For over 25 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. (The number of CSAs in the United States was estimated at 50 in 1990, and has since grown to more than 2,200.) Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (also known as a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a selection of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season. Local farmers deliver it to an established, central location, or subscribers can pick it up at the farm. Most CSA farmers prefer that members pay in advance for the season, but some will accept weekly or monthly payments.

What are the benefits of joining a CSA program? Well, the produce doesn’t have to be transported to a warehouse or group of supermarkets. It is only transported once, to the pick-up location, so subscribers are helping save on fuel costs and sparing the environment from emissions. One key benefit is that the produce is just about as fresh as you can get, because it’s picked, sorted and delivered usually on the same day. CSAs benefit the local economy, too, because they keep the revenue in the area, instead of sending it to other countries or other States where produce may originate.

As you might expect with such a successful model, farmers have begun to introduce variations. One increasingly common one is the “mix and match” or “market-style” CSA. Here, rather than making up a standard box of vegetables for every member each week, the members load their own boxes with some degree of personal choice.

CSAs aren’t confined to produce. Some farmers include the option for shareholders to buy shares of eggs, homemade bread, meat, cheese, fruit, flowers or other farm products along with their veggies. Sometimes several farmers will offer their products together, to offer the widest variety to their members.

Even if you think you can’t afford to belong to a CSA, don’t despair. Many farmers are offering apprenticeships for people who can’t afford to purchase a membership for a season. You work in the fields for a pre-determined amount of time each week, and learn more about the business of agriculture, and you receive a share of the crops in return. Even if you don’t want to work in an apprenticeship, you can usually visit the farm and actually see where your next meal is coming from, and that’s a very good feeling. So, help a farmer, feed your family better, and save money by joining a CSA in your area.

Review our list of Indianapolis-area CSAs below:

 

Hamilton County

Salem’s Farm on Hunt Club
7900 Hunt Club Rd.
Zionsville, IN 46077
Phone: (317) 550-9888 (Laura Channell)
Email: http://www.localharvest.org/postemail.jsp?id=64967
Duration: May to December (30 weeks: Summer share 15 weeks, Fall share 15 weeks)
Description: As a CSA Member, you will receive a Salem Farms canvas tote bag to be used for all of your weekly share pick-ups. You will also receive weekly emails with information about what produce you will be picking up before each share distribution to help plan your meals. We will also give you recipe ideas and storage information. CSA Members will receive special discounts at our farm store and have the opportunity to participate in exclusive farm events. We really value getting to know our members and providing you a true farm-to-table experience at the farm.
Cost: Full season share $950; Summer share $500; Fall share $500
Payment: Checks are preferred: sign-up by filling out an on-line form and mailing with a check to Salem Farms. Credit/debit card payments: sign-up by paying online via PayPal.
Pick-up location: Tuesdays and Fridays, 3:00 pm-7:00 pm, 7900 Hunt Club Rd., Zionsville
Website: http://www.salemfarmsonhuntclub.com/#!csa/c11nh

 

Valentine Hill Farm CSA
7549 S. Retriever Ln.
Zionsville, IN 46077-8249
Phone: (317) 733-9311 (Bill Swanson)
Email: maria@valentinehillfarm.com
Duration: May to October (20 weeks)
Description: We offer the following shares for each season. A large share will provide seasonally available fruits and vegetables for four people. A large share with baked goods will additionally include one organic bakery item per week. A small share will provide seasonally available fruits and vegetables for two people. A small share with baked goods will additionally include one organic bakery item per week. Valentine Hill Farm has been serving central Indiana since 2005. We specialize in growing chemical free vegetables and fruit on our farm and producing organic artisan bakery products in our bakery. Our CSA offers a variety of seasonal vegetables, fruit, herbs, and microgreens/shoots. Subscribers can also add a share of our baked goods and pastas.
Cost: Large share $600; Large share with baked goods $680; Small share $400; Small share with baked goods $480.
Payment: Cash, check
Pick-up locations: Farm To Fork Market at Normandy Farm, 7802 N. Marsh Rd., Indianapolis, Fridays, 4:00 pm-7:00 pm; Zionsville Farmers Market (village parking lot in the center of Zionsville), Saturdays 8:00 am-11:00 am; Broad Ripple Village Farmers Market, 1115 Broad Ripple Ave., Indianapolis, Saturdays 8:00 am-12:00 pm.
Website: www.valentinehillfarm.com

