Common Questions about Box Deliveries
Where do you deliver?
Visit our Delivery Sites page to see our current delivery locations (over 30 sites in the Chicago and Rockford, Illinois area). Most delivery sites are porches or garages at a volunteer shareholder’s home.
How often do you deliver?
Shareholders receive a box of our fresh, biodynamic vegetables once per week. A share can be 12 or 20 weeks long. Half-shares (full boxes delivered every other week) are also available, as are Extended Shares, (4 boxes of storage vegetables delivered in the late fall).
How will I know which delivery site to go to?
When prospective shareholders sign up and commit to a season of vegetables from our farm, they select, on the sign up form, the delivery site that would be the closest or most convenient for them. Shareholders nearly always get their preferred delivery site; however, there are years when certain sites seem particularly more popular than others. When that happens, we’ll contact some of the shareholders to discuss the possibility of picking up at the next closest site.
Shareholders can expect to get an email confirming their delivery site, delivery details and specifics regarding their shares about two weeks before deliveries begin.
When do the deliveries begin and end for the season?
- 20-week shares are delivered from mid-June to late-October
- 12-week shares are delivered from mid-August to late-October.
- Extended Shares, which consist of four additional boxes of storage vegetables, are delivered over the course of November and early December (skipping Thanksgiving week).
What time can I pick up my box?
Refer to your personal confirmation email for pick-up times at your Delivery Site. Time windows at the delivery sites are at least 5 hours, and average about 7 hours.
What if I can’t make the scheduled delivery times?
Vegetable boxes should be retrieved within a site’s pick-up window and, preferably, as close to delivery time as possible, to ensure that proper refrigeration happens in time to maintain the peak freshness that local produce can provide. Also, since our sites are mostly volunteer shareholders’ homes, respecting the time window also respects our hosts’ generosity. In special cases, site hosts may be able to arrange an alternate pickup time if you contact them ahead of time. However, there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to help you, and we ask that you do this no more than once or twice a season. We are very grateful for the generous families who have offered to host our sites and do not wish to burden them any more than is necessary. Please call the farm if this presents a problem. For more information on this, please see “What happens if I know I will be unable to pick up a box?” below.
Can I pick up my box at the farm? Is it any cheaper?
There are no discounts for shareholders who opt to collect their boxes at the farm, and yes, we have several shareholders every season that choose to come to the farm to retrieve their boxes. If you live close enough, it can be a rewarding opportunity to interact with the farm more, as well as come to know and recognize the farmers who grow your food.
Which delivery site is closest to me?
To help you decide which of our Chicago CSA Delivery Sites is in the neighborhood most convenient to you, check out the map on our Delivery Sites page.
Where do I pick up a newsletter?
Newsletters are written each week during the harvest season and are available online on our Farm News page, or by request on old-fashioned paper at our delivery sites. Be sure to read your newsletter every week! It’s our main way of communicating to our shareholders, making announcements, and sharing what happens at the farm and with the vegetables throughout the growing and harvest season. If you prefer to print your own newsletter, printable PDFs are available at the bottom of every online newsletter page.
What happens if I know I will be unable to pick up a box?
If you’re unable to pick up your box during the scheduled time windows, you may do any one of three things:
1.You can try to arrange a next day pick-up with your site host. In special cases, site hosts are sometimes able to arrange an alternate pickup time if you contact them ahead of time. However, there’s no guarantee they can help you, and we ask that you do this no more than once or twice a season. We are very grateful for the generous families who have offered to host our sites and do not wish to burden them any more than is necessary. Please call the farm if this presents a problem. Please also see the question above: “What if I can’t make the scheduled delivery times?”
2.You can have a friend pick it up for you. Or, you may wish to give some of the harvest to family, friends or neighbors and have them pick up a box. NOTE: When you have someone else pick up your box, please share the pick-up instructions with them! It’s possible that without this info, your stand-in might cause a lot of confusion for your site host, your fellow shareholders, and the farm. Please be mindful. We have heard many stories of miscommunications (and misunderstandings) leading to stand-ins taking more boxes than they were supposed to, or taking a fruit box when they meant to take a vegetable box, and that leaves another shareholder without a box. Thank you for your mindfulness!
3.You can leave your box at the site and allow it to flow into our Food Security Committee’s Food Bank Program.
What happens if there aren’t any boxes left at the delivery site?
Missing boxes do happen occasionally, for a variety of reasons. If you arrive at your site one day to find that all the boxes are gone, first ask yourself if you are picking up during the correct time frame, and on the right day. Some hosts remove extra boxes promptly at the end of the day, and you will have to contact them to get your box if you are going to be even 15 minutes late. People have also been known to get confused about their delivery day over the course of the season. When you are sure that your box is truly missing, please contact us at the farm as soon as possible by calling 815-389-2746.
You have three options to make up for your missed box:
1.An extra box can be delivered to you later in the season (let us know at least a week in advance).
2.A box credit can be given towards your next year’s share.
3.A refund for the amount of the box can be administered (this may take a while to process and so is our last choice).
If you have any other problems with your box, delivery site, or anything else, please call and discuss it with us. We will do our best to explain and/or rectify the situation.
Can I change my delivery site temporarily?
Attempting to keep track of all of our shareholders’ weekly comings and goings is a task too complicated for us to manage. For this reason, we are not able to accommodate temporary delivery site switches at any point throughout the season. An exception is when you would like to pick up your box at the farm on occasion. Please call the farm to arrange this, though, with our hectic farming demands, we ask that you give us a two-week notice to assure that we have enough time to make that change for you.
Can I permanently change my delivery site partway through the season? How do I do that?
Yes. If you need to permanently change your delivery site, notify us at least two weeks before the week you want the change to take effect. This is to ensure that we have enough time to mail you directions to your new site, and so that the field manager can plan for harvest. We ask that you only change your site if you plan to continue picking up at the new site for the rest of the season. It is too difficult on us to change your site for only a week or two.
Can I recommend a new delivery site?
Although we rarely add new delivery sites these days, we welcome recommendations, as there is always the possibility that a site may not be available from year to year, or a new location may better suit the needs of a given shareholder population. We are also always grateful to hear from any shareholders who may be interested in becoming site hosts, as this is a golden service to our farm and community.