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Batavia Pickup Point Established for Green Earth Institute CSA

Fresh, local, organic produce available in Batavia from Green Earth Institute

Fresh, local, organic produce available in Batavia from Green Earth Institute

More and more, people are looking for fresh, local, and organic produce. Farmers markets and CSAs (community supported agriculture programs) become more popular every year, here in the Chicago area, as well as around the country. In the western suburbs, the Green Earth Institute is celebrating its 10th year offering its popular CSA program, providing residents with the freshest possible local organic produce. In the past, participants needed to drive to the farm in Naperville to pick up their share of the harvest, but starting this year there will be a pickup point in nearby Batavia.

The Green Earth Institute’s organic vegetable farming takes place in south Naperville on the McDonald Farm (which is owned by the non-profit organization The Conservation Foundation). The farm provides nutritious, certified organic, locally-grown food and at the same time serves as a model for “green” growing practices and as an educational venue for children and adults. Green Earth Institute operates as a non-profit organization with a mission to promote nutritional health and environmental sustainability.

Green Earth Institute grows over 40 vegetable and herb crops at the farm: lettuces, cooking greens, kohlrabi, broccoli, carrots, beets, cabbage, basil, thyme, summer squash, and winter squash, just to name a few. The CSA concept allows consumers to buy directly from the farmers, enabling the consumers to know the people who grow their food and what methods are used. To provide financial stability for the farm, the consumers purchase a share of the harvest in advance and then receive vegetables throughout the season.

In Green Earth Institute’s CSA, the main harvest season runs from mid-June to the end of October, a total of 20 weeks. The weekly share is a ¾ bushel box of freshly harvested vegetables each of the 20 weeks, at a cost of $690. The biweekly share amounts to 10 boxes over the same time period, costing $370. (The additional options for Spring and Late Fall shares are sold out for this year.) Sales tax is additional. A flyer describing the CSA is at http://www.greenearthinstitute.org/pdfs/C-12-CB.pdf.

In Batavia, the CSA vegetable pickup point is located near North Washington and East Wilson St., at a participating CSA shareholder’s home. CSA members will be able to pick up their vegetables on Wednesdays anytime between 3 and 8 pm, starting June 20.

Green Earth CSA members are not required to work on the farm, but many shareholders volunteer and enjoy planting, cultivating, harvesting, and other tasks involved in growing their food or supporting the organization. Volunteering is a great way to foster a sense of community and a greater connection to the source of our food. Interested people can sign up on http://greenearthinstitute.org.

A detailed description of the CSA and an online order form are available at http://greenearthinstitute.org. Information about other Green Earth initiatives, such as summer programs for pre-schoolers and elementary school age children, and adult education programs is also available on the website.

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