 

Hancock County

Nameless Creek Growers Association CSA
9692 N. State Road 109
Wilkinson, IN 46186
Phone: (317) 752-0387 (Greg Tielking)
Duration: May through October (22 weeks)
Description: Every week you’ll receive approximately 1/2 bushel of garden produce, freshly picked from our garden to your kitchen. We will have lettuces, oriental greens, sugar pod peas, asparagus, baby potatoes, heirloom tomatoes, green and ripe colored sweet peppers, baby gourmet vegetables of all kinds, fresh herbs and flowers, fresh eggs, sweet corn, hot peppers, watermelon, cantaloupe, specialty melons, fall edible ornamentals, and so much more to make your mouth happy. We also offer year ’round shares of tender grass raised and corn finished Holstein beef. Don’t forget to order farm fresh eggs from Engleking Farm, as well. Our eggs are always fresh and full of sunshine.
Cost: Full share $460; Half share $275
Payment: Cash
Pick-up locations: Cumberland farmers market: every Saturday morning at the Green Gardens market stall until 12:00 pm. Located by the Cumberland City Building, on US40, Cumberland, IN; Engleking Farm: Thursday evenings from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Contact Darlene Engleking at 765-785-2842. Address: 9842 E. CR350 N. in Hancock County, Charlottesville, IN; Hancock Harvest Council Farmers Market: Between 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm every Saturday. Address: Hancock Wellness Center, Greenfield, IN.
Website: http://www.americantowns.com/in/wilkinson/organization/nameless-creek-growers-association-harvest-thyme-csa

 

Tuttle Orchards
5717 N. 300 W.
Greenfield, IN 46140
Phone: (317) 326-2278
Duration: May to September (16 weeks, weekly) and November to February (16 weeks, bi-weekly)
Description: The tote program is designed to give families the opportunity to get a weekly (or bi-weekly in winter) box of the best of what’s currently in season at Tuttles. Somewhat like a CSA, this program allows a family to sign up for a box of produce for the summer (May-Sep) or winter seasons (Nov-Feb). Totes include produce grown here at the orchard, as well as top quality produce from other farms (like Indiana Strawberries, South Carolina peaches).
Cost: Tuttle’s Traditional Summer Produce Totes:
Long Season: 16 weeks from May 28 – Sep 10
Large Tote: $480/season (pay in full or 5 monthly payments)
Small Tote: $320/season (pay in full or 5 monthly payments)
Short Season: 12 weeks from June 25 – Sep 10
Large Tote: $360/season (pay in full or 5 monthly payments)
Small Tote: $240/season (pay in full or 5 monthly payments)
New Tuttle’s Summer Produce/Groceries Tote:
Long Season: 16 weeks from May 28 – Sep 10
Large Tote: $672/season (pay in full or 5 monthly payments)
Small Tote: $512/season (pay in full or 5 monthly payments)
Short Season: 12 weeks from June 25 – Sep 10
Large Tote: $504/season (pay in full or 5 monthly payments)
Small Tote: $384/season (pay in full or 5 monthly payments)
Tuttle’s Winter Tote Program
Long Season (8 totes): $200 or $40/deposit + $20/tote
Short Season (4 totes): $100 or $20/deposit + $20/tote
Payment: Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Cash, Check, and WIC Farm Market Vouchers
Pick-up locations: Indiana Government Center, 302 W. Washington St.,
Thursday 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Indy Tire Indianapolis, 9302 E. 30th St., Thursday
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Website: http://www.indianapolisorchard.com/totes/

 

