Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade. It’s a good thing. Small, independent farms are able to keep cash flow going throughout the year, and consumers get to have a stake in the farms’ successes as well as fresh produce all season long.

The outlook for even further CSA growth is great, especially when the farms and those who want the produce get creative.

In Illinois, according to The Chicago Tribune, office workers who traditionally would have trouble making a pick-up time are going to find it easier this summer.

One CSA participant, Microsoft employee Chris Ruder, worked to make the building where he works a drop-off point for a CSA. The Aon Center, the third tallest skyscraper in Chicago, is not your typical CSA drop-off point. Having a workplace drop-off point will open up CSA membership to those who wouldn’t be inclined to join without the convenience of having it delivered to their building.

Another way CSAs are making it easier for busy city workers to participate in the region is by creating drop-off points on tollway oases. Commuters can pop off the tollway on their way home from work to pick up their CSA shares.

If convenient pick-up isn’t enough of an incentive, Jim Slama, executive director of, is working to organize a group that would work with health insurance companies to offer a stipend for CSA members.

Looks like the Chicago-area CSA farms are going to be doing good business this summer, doesn’t it? Let’s hope other regions get creative like this, too.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Illinois CSAs creatively expand customer base
Convenient tollway and business drop-off points, plus health insurance stipends, attract a new group of local veggie eaters.