Brown Market Shares Program
Established 2006




How much food is in a share?

Your weekly Market Share should provide two to three people with their produce for the week. If you are a vegetarian or serious veggie lover, then you might need a whole share for yourself!  If your Market Share is supplementing a trip to the grocery store, it can feed up to four or five people.

Why Does The Size Of The Share Fluctuate In Different Seasons?

We choose to keep the price of the share consistent throughout the year. Fluctuations in food prices that occur regularly with the seasons mean that some shares may be larger or smaller than others. In the late summer and early fall, for instance, local produce is more abundant and therefore less expensive than in the winter months – which increases the amount of food that can be purchased for each share.

Can we get more "common" items like lettuce and tomatoes?

We do our best to provide a diverse array of items throughout each season. Many popular items like cucumbers, lettuce, green beans, and tomatoes are only in season during the late summer and into September. Although some farmers do have them available at other times, they cost a lot to grow out of season and are thus too expensive for us to buy regularly at other points in the year. We get excited about this, because it means that fall, winter and spring items like Brussels sprouts and hearty squashes will be more readily available! That's the definition of eating seasonally, which is what BMSP is all about.

Can we get more fruit?

We try to put together a hearty share each week, because we know that for many of you, the food you receive from us is a significant part of your weekly diet. We also do our best to include fruit in the share as often as we can. Although fruit items are delicious and definitely some of our favorites, they are very expensive per quantity compared to heartier items like greens and winter squash. Popular ones like stone fruits (pears, peaches, and plums) and berries can be quite pricy! We do not want to spend too much on fruit if it means having fewer items in the share. Another factor that limits our ability to order more fruit is the seasonality of those items. Most fruit items are only in season during the summer, and our farmers do not have them available during other seasons. Fruit crops are also particularly sensitive to harsh weather conditions. Anything from too much water to a long winter can alter fruit yields for the rest of the year!

what do i get in a meat share?

The meat share is $100 for five weeks ($20/week) and is distributed every other week. You may choose either five weeks of chicken, beef, and pork OR five weeks of just chicken and beef. The cut of the meat will vary each week, but the share often include whole chickens, various types of sausage, chicken breast or legs, ground beef, and ground pork.


What do i do if i don't know how to cook an item in the share?

Each week, you will receive our newsletter containing easy, seasonal recipes to guide you in your locally-sourced menu planning. We also recommend that you check out our Produce Guide, which also contains lots of great info about each item. Don’t despair if a vegetable looks unfamiliar! Almost any vegetable can be turned into chips (see this recipe for kale chips) or used to make a yummy broth. Eating seasonally provides a great opportunity to experiment with new flavors and learn about what’s being grown around you.

What if I don't like an item in the share?

We always encourage our shareholders to try preparing vegetables in new ways. We get feedback all the time from shareholders who thought they didn't like a certain vegetable until they tried a new recipe and now they love it. If, however, you know for sure that you will not ever eat a certain item, we encourage you to ask other shareholders around you if they would like to trade with you. You may NOT take a different item from Market Day instead.

how do i store my share properly?

The first place you should check is the Produce Guide spotlight for each item. We're going to have storage info listed there for each produce item. We also have fairly extensive guides about share storage on our blog. Proper veggie storage can sometimes double or triple the shelf life of your share! Investing the time in doing it right early on will keep a lot of items from going to waste. Here are some general tips you should always follow when storing vegetables:
Bag everything. Do not store items loose on fridge shelves. Limiting the air flow around your produce keeps it from wilting for much longer.
Keep fruit separate from other items. It releases ethylene that makes other items ripen more quickly. Similarly, keep onions away from potatoes and other items in your dry, pantry storage.
Do not put anything in direct sunlight or in overly hot places. It will ripen and start to rot very quickly.


What Is Our Purchasing Process?

Please refer to our Program page for lots of info on our purchasing process. You can also read about the farmers we work with here, ask a coordinator about it at Market Day, or email us with any questions at

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Can we know the contents of the share more in advance so we can plan?

Unfortunately not. Our farmers often don't know what they will have available for us until a few days before each Thursday, because the items are still in the fields and anything from rain to pests to an early frost could set a crop back a couple weeks at a single day's notice. Sometimes what farmers have available can even change between the newsletter and Market Day! (Although that's rare.) For items like apples that are sold not in individual units but by the bushel, it is actually impossible for us to know the exact quantity of apples per shareholder until we have the chance to count them all Thursday morning. We do our best to estimate how many it will be per person when we send our newsletter each week, but the size of the apples in each bushel can increase or decrease that number. You can be sure that we work really hard each Sunday-Tuesday to make sure that we get you the list of items in the share as soon as possible each week!

What Happens To Any Leftover items At The End Of The Day?

We order in exact quantities to match the number of shareholders we have each season. This means that any leftover produce at the end of the day is from shares that were not picked up (*gasp!* but yes, sometimes that happens). Because it would be unfair for us to give any extras to shareholders who are able to come at the end of the day, we donate this food through the Food Recovery Network to make sure it goes to good use. Those donations ultimately end up at either Crossroads RI or McAuley House.

What Do I Do If I Can’t Pick Up My Share?

If you can’t make it to the pick-up, then feel free to send a friend or co-worker in your place. As long as they tell our coordinators whose share they are picking up, you’re good to go. If you are unable to find someone to pick up your share, then your food will be collected and donated to a local organization in need along with any extra produce at the end of the day.

Can I Split My Market Share With A Friend Or Housemate?

Of course! If you are ordering your Market Share for more than one person, provide us with their name(s) and e-mail address(es) so we can add them to our mailing list. While you may pick up your share with friends, you must pick up you entire share at one time and split it amongst yourselves, as opposed to each person coming and picking up half a share at separate times.

How can I pay?

You may pay either by check or money order. For more detailed information, please refer to our Pricing and Payment page. Please keep in mind that the SAO (Student Activities Offices) make take up to three weeks to deposit a check, so do not worry if your check has not been processed immediately.

Who Do I make my check out to?

Please make all checks payable to “Brown Market Shares Program” unless specifically instructed otherwise.

How do I get a money order?

You can send money orders to campus from the post office at 306 Thayer Street. Alternatively, you can purchase a money order at your bank. Additional small fees may apply. Address money orders to "Brown Market Shares" and send them to campus box #1930.