Hendricks County

Heritage Meadows Farm CSA
1692 E. County Road 800 S.
Clayton, IN 46118
Phone: (317) 539-2489
Email: amy@heritagemeadowsfarm.net
Duration: June to October (18 weeks)
Description: Our CSA will occasionally include samplings of other farm produced items such as baked goods, jam, noodles, and occasionally eggs and samples of meats. Our CSA runs approximately 18 weeks, give or take, depending on Mother Nature.
Cost: Full share: $635; Half share: $375; Quarter share: $200
Pick-up locations: Saturday, 8:00 am-12:00 pm at the Danville farmers market, located on the west side of the courthouse square; Saturday, 1:00 pm-3:00 pm at the farm directly after the farmers market. If you can’t make this time, please contact us for additional arrangements. There will be weeks where we are not at the farmers market. Those weeks the CSA baskets will be at farm pick up. We will post those dates as we get closer.
Directions: From Indianapolis (via I-70): Head west on I-70 to exit 59. Turn right and go north on SR 39 for approximately 2 miles to CR 800 S. Turn left and go west for approximately 1/4 mile and farm is on the right (north side of the road). From Plainfield (via US40): Head west on US40 to the town of Belleville. At the stoplight (SR39), turn left and go south for approximately 2 miles to CR 800 S, turn right and head west for approximately 1/4 mile and the farm is on the right (north side) of the road. From Danville (via SR39): Head south on SR39 crossing US40 to CR 800 S. Turn left and head west for approximately 1/4 mile and farm is on the right (north side) of the road
Website: http://www.heritagemeadowsfarm.net/members/types

 

Johnson County

Weaver’s Produce
1321 N. Academy Rd.
Needham, IN 46162
Phone: (317) 604-0771 (Jeremy Weaver)
Email: jweaver@weaversproduce.com
Duration: June through September (16 weeks)
Description: Shares are sold and each week the customers pick up their weekly box of produce. Customers have two options for their shares, full shares or half shares.
Frequency: Full shares: weekly; half shares: full share every other week
Cost: Full share: $480; half share: $240
Payment: Option 1: A member can choose to pay in full at the time of sign up. Option 2: A member pays half at the time of sign up and remaining balance is due by July 1st.
Pick-up locations: Franklin Active Adults Center, 160 East Adams Street, Franklin, IN; Weaver’s Farm Stand, 3080 North Morton Street (US 31), Franklin, IN; Weaver’s Farm Stand, 816 E. Broadway St., Shelbyville, IN
Website: http://weaversproduce.com/CSA.html

 

Marion County

Basic Roots Community Foods
341 N. Hamilton Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46201
Phone: Sue or Kay at (317) 341-0474
Email: basicroots4u@yahoo.com
Duration: Year-round
Description: Basic Roots Community Foods was started in December of 2005 to address the issue of the lack of good, local foods. Basic Roots is supported by a network of approximately 75 growers, locally & regionally, to provide year round farm fresh goodies. Currently we have monthly subscriptions available, with a delivery of once monthly. By subscribing, members reap the health benefits of eating local & natural foods while helping to build a sustainable community of farmers. As we continue to grow our network of farmers, many of whom are planting seeds of diverse, heirloom crops specifically for us, we will be able to offer a variety of choices weekly, rather than monthly. Each delivery includes a copy of the Digest This! newsletter filled with food facts & recipes.
Cost: Summer/Fall full share: $60 per delivery; Summer/Fall half share: $45 per delivery; Winter/Spring full share: $75 per delivery; Winter/Spring full share: $60 per delivery.
Pick-up location: None (To-your-door delivery)
Payment: Cash, check
Website: http://basicrootscommunityfoods.kaysue.org/products.htm

 

