What is a CSA?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) connects producers and consumers in a unique, mutually beneficial relationship that supports local communities and the environment. A CSA membership is the easiest, most delicious way to know where and how your food is grown. When you join a CSA, you and your fellow community members support farmers by purchasing food shares before the agricultural season starts. With the money from your advance payment, farmers buy the seeds, supplies, and labor needed to grow and harvest the produce that will fill your box.
Throughout the 20-week growing season from June through October, you receive a weekly “share,” or box, of freshly harvested produce. The contents of a CSA share vary, and as a shareholder, you can expect to receive 70 different crops throughout the season. Participating in a CSA sometimes means sharing in the fluctuations of agricultural life, such as limited choices because of seasonal constraints or unexpected weather, but we work hard to make sure that you still get the full value of your share. Weekly shares are delivered directly to pick-up sites around Boston and Middlesex County. Each week, you will receive a newsletter, a list of share contents, recipes, and updates from our programs.
At the supermarket, only three to twenty cents of every dollar you spend on food makes it back to the farmer who grew it, and the food travels an average of 1,300 miles to reach the consumer, often involving very low pay for agricultural workers. The CSA model is a sustainable, fair trade alternative for consumers.
Why World PEAS?
World PEAS focuses on helping small-scale beginning farmers establish and grow their businesses. We are unique as a multi-producer program: instead of the produce all coming from one single farm, our produce is grown by over 20 mixed vegetable farms, as well as a variety of local orchards and berry farmers. World PEAS farmers grow crops on less than 2 acres of land, and many have limited English language skills, lack reliable transportation, and possess minimal computer literacy—all of which are needed to be able to develop an individual CSA. World PEAS CSA provides a reliable market for these farmers by aggregating produce and distributing it through our CSA program.
World PEAS also works to increase food access in Boston and Lowell by offering a Fair Share program, which uses donations to subsidize the cost of CSA shares for low-income individuals and families.