Frequently Asked Questions

What is a CSA?

 

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Think of it as investing in a farm, or in our case, in the regional food system. Your dividend is a delivery of local, organic, sustainably grown fruits and vegetables.



Why participate in a CSA?


  1. A CSA provides direct income to local farms.

  2. A CSA allows you to know and have direct access to the farmers that grow the food you feed your family.

  3. A CSA eliminates vast amounts of waste and resource depletion by helping farms plan and keeping crops local.

  4. A CSA provides you with the freshest, most flavorful & nutrient dense seasonal fruits and vegetables the Midwest has to offer.


Is Tomato Mountain a CSA?


Yes, and more! Tomato Mountain is a certified organic, zero carbon footprint farm in Brooklyn, Wisconsin. We specialize in crops such as tomatoes, carrots, spinach, onions, shallots, lettuces and greens, peppers, and a handful of other vegetables that we grow exceptionally well. In order to round out the selection for our customers and support the local food economy, we rely on and source from trusted farm partners for the items they specialize in - mushrooms, apples, grapes, peaches, plums, berries, melons, sweet potatoes, potatoes, squash, garlic - the list goes on and on! On top of that, we keep our Farmers Pantry stocked with dozens of carefully curated items from local artisans. You can find items like eggs, cheese, jams, nut butters, chocolate, oil & vinegar, spices, tofu, grains, and even soap!   



How does Tomato Mountain's CSA work?

 

Being a Tomato Mountain CSA member is as easy as it gets! Some of the benefits and features include:


  • Recurring subscriptions. We deliver 48 weeks per year! 

  • Easy, pay-as-you-go billing. No paying for a full season or full year up front.

  • 4 convenient sizes - Solo, Small, Medium & Large. 

  • The ability to set your personal preferences & customize the contents of your farm share.

  • Access to our Farmers Pantry. Add extras like cheese, grains, nuts, eggs, jams & preserves, spices and so much more! 

  • Delivery right to your front door. 

  • Manage your account, subscriptions and deliveries online


How do I shop in the Farmers Pantry for extras?


Need some coffee, eggs, or butter this coming week? Want to impress your family with a charcuterie board of artisan salami, pickles and cheese? We’ve got you covered. You may add items from the Farmers Pantry throughout the week; the order deadline is Saturday at 11:00pm Central Time (CT) for the coming week. 


Can I set up recurring delivery for staples like milk, eggs, or tofu?


Yes! You can select weekly, bi-weekly or monthly deliveries for items like eggs, milk, tofu, coffee, butter, granola, mushrooms, sprouts, cheese, and more! 


How do I customize my farm share?


Customizing your farm share couldn’t be easier. We’ll send you a message detailing the pre-selected fruits and veggies for your box. From there, you can login to your account and add or remove items as you wish; the order deadline is Saturday at 11:00pm Central Time (CT) for the coming week.

There is a minimum value assigned to the share size you have selected - Solo, Small, Medium or Large. Your customized farm share must meet that minimum value. 


How does billing work? 


Our billing is simple. Each Saturday at 11:00pm Central Time (CT) you are charged for your upcoming farm share. This charge includes the base cost of your share (Solo, Small, Medium, Large) + any additions you have made. Farmers Pantry orders are charged at the time of purchase. There is a delivery fee of $9.00. 

Upon signup you will be billed for your first farm share & any farmers pantry items you have added.  


Why is there a fee for delivery?


Transportation is one of the more costly aspects of the food system. The delivery fee helps to cover trucking to and from the farm, vehicle maintenance, fuel, and paying drivers a living wage.


What happens if I am out of town for a week or going on vacation? 


We offer three options for members who will be away for their regularly scheduled delivery. 

  1. Donate your delivery - Your donations go directly to community organizations with programs to assist food insecure individuals. (request through your member dashboard by the order deadline and you are charged for that week's share.)

  2. Hold your delivery (request through your member dashboard by the order deadline and you are NOT charged for that week's share.)

  3. Request your delivery be made to an alternate address within our delivery area (please contact us at support@tomatomountain.com and we can help on a case-by-case basis)

All holds must be placed by your order deadline. You will be charged for your delivery if your hold is requested after the order deadline. Your farm share will be donated if you are unable to receive it. 


Deliveries to alternate addresses must be set up in advance. We require a minimum of one week (7 days) prior to your delivery date to accommodate delivery to an alternate address.


Do I need to be home to receive my delivery?


Nope. At signup, simply give us the delivery instructions you would like us to follow. Inside the vestibule...on the second floor of the back porch...in front of the door of unit 3B - we’re happy to oblige. If your home or building has unique circumstances please reach out to us directly; we can accommodate most situations.



What if I want my delivery placed in an area that is locked? 


Not a problem. We are happy to be buzzed in and leave your farm share at the location of your choosing. We can also collect a key, door code, or use a lock box if that is more convenient.


What day & time will I receive my farm share?


We go to specific areas of Chicagoland each day. We begin deliveries around 9:00am and usually wrap up around 7:00pm, Wednesday - Friday. Saturdays we begin deliveries at 6:00am and usually wrap up around 3:00pm. Delivery times cannot be guaranteed. There may be rare circumstances (disabled vehicle, inclement weather, etc) that push deliveries as late as 10:00pm. 


Please see our Home Delivery Map to determine which day you can expect your delivery.


Is there anything I need to do on my delivery day? 


Yes! Leave a cooler out for us!  


As part of Tomato Mountain’s commitment to wise use of natural resources, we pack and transport our farm shares in reusable waxed cardboard boxes. As they are waxed, they cannot be recycled, but they may be used dozens of times. We ask all members to leave out a labeled cooler (first & last initial, Tomato Mountain). When we arrive we will pack your farm share directly into your cooler and take the box away with us. Remember to leave an ice pack in your cooler during warm weather (a frozen water bottle works great)!


What if I cannot leave out a cooler for my deliveries? 


We understand that some buildings or HOA’s have restrictions on leaving out a cooler. Most will allow an accommodation for something like this. If not, we will leave the waxed cardboard box for you, but we do require they be collected each week. 

Failure to return boxes may result in additional fees. 


What size cooler do I need? 


We recommend the following cooler sizes. Remember to increase your cooler size if you are receiving eggs or products from our Farmers Pantry. 

 

Solo - 25qt (36 cans) or larger

Small - 25qt (36 cans) or larger

Medium - 28qt (38 cans) or larger

Large - 38 qt (53 cans) or larger

 

What size CSA is right for me?

 

We offer 4 convenient sizes:

  • Solo Share - 1 to 2 adults

  • Small Share - 1 to 3 adults

  • Medium Share - 3 to 5 adults

  • Large Share - 4 to 6 adults and sharing households 

 

Remember these are very general guidelines. The appropriate size for you is dependent on your eating and cooking habits. You can always make adjustments to your deliveries through your member dashboard. 

 

 

What items will be in my farm share? 

 

One of the great things about participating in a CSA is learning to eat and cook with what is seasonally available. Please take a look at our Crop Calendar to see what is generally available throughout the year.