Big City Farms CSA
907 E. Michigan St.
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone: (317) 694-4299 (Matthew Jose)
Email: matthew@bigcityfarmsindy.com
Duration: June through October (22 weeks)
Description: The 2015 CSA share is a great way to enjoy the wide range of vegetables grown by Big City Farms. The shares are designed to meet the vegetable needs and desires of small households, whose members enjoy cooking and are excited to experience the seasonal changes of a local farm’s bounty. Shares will typically include six to eight items, with enough variety to satisfy most everyone. As a CSA member, you’ll get all of this delicious produce, freshly-harvested, plus a weekly newsletter with recipes and farm updates, as well as a Big City Farms canvas bag – perfect for carrying local vegetables from the pick-up site to your home!
Cost: One share $575
Payment: Option #1: Full payment included with completed application. Option #2: $200 deposit included with completed application; balance must be paid in full by June
1st, 2015. Early Bird Special: Take $25 off the total share price if you pay in full by February 28th. If the above payment options do not work within your budget, I am able to set up a more flexible payment plan in some circumstances. Please contact Matthew Jose if you would like to join the CSA but need an alternative payment schedule.
Pick-up locations: Monday: 5:00 pm–6:30 pm at the farm (at Midland Antiques Market), 907 E. Michigan St.; Friday: 5:00 pm–6:30 pm at the farm (at Midland Antiques Market), 907 E. Michigan St.; 5:00 pm–8:00 pm at Wildwood Market, 1015 Virginia Ave.
Website: http://bigcityfarmsindy.com/csa-information.html

 

CUE Farm at Butler University
Bulldog Rd.
Indianapolis, IN 46208
Email: trdorsey@butler.edu
Duration: June through October (20 weeks)
Directions: To access the farm, head west on 52nd Street and into the neighborhood of Rocky Ripple. After crossing the Central Canal, turn left at the second stop sign (Lester St.). At the end of the street, jog onto Bulldog Rd., past the athletic fields and Parking Lot I. The farm is at the end of the road next to the tennis courts and across from the Butler Prairie.
Description: The farm’s mission is to serve as an example of sustainable urban farming for Butler University and the Indianapolis community by teaching the interconnectedness of life, the importance of food security, and the methods of growing local foods through organic farming.
Cost: CSA subscriptions are currently sold out.
Payment: Cash, check
Pickup location: Weekly pick-ups are on Thursday evenings form 4:00 -6:00 pm.
Website: http://legacy.butler.edu/urban-ecology/urban-farm/

 

Distelrath Farms CSA
6302 E. Raymond St.
Indianapolis, IN 46203
Phone: (317) 363-4149 (Andrew Distelrath)
Email: sarah@distelrathfarms.com
Duration: May to November (29 weeks)
Description: Our produce is grown naturally, without chemicals and artificial inputs. The result is an overall quality that can’t be matched on an industrial scale.
Cost: Full share: $870; Pre-paid by March 1: $725
Payment: Cash, check
Pick-up location: Distelrath Farm Store
Website: http://www.distelrathfarms.com/the-farm/csa/

 

Irvington CSA
Hibben Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46219
Phone: (317) 698-5013
Email: irvingtonagriculture@gmail.com
Duration: May to November (25 weeks)
Description: The Irvington CSA season typically begins in early May and runs 25 weeks. Our crops are farmed by an Amish farmer, Levi Fisher and family, in Montezuma, Indiana. They do NOT use synthetic chemicals on the soil or plants. They practice good land stewardship, sustainable farming methods and respect for biodiversity on the farm.
Cost: Full share: $550 (discount if paid my mid-April); transportation/supplies fee: $105
Payment: Cash, check
Pickup location: Weekly pick-ups are generally on Friday evenings form 5:30 -7:00 p.m. at an Irvington residence. Produce is picked fresh that morning, loaded and driven to Irvington.
Website: http://www.irvingtoncsa.com/home.html

 

South Circle Farm
2048 S. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46225
Phone: (317) 446-9448
Email: amy@southcirclefarm.com
Duration: May through October (24 weeks)
Description: A share consists of six to ten items and feeds 2 – 4 people. A typical share includes a salad green, a cooking green, a crunchy root, an herb, a seasonal fruiting crop or two (pea, zucchini, tomato, etc), an onion-family veggie, and, when we’re lucky, a sweet treat like berries or a melon.
Cost: Full share: $575; Spring season: $200; Summer season: $200; Fall season: $200. Sign up by February 15 and receive $25 off the entire season.
Payment: Cash, check (Flexible payment plans for full share available)
Pick-up location: South Circle Farm, Thursdays, 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Website: http://southcirclefarm.com/csa-information.html

 

