New Subscriber Information & FAQs
Welcome to Milwaukee Farmers United and thank you for your interest in our customizable farm boxes. This page will help new and prospective members get caught up to speed on how our program works, what makes us unique, what type of produce & goods you can expect, and answers to common questions we’ve received in the past.
Who and what are we?
Milwaukee Farmers United manages a year-round customizable farm box program that connects local farmers with eaters. We don’t grow our produce from 1 farm, but instead aggregate from a variety of local farms. This offers diverse options to our members while providing additional opportunities for local farmers to get their produce to market.
Studies show that most food travels over 1,500 miles from farm to grocer. We strongly believe in cutting down on this level of fuel consumption while offering produce picked just days before arriving at your door. Unless you regularly visit farmers markets, this level of freshness has truly been lost on most of us. But it doesn’t need to be that way!
We purchase your produce from our local farm partners, transport it to our facility, then wash, dry, and properly package our members’ boxes for delivery. In some cases, this process of harvest to delivery takes no more than 36 hours, providing a level of freshness unmatched by traditional grocers.
If you want to support local farmers, eat fresher and better food, and helping our earth in the process, join us and receive your first box as soon as this week!
What makes us different?
We combine the best elements of Farmers Markets, CSAs, online shopping and home delivery to conveniently bring the farm to YOU! Our subscriptions give you the freshest local produce in town while supporting the many amazing farmers growing it!
- Year-round availability: Many farms only provide produce during the main growing season, but since we work with a variety of farmers you can enjoy fresh & healthy local food all 365 days of the year!
- Ease of Use: Your member account makes it very easy to fill your box and choose a delivery date – whether you’re at work, home, or on the go, it just takes a few clicks to order from us.
- 100% Fully Customizable: We email you a catalog of what’s available every week and you can look and shop whenever you’d like. We make it very easy to get exactly what you want!
- Scalability: We require a $20 minimum order for free delivery. That’s it. While you are considered a member with access to our store, you can order when you like with no obligation for weekly orders.
- Pay as You Go: We pride ourselves on being friendly to new CSA subscribers as there are no massive upfront costs typical to traditional CSAs. While we offer a credit system to save money over time, you can choose when to order and pay when you order.
Why is buying & eating local so important?
We started this project for a number of reasons. Wisconsin is covered in family farms large and small growing and producing truly incredible products. Unless you shop around, it’s difficult to find these products in one location. Instead, large grocers purchase bulk from distributors, often getting their goods cheaper and out of state. Grocers are important to many people and provide a valuable service, but for those looking to buy locally sourced produce and goods that are grown naturally without chemical pesticides and fertilizers, it can be hard to easily do so. We believe this access is important for the following reasons:
- Seasonal Eating: Your produce is much fresher and tastes far better because it is delivered to you shortly after being harvested. This is a difference you need to experience to believe.
- Supporting Your Local Economy: Eating locally grown food means more money stays within our community and generates more income for our farmers. There are numerous studies showcasing the value of keeping money in your community, but the big impacts revolve around continued circulation of money in local goods and services leading to more local job opportunities.
- Climate Impact: Because your produce travels a fraction of the distance of the food in stores, our short process leaves a significantly smaller ecological footprint.
How does our program work?
We deliver our customers produce on Wednesdays and Sundays each week. Our members receive an email on Saturdays (for Wednesday deliveries) and Tuesdays (for Sunday deliveries) letting them know our store is completely up to date. You can take the next couple days to browse our offerings and place your order. You’ll receive a confirmation once your order has been placed.
Our team then takes the next 2 days to round up your order and pack it for delivery. Your customized box is delivered to your home or office on Wednesday or Sunday between the hours of 10 – 7. Each box comes with ice packs to keep our items cooled while sitting at your drop off location.
Our boxes are reusable, so when placing your second order we require you to leave out the previous box in your desired drop off point. We’ll drop off your new one and grab your previous box, limiting waste on packaging. You can also place your own cooler outside your door and we’ll deposit your items in the container of your choice!
Home/Office Delivery: We offer free delivery to our customers and drop off Wednesdays and Sundays, between the hours of 10 AM -7 PM. You will receive a text message when your box has been delivered.
Your box consists of a heavy duty storage tote, a liner for the inside of the tote, and a few ice packs to keep your produce chilled until you get to it. When you have your box, please remove all contents and properly store them. Set the box aside until your next delivery, then simply set it out again on Wednesday/Suday for us to swap it with your next box. Any unreturned boxes are subject to a $20 fee.
Picking Up Your Box: We allow convenient pick up options at our Bay View location on Thursdays from 12-7 PM. Please call to inquire about this option and confirm your pickup.
Getting the most out of your box
- Plan some meals ahead of time so you can start to use your box right away!
- Store items properly so they stay fresh until you’re ready to use them.
We thoroughly wash your produce before it gets to you, but you should always wash all produce again before eating or cooking.
Is my farm box organic?
We supply produce from a multitude of farms with different goals. We choose our farm partners very carefully but do not require an organic certified lable for all of our produce. Farms like Full Harvest are organic certified, but not all of our farm partners go through the certification process based on what’s important to their business.
We do offer certified organic products which will be specifically outlined such as the below example:
Why does farm produce look different than grocery store produce?
When produce is grown naturally, using sustainable practices, it may not look perfect like it does in the stores. Because some of our produce comes from local farms that avoid chemical use, sometimes you will see the smallest chomp from a caterpillar or the occasional browning on the end of a leaf. Large commercial farms use chemicals to keep their produce appearing pristine, but in our opinion the cost of that practice isn’t worth it to your body. We wash and dry produce that needs it, but our suppliers deliver us the highest quality products. Expect produce similar to what you’ll find at your local farmers market!