower Farm has flourished into a staple for Central Illinois flower lovers. Their popular Summer Flower CSA subscription includes sunflowers, zinnias, eucalyptus, cosmos, celosia, marigold, gomphrena, lisianthus, and more. Mindy Borden, a flower lover who is more than slightly obsessed with sunflowers, has been a Delight Flower Farm subscriber for a few years now, and shared her thoughts on the magic of having a flower CSA. “Being a part of the CSA at Delight Flower Farm has been a way to put a smile on my face all growing season. The staff there are so friendly and thoughtful, and the flowers are gorgeous and unique. It is truly one of the few things that I do just for myself without hesitation each year.”

The CSA perfect for the person who needs options: Rustic Road Farm Personal Share (with add on options, of course!)

Marc and Luis Bernard of Rustic Road Farm tend to 18 acres in Elburn, Illinois, in addition to raising goats and heirloom pigs, free-range chickens, and pasture eggs. On top of the produce and animals, they’ve extended the farm operation to include several hives that produce honey and hoop houses for nearly year-round farming. Since 2011, the farm has become an integral part of the community, and a popular choice for consumers seeking out CSA options. One such option, called the Personal Share, has been a huge success since Marc and Luis launched it back in 2016. The Personal Share is meant for the individual or fussy eater because it features about 5-7 items per share, as opposed to the more common 8-10 items found in a half share (which they also offer and feeds about two adults or a small family who cooks about 5 nights per week). “It’s a good option for first-time shareholders who aren’t sure how much produce they will eat each week. When you pick up your box, if you think you will need some extra for that week, you can always supplement your share by purchasing an item or two at the farmstand.” Catering to the individual who needs options, Rustic Road also offers add-ons for their CSAs, including pasture-raised eggs in a dozen or two dozen quantities, as well as a winter storage share. This unique share sets up an eater for the Winter with items that are easy to store and use during the cold months, such as greens, squash, potatoes, onions, honey, grains, and beans.

The CSA that elevates the flavor of your food and takes you on a culinary adventure: Flora Bay Farm Culinary Herb Share

Courtney Smith, the farmer + artist behind Flora Bay Farm in Carbondale, IL, invites you to take a culinary herb journey in 2024. Flora’s Culinary Herb Share is a great way to familiarize yourself with locally available herbs, as well as some lesser known herbs such as savory, lemon balm, French tarragon, and papalo. The Culinary Herb Share is a weekly CSA, providing the subscriber with 2-3 herb bunches, detailed instruction cards on how to use the herbs, recipes, and suggested food pairings. How cool is that? Knowing Courtney’s background as a graphic artist, we’re certain that the tips and tricks shared alongside your weekly herbs will look just as delightful as the herbs will taste in your culinary adventures. Flora Bay Farm also includes information in each weekly share on how to care for fresh cut herbs and preservation techniques to save herbs for later use. With this unique CSA, you’ll not only get to taste new flavors, but you’ll also be able to expand your herbal knowledge and repertoire! 

The CSA for the person who isn’t ready for commitment: Star Farm No Commit CSA

For some people, it is possible to be in love with local food, but not ready for a season-long CSA commitment. Star Farm in Chicago understands those people. If it is your first time ordering a CSA, you may just want to try it out. No obligation. No strings attached. That is why they offer the No-Commit CSA. This great commitment-free option allows you to test drive a CSA, order local produce for a special occasion, or even order it as a special present for a friend or family member. The No-Commit CSA can be ordered at any time and, depending on when in the growing season the order is placed, will likely include two varieties of greens, two varieties of roots, three varieties of fruits, and a surprise! Not to spoil the surprise, but Star Farm shares past surprises have included items like mushrooms, honey, flowers, and more! It’s really whatever the season dictates, and is the fun of trying something new, but knowing if it wasn’t the right fit that time, that you are not committed to participating for the rest of the season. If the commitment-free option isn’t enough to get you to try a CSA, then perhaps knowing that all proceeds from Star Farm’s CSA program goes to support free community-based family and youth programming in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood.

CSA continues to be an important part of the local food system, and it remains the most personal way to know your farmer and know your food. If you have not already signed up for a CSA, 2024 is the year to do it! Amazing farm finds await you at a CSA farm close to your home. Find your 2024 CSA at

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