Seven Steeples Farm CSA
3200 W. Vermont St.
Indianapolis, IN 46222
Phone: (317) 713-9263
Email: info@sevensteeplesfarm.com
Duration: May to November (25 weeks)
Description: A typical CSA share will contain between six and nine different items and, depending on your family’s lifestyle and eating habits, our shares are designed to feed a 2- to 4-person family. Each week’s share will vary based on the season and availability, but we will do our best to include, each week, a salad green, root vegetable, onion-type vegetable, cucumbers, tomatoes, and cooking greens like kale or collards.
Cost: Full season share: $450; Full share Winter Deal: $425; Spring share (7 weeks): $135; Summer share (7 weeks): $135; Fall share (7 weeks): $135
Payment: Cash, check, credit card
Website: https://www.facebook.com/CentralGreens

 

Tab Fresh Stop
418 E. 34th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46205
Phone: (317) 923-5458
Email: sallybjohn@gmail.com
Duration: May 30 to November 9 (every 3 weeks)
Description: A  variety of beautiful, fresh, seasonal, sustainably grown vegetables, purchased directly from local farmers. Payment for a Fresh Stop Share is due by midnight, the Sunday before the Fresh Stop. All produce shares are the same size.
Cost: Share cost is determined by family size and income level. For example, a family of four with an income level below $50,000 will pay $13.25 per share.
Payment: Cash, check
Pick-up location: Tabernacle Presbyterian Church (418 E. 34th St.)
Website: https://freshstop.org/tab

 

Morgan County

Simpson’s Farm Market
1725 Wampler Rd.
Martinsville, IN 46151
Phone: (765) 349-4857
Email: info@simpsonfamilyfarm.com
Duration: All year
Description: In 2007, we began in earnest by producing pastured poultry, and in 2008 we added pastured pork to our operation. In 2009, we offered grass-fed beef for the first time and 2010 saw us add Thanksgiving turkeys as well ramp up our poultry and pork quantities to meet the growing demand for our high quality meats. In 2011 we began to focus on building our beef herd. Authentic food is food produced locally, delivered fresh and full of healthy nutrients from happy animals that are treated humanely. It is procured without the use of antibiotics, vaccinations, chemicals, genetically modified (GMO) grains or confinement feeding operations. It is created from animals raised on pasture as nature intended, by a farmer who owns and cares for the land. An authentic food farming model will leave the earth in a healthier state through its sustainable and environmentally friendly methods as it nurtures the soil through holistic management of the land. While various certifications may appeal to some, our customers seek a food that goes beyond those limited criteria for something that is truly an “authentic food.”
Frequency: Once per month to once per week, depending on order volume
Pick-up location: 71st Street and Binford Avenue (call for specific address)
Cost: See http://www.simpsonfamilyfarm.com/products/pricing-info/
Payment: Check, cash, debit/credit card
Website: http://www.simpsonfamilyfarm.com/

 

Shelby County

Homestead Farms CSA
8211 N. 400 W.
Fairland, IN 46126
Phone: (317) 366-5839
Email: homesteadfarms@yahoo.com
Duration: April to June (10 weeks)
Description: You will receive seasonal, organic vegetables along with available herbs and occasional fruit. We strive to supply members with just the right amount of fresh produce so finishing your box doesn’t become a chore. You can view a likely assortment of items based on the season by looking at the Seasonable Availability Calendar on our web site.
Cost: Full share: $450; half share: $225
Payment: Cash, money order, check, credit card, PayPal
Website: http://homesteadfarms.webs.com/apps/webstore/products/show/2041151

 

OUTSIDE THE NINE-COUNTY INDIANAPOLIS METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREA, BUT SERVING INDIANAPOLIS

