How To Have The Best Shareholder Experience

(This page is primarily for shareholders who pick up their share at a community site. Much of it also applies to those of you who receive home delivery.)

Your Vegetable Box

  • Please look at the checklist at your site to make sure that you are scheduled for a vegetable box that week. The checklist will be on a bulletin board at your site. Be sure to check your name off the list so the site host knows that you picked up your box.
  • The white vegetable boxes will be stacked together, and are marked Vegetables. Take one from the stack. Never open boxes looking for that “ideal” one. The boxes are packed with great care to be as similar as possible.
  • Return your empty vegetable box when you go to your pickup site for your next delivery. Flatten your vegetable box when you return it to your site. Click here to view a video demonstrating how to flatten your vegetable box.

Your Fruit Box
(if you are signed up for a fruit share)

  • Please look at the fruit checklist on the bulletin board at your pickup site to be sure that you are signed up for a fruit share before you take a fruit box. Be sure to check off your name so your site host knows that you picked up your fruit box.
  • Fruit boxes will be in a separate stack marked Fruit. The fruit boxes are a plain brown box.
  • Remember, fruit boxes are delivered every other week.
  • Please recycle fruit boxes on your own; do not return them to your pickup site. Unlike the vegetable boxes, the farm does not re-use the fruit boxes.

The Swap Box

The swap box at your pickup site serves as a trading place — you leave items in the swap box that you don’t care for and trade for something you like. If you take an item from the swap box, leave an item in the swap box.


  • Help your produce stay fresh by picking up your box promptly. Freshness and quality can quickly wither on a hot summer day.
  • We do our best to maintain quality and uniformity for all of our vegetable boxes. After you get home, if there are some unsatisfactory vegetables or fruit, email the farm office at email hidden; JavaScript is required (preferred) or call 815-389-2746 on weekday mornings and we will do what we can to remedy the situation.
  • Before you contact the farm office with a concern, read the issue of Farm News that comes with your vegetable box. Your concern might be addressed in Farm News.
  • While we do generally rinse off field soil after harvest, we highly recommend that you always thoroughly wash your vegetables before preparing them.

Your Newsletter

We include a printed newsletter, Farm News, with each vegetable box, to help build connection to the farm and your vegetables. Each issue of Farm News is also posted on our blog here. Your weekly or bi-weekly pickup reminder email will include a link to that week’s Farm News on the blog.

Farm News is written by Farmer John and it is an important element of your shareholder experience. If you’re not reading the newsletter, you’re not having the best shareholder experience.

A fruit newsletter is also included with each fruit box. The fruit newsletter is not posted online.

Sharing a Box?

The best way to split your box contents with your box-mate is by taking your box home to do so.

However, when this is not possible, adhere to the following procedure:

  • Locate the Rubbermaid box labeled “For Shared Boxes.”
  • Take out a grocery bag and write your box mate’s name on it with the provided marker. (Because we need to reuse your vegetable box, please do not write on the box.)
  • Place your box mate’s vegetable portion into the grocery bag.
  • Tightly close the bag, make sure your box mate’s name is legible and place it somewhere within your pickup site where your box mate can easily find it.
  • Clean up any mess that was made dividing the box contents.
  • Take the remaining half-full box of produce home with you.

Shareholders who are not sharing a box should not take these grocery bags for their vegetables since this will deplete the supply for those who absolutely need them. If you would rather pack your box contents into your own reusable bags or paper bags, we encourage you to do so. Just make sure to leave your box flattened and stacked at your pickup site.

Can’t Pick Up Your Box?

When you’re not able to pick up your box during the scheduled pickup hours, you may either:

  • Have a friend pick it up for you. If you have a friend pick up your box, give them your site specific pickup instructions. You received a link to your site specific pickup instructions when you signed up for your share, and these pickup instructions are also emailed to you every week as part of the pickup reminder email. Also, tell your friend if they should pick up a fruit box for you or not. Shortages can otherwise occur.
  • Contact your site host and ask her/him to direct the unclaimed box to a needy party, or
  • Contact your site host ahead of time to arrange for a later pickup (this option is not available at all pickup sites). It is rare that your host will be able to accommodate you if you contact them after the scheduled pickup hours.

Important: Please note that the farm can only guarantee your box will be available during your site’s stated pickup hours. If you do not pick up during the published pickup hours, the farm will not make up for your missed box.

 Sign up for Your Free Recipe Service

Click here for instructions on how to sign up for the very popular free recipe service, Local Thyme. Local Thyme provides weekly recipes customized to your box.

Your Site and Your Generous Site Host

Please keep your pickup site tidy. Your site host is making a very generous contribution to the farm and to your community. Please treat your site host with the utmost courtesy and your pickup site with the utmost respect.