We look for a variety of criteria for a site:
A desire to create and further a sense of community amongst your fellow shareholders and our farm.
An area that is protected from the elements, such as a cool, enclosed porch or garage. The boxes should be sheltered from the sun, wind, rain and cold, so that the vegetables and fruit maintain their freshness.
Space to accommodate at least 75 boxes that each measure about 16”L, 10”W, 12”H. The boxes are typically stacked in columns 5 high.
A minimum of twenty shareholders to open a site. We prefer that the site host helps to secure this minimum number of shareholders; however, we are often able to find shareholders through our own marketing efforts to assist in starting a site. Occasionally an existing site will close; when we replace that site with a nearby site, we usually have more than 20 shareholders who transfer from their old site to the new site. Also, an existing site might become so popular that it reaches its capacity, and we then seek a new site nearby for the overflow of shareholders.
Reasonable parking access for people picking up their boxes.
Convenient access for the delivery truck to unload.
The site needs to be open for 24 deliveries from early June through late November. Your site’s single delivery day will be either one of the five weekdays or on a Saturday. (You do not need to be awake or present in order for the boxes to be delivered to your site.)
If the site is a home, we prefer, but do not require, that the site be tended and monitored by the host or a representative of the host. Presently, many of our sites are not regularly tended or monitored, and we have had few problems with un-monitored sites. If the site is a commercial establishment, monitoring is required.
A key or code for shareholders to access your site is at your discretion. Few sites currently require keys or codes.
Sites at commercial establishments are open within the framework of that establishment’s hours.
Ideally, few or no steps to navigate between the delivery truck parking area and the location where the boxes are stored. This facilitates the convenience of handcarts for box transport.
The acceptance of materials and signage left at your house over the course of the season, including the farm bulletin board and a container for folded-up, empty, returned vegetable boxes. (The farm furnishes the bulletin board and the container.)
Monitoring of box distribution, if your site is a commercial establishment. (This monitoring is not essential at a home site.)
Participation in our CSA program as a shareholder, if you host a site at your home. If hosting at a business, we prefer, but do not require, that the site host representative be a shareholder.
It is a privilege to be of service…to encourage people to support locally grown organic vegetables.
– Evanston Site Host
We strive for consistent pickup times:
For each site, a time is scheduled, according to the route sequence, for when deliveries arrive and for when shareholders can begin to pick up their boxes. The times further below reflect the broad time window for routes, within which these scheduled delivery and pickup times occur. In other words, each site host is provided with a projected time for when deliveries will arrive at their site, and for when shareholders will be able to begin to pick up at their site. Some variability in these times will occur, due to unanticipated traffic or site developments; therefore, some host flexibility regarding schedules is required.
For Saturday sites in the greater Chicago area: 1) The delivery of boxes to your site will ideally take place between 6:30 a.m. and noon. 2) The time window for shareholders to pick up will ideally be from around 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. For convenience of hosts and shareholders, CMS plans to email a notification to shareholders when their shares are ready to be picked up.
For weekday sites in the greater Chicago area: 1) The delivery of boxes to your site will ideally take place between 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. 2) The time window for shareholders to pick up will ideally be from around 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. For convenience of hosts and shareholders, CMS plans to email a notification to shareholders when their shares are ready to be picked up.
For weekday and Saturday sites near Angelic Organics–within 30 miles of the farm—1) The delivery of boxes to your site will ideally take place between 5:30 a.m. and noon. 2) The time window for shareholders to pick up at your site will ideally be from around 6.30 am to 8 pm.
Sometimes extra work is required to maintain your site:
Occasionally shareholders neglect to unfold their returned boxes.
Some shareholders share a box, which occasionally involves transferring produce from a box to a paper bag at the site. Our shareholders are of course responsible for cleaning up any debris they spill, but sometimes their cleanup is not ideal. (Not to worry—our shareholders are a considerate lot, overall.)
There may be unclaimed vegetables in the swap box which need to be disposed of through composting or some other means.
There may be orphaned (unclaimed) boxes of produce. Ideally these will be donated/distributed by you to others who will use the vegetables.
Sometimes you may need to contact or respond to shareholders, who are unable to pick up their vegetable box within the stated time window, to arrange an alternative pickup.
It would be lovely for you to greet and help the shareholders with their boxes on delivery day. We realize that most people who host a site are unable to do this, and it is not a requirement for hosting a site at one’s home. However, if you are able and so inclined, especially for the first two delivery days, this hospitality does wonders for community building and for the relationship to our farm, and will help the whole season to go smoother at your site.
If you host a site one year, we hope that you will host in future years as well.
I love being a CSA member and hosting a site, receiving such wonderful veggies every week, meeting the people who pick up veggies on my porch, telling people about the CSA concept and local food, and interacting with the farm. I can’t wait for the season to start!
– A Site Host
Some of the many benefits of hosting a site are:
Delivery of your vegetables right to your home or business. That’s free home delivery for the season!
Support of organic and Biodynamic farming.
Support of a local Community Supported Agriculture farm.
The opportunity to create community within your neighborhood, to meet and socialize with the shareholders who come to pick up their vegetables and fruit at your home.
Fostering of good will and perhaps increased patron traffic, if your site is an establishment such as a health club, medical clinic, grocery store or a non-profit organization such as a park, library, church, or synagogue.
Freedom to use/distribute/donate unclaimed boxes as you choose.
A $100 honorarium/discount credited to your account at the end of your hosting year, if your site hosts less than 75 vegetable and fruit boxes weekly throughout the season; and a $200 honorarium/discount if your site hosts 75 or more vegetable boxes weekly throughout the season. The honorarium can only be applied to a share purchase; it is not available as a cash refund. (Commercial establishments do not qualify for this honorarium.) Please note: this site hosting honorarium cannot be combined with another share discount.
I love hosting. I love supporting this form of new initiative. I love being part of the future of agriculture. I love John’s writing and Haidy’s sense of humor. I love meeting my shareholders at all times of the day and night and striking up conversations about meaningful topics. I love sharing recipes. I love it all!
– Ravenswood Manor Site Host since 1992
If you think you’d like to host a site, please fill out our Site Host Application. It will take about 15 – 20 minutes to fill out.