Aspire Indiana Harvestland Farm
6775 State Road 32
Anderson, IN 46011
Phone: (765) 641-8303 / (765) 635-5711
Email: http://www.yourmarketgarden.org/contact
Duration: June through October (22 weeks)
Description: Shares will include fresh herbs and produce that’s in season. A single share is enough for a household of two while a double share is enough for a household of four. A single CSA share will include six to seven items from the following list: head lettuce, radishes, rainbow chard, kale, zucchini, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, celery, summer squash, fennel, green peppers, onions, turnip, apples, sweet peppers, kohlrabi, cabbage, and broccoli.
Cost: Single share price before March 31st: $390; Single share price after March 31st: $410; Double share: $750
Payment: You have two options for paying for your CSA. 1) You can save us a Pay-Pal processing fee by sending us a check. Send to: Harvestland Farm, 9615 East 148th Street Suite 1, Noblesville IN 46060; or 2) you can pay using Pay Pal.
Pick-up locations: Thursday – Harvestland Farm, 6775 SR 32 Anderson IN, 12:00 to 6:00 p.m.; Saturday – Broadripple Farmers Market, 1115 Broad Ripple Ave., Indianapolis, 9:00 to 12:00 a.m.; Thursday – Aspire Carmel Offices, 697 Pro-Med Lane, Carmel (close to St. Vincent); 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.; Saturday – Carmel Farmers Market, 5 Center Green, Carmel, 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Website: http://www.yourmarketgarden.org

 

Beyond Organics Indy CSA
Berne, IN
Phone: (317) 491-5537
Email: osbornefitness@gmail.com
Duration: June to October (20 weeks)
Description: Naturally grown produce without chemicals, Beyond Organics’ mission is to deliver fresh picked, nutrition packed produce to your local farmer’s market weekly from June to October. Browse the stalls if you want, but your produce is all set to go with your name on it. You can grab and go, or hang around for a bit and get to know the farmers.
Cost: Full share Saturdays (20 weeks): $625; Half-share Saturdays (20 weeks): $325; Full share Thursdays (16 weeks): $500; Half-share Thursdays (16 weeks): $260
Payment: Cash, PayPal
Pick-up location: At the Beyond Organics farm
Website: http://www.beyondorganicsindycsa.com/home

 

Miller’s Garden CSA
2758 N. Coloma Rd.
Montezuma, IN 47862
Phone: (317) 846-6057
Email: millerfarm_csa@yahoo.com
Duration: May to November (25 weeks)
Description: Miller’s Garden CSA is a community supported agriculture group on the northside of Indianapolis, served by Miller family in Rockville, Indiana. The Miller’s Garden CSA group serves to:
• provide information about the benefits of community supported agriculture,
• share recipes and food ideas, and
• support one another in choosing to eat wisely and support our farmer
Here at Miller’s Garden, our aim is to have all agriculture chemical-free the natural way. Organic agriculture is about finding sustainable methods for accomplishing our goals, and practicing good land stewardship. We farm with horses and simple techniques using natural fertilizers, cover crops, and compost for building soil life the way God created it to be.
Cost: Full share: $540; half share: $340; $110 delivery/bag fee
Payment: Two checks: One for share fee and one for delivery fee. (Checks are to be mailed to Cheryl Reynon, 10617 Jordan Rd., Carmel, IN 46032.)
Website: http://indianapoliscsa.com/

 

Victory Acres Farm CSA
5275 S. 800 E.
Upland, IN 46989
Phone: (765) 997-8448
Email: victoryacrescsa@gmail.com
Duration: June to October (18-20 weeks)
Description: Victory Acres is a branch of Victory Inner-city Ministries (VICM), a non-profit organization that is actively involved in community and economic development on the east side of Indianapolis. Since 2000, VICM has served to make Christ visible, not only to the poor and disenfranchised but to the entire community in which it serves. At Victory Acres, we believe that the farm serves as a place for making Christ visible through agriculture. How do we do this? We provide our members with farm products that are fresh, high-quality, certified naturally grown, chemical-free, and grown by a local farmer that they know. Meanwhile, individuals in relationship with Victory Inner-City Ministries are provided with a place to grow, rebuild, and participate in esteem-building work. While they are doing good work that is helping to produce good food, they learn new lessons, acquire valuable job skills, rebuild their lives, and help with vegetable production.
Cost: Full share on farm: $400; full share with delivery to Marion: $430
Payment: Cash, check
Pick-up locations: At the Upland farm or the designated Marion delivery location
Website: www.victoryacres.org