What’s a CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, a program for purchasing fresh produce from a regional farm. With a CSA, you buy a fixed-price “share” of a farm’s output at the beginning of the season, and receive a selection of their harvest once a week from the beginning of June through the beginning of November. CSAs reduce wasted food (in good years) and financial loss (in bad years), allowing smaller farms to avoid some of the great risk of their business. In return, you get fresh, organic vegetables delivered right to your neighborhood.
Who Are We?
Grand Street CSA is a partnership between residents of Grand Street and other neighboring blocks on Manhattan’s lower east side, and Mountain View Farm, in Easthampton, MA. We are member-run and not-for-profit, organized in 2008 solely for the purpose of bringing fresh produce to our community.
How Does It Work?
In early spring, members commit to one or two (or three) shares of vegetables and pay Mountain View Farm through us. From June through November (exact dates vary each year), our farmers deliver locally grown, organic produce once every other week to our distribution spot, where you come to pick up that week’s bounty.
Every member is also required to work at least two distribution shifts during the year, helping to set up the vegetables, sign in members, and clean up the distribution area.
A single share is generally enough for a (non-vegetarian) family of two; a family of four should buy two shares to get a full week’s of vegetables. There is not a fixed quantity each week: you’re getting fresh vegetables from a single farm, so the variety and amount will vary based on the farm’s actual harvest.
More details about the shares, including price, can be found here.
In addition to vegetables, we also have arrangements with local providers to provide fish and flower shares. The payment options are similar — you pre-pay for the entire season — though the share model is not exactly the same for each extra. (For example, fish shares can be bought at a fixed quantity of 2 portions per week — you’re not actually getting a share of the hens’ output.)
We also usually offer New York State organic maple syrup at the very beginning of the season, wild caught Alaskan salmon at the end of the season, and various local products on different dates throughout the season.
(For details and pricing of all our shares, check the Shares page.)
Shares are picked up every Tuesday from 5:15 pm to 8:00 pm at Abrons Art Center, 466 Grand Street, on the plaza just outside the main entrance. After signing in, you’ll check the share breakdown on our white board and go from bin to bin collecting and weighing your vegetables for the week.
Distribution often has a lively, social atmosphere, where friends meet, recipes are swapped, and children are playing.
Each week, shares that are not picked up at distribution are donated to St. Mary’s Church, the food pantry run by Our Lady of Sorrows Church, and/or the senior program at the Educational Alliance.
For more information, email us or leave a voicemail at 347-673-1664.