By Della Hasselle and Tara Kyle
CHELSEA — A community supported agriculture program that features reasonable prices and accepts food stamps will debut next week at the Fulton Houses.
The new CSA, kicking off June 4, is the result of a collaboration between Chelsea Market, Vermont-based Holton Farms and young people from the Fulton Houses.
Between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturdays through November, any of the development's approximately 3,000 residents can fill a half-bushel box of seasonal fruits and veggies for just $20, or $10 for half as much.
For the housing development's low-income families, the goal is to make the health benefits of organic produce accessible at a price point well below the neighborhood Whole Foods.
"We have families here that are known because of their eating habits to get diabetes and heart conditions," said Tenants Association President Miguel Acevedo. "We're trying to get them to eat more vitamins through things like apples rather than potato chips."
To that end, the CSA, which youth from the Fulton Houses will staff, will also offer an educational component and cooking demos by local chefs.
Lessons could include tips such as how to use cilantro to spice up low calorie meals, or frying zucchini in garlic and olive oil as an alternative to French fries, according to Acevedo.
"A lot of people see greens . . . it just looks unappetizing and ugly," Acevedo said. "When they see a little flavoring, how chefs do it, it makes you want to try it."