Skip to content

February 11, 2014

Don’t quite understand the new CSA? You’re not alone.
This post is for you. We’ve answered some of the more common questions. Do you have a questions that isn’t answered here? Send it to Rob at

How does this new concept work?
Start by visiting our website at

You will see three levels of CSA membership. Think of the three levels as putting money into an account. You can “deposit” whichever “size” you want.

  • If you’re new to CSA, the small size is a great starting point.
  • The middle level is quite similar to a traditional CSA.
  • For those who enjoy lots of vegetables, those who juice, and families that want to make an impact, we have the larger size.

There is only one 25-week season, from June through Thanksgiving.

Click for larger image

As the season progresses, you’ll order fresh produce from our webstore. There is no obligation to order each week. So, if you are going on vacation or just need a produce break, simply don’t place an order. No money will be deducted from your account. When you do place an order, you can order as much as you like but there is a minimum of $20. For example, you order $40 of kale in week 1. We’ll deduct $40 from your account that week. Then, in week 2, you go on vacation and don’t want anything. We deduct $0 from your account that week. And so on. You have 25 weeks to use up your account balance, until November 22. To check out a sample store for the month of August, click on the image above.

When do I need to place my order?
So you place your order one week out for the following week. If you place your order on Wednesday June 11, for example, it would be for the food you would receive on Thursday, June 19. In the newsletter each week, we’ll send a reminder and a quick link to the webstore.
Can I switch my pick up sites?
Yes. When you sign up for the CSA, you will choose a primary site. You might choose Begyle Brewing on Cuyler, for example.
However, each week when you place your order you can also choose a different site. So you’re out of town on Thursday and you want your share on Saturday. You would choose, for example, Provenance Food & Wine on Leland for that week. We need to know of site changes at the same time as when you put your “order” in. We need to have the orders in the week before we harvest to make sure all the work gets done and your produce is

fresh when it arrives.
I prefer to not pick out my own produce. Is there a way to do this with your CSA?
Yes. Some folks like to be “forced” to try new things. Others just enjoy getting a mystery box each week. If you want a mixed box of vegetables, we can do that. If you want one every single week, just let us know. If you only want one now and again, you can choose this option when you go to our webstore.
I’ll miss seeing getting my share on Sundays at the market. What are my options?
We know that the weekend is a popular time for CSA shares. We’ve added Saturday sites in Logan Square, Lincoln Square, Rogers Park, and Berwyn for those folks who find it more convenient.
What happened to the spring shares? to the fruit shares?
We simply could not meet demand for the spring shares. You see, most of our spring production is grown in greenhouses. These are expensive to build and maintain.And even though we have 7 of them, we run out of space quickly. It’s quite a bit of food, as you know.
The fruit shares are a different story. We had some issues finding high quality organic fruit last year. It proved to be a ridiculous amount of work. We were calling different farms, traveling to pick things up, there were last minute quality issues, you name it. To be honest, we took a bath on that one and so we’re scaling back. We’re still going to offer fruit sometimes but we’re going to focus on sourcing local, organic fruit and there will be much less of that available unfortunately. Once our orchard kicks in, in a few years, that amount will increase significantly.

Have your prices changed?
They have not. If you purchase at the $645 level, you can expect a similar amount of produce to last season’s 25-week vegetable share. Of course, weather and seasonality will always affect the availability of produce. On top of that, if we have a bumper year for a certain crop, say sweet beets, CSA members will have a great opportunity to take advantage and get more for your hard earned money.Won’t this be alot of work?
Probably the first year. It’s alot of organization as you can imagine. We expect to have a few bumps in the road and we hope for your patience as we walk the local food walk together. But our families asked for more choice and Christina and I figured out a way to do it. We take alot of pride in being a farm that actually listens to our families. If we can do it for you, we will. We understand that different families have different needs and this is one way that Montalbano Farms can help you bring more fresh, healthy food into your kitchen.