Community supported agriculture — or CSA — is a fantastic way to support your local farmers and their efforts to farm sustainably and raise animals humanely. And here in MetroWest Boston, we are lucky to have many farms that are doing just that and sharing their bounty through meat CSAs.

I’ve participated in vegetable CSAs, where giant boxes of produce would be dropped off weekly throughout the summer. But despite my best efforts to channel my inner Barefoot Contessa and whip up beautiful, seasonal recipes, I could never make it through my box of veggies before they went bad.

Through our membership with The Trustees, I discovered the wide world of meat CSAs. Similar in concept to produce CSAs, meat shares are far more manageable in terms of recognizable cuts of meat plus some exciting varieties that push my culinary skills just a bit.

Meat CSAs have the added bonus of arriving frozen (and can remain in your freezer), or they can be frozen after pick up, allowing you to use your meat at your pace. A well-organized freezer can probably sustain an average of 15 pounds of meat per pickup. But for those, like me, who aspire to have The Home Edit-level organization but absolutely do not, a chest freezer is a useful companion.

As with any CSA, meat CSAs are limited in quantity, paid for upfront, and need to be planned for ahead of the season. They require a bit of coordination if you plan to pick up your share (versus those that are dropped off to you), but generally, I have found the farms to be flexible with their pickup times and accommodating if you need a little leeway.

Since the intention of a CSA is to remain local, here are three outstanding meat CSAs I’ve tried in Boston’s MetroWest:

The Trustees Meat Share

Available for pick up at two local farms in MetroWest (Southborough and Dover), the Trustees meat share offers 100% grass-fed beef and lamb, forested pigs, and pasture-raised chickens. From their website, “The Trustees engages in regenerative production livestock farming and utilize that production activity to authenticate meaningful farm-based experience across our farms.”

The Trustees offers three seasons of meat shares: fall/winter, spring, and summer, and you can add additional types of meat into your mix, including goat, depending on the season. My favorite part of this meat share is picking it up at Powisset Farm, which has a farm store filled with produce, eggs, and other local food, and tons of barnyard animals for the kids to visit. My daughter and I like to make a small trip out of the pickup, saying hi to the piglets and sheep. Membership with The Trustees is required to purchase a CSA, which is a great investment.

Wild Robbins Farm

Located in Sherborn, Wild Robbins Farm offers an exclusive pasture-raised poultry CSA, which is seasonal from May to October. This first-generation farmer family is on a “mission to raise healthy and happy animals.” They offer a variety of options, including the length of time and size of your CSA. For those who want to test out a CSA without fully committing to a long period of time or large quantity, this is the perfect meat share.

As the only red-meat eater in our household, I appreciate the specificity of this CSA. You can add a monthly subscriptions of eggs or visit their farm store at pickup to add in a variety of pork cuts and sausage. Wild Robbins Farm also offers delivery of their meat CSA to the MetroWest area for an additional charge.

The Natick Organic Community Farm

Located in South Natick, the Natick Organic Community Farm (NCOF) is located on 27 acres of conservation land, hosts 20,000 visitors a year, and provides a wide variety of events and educational programs for the community. On top of that, the farm offers a huge number of CSAs, from produce to flowers, meat, and even mushrooms!

NCOF offers two meat shares — one for grilling season and a standard meat share from June through September. You can pre-order additional meat or pick up meat and eggs at the farm stand. NCOF is free and open for exploration, so you can visit the animals while picking up your share. Membership with the farm is required to purchase a CSA.

Check out some other local meat share options west of Boston! 

Hettie Belle Farm

Warwick, MA

Guests are welcome to pick up meat shares at the farm in Warwick, MA, or at distribution locations in Concord, Boston, Florence, South Deerfield, and Brattleboro, Vermont.

Lilac Hedge Farm

Rutland, MA

Guests can enjoy a farmstand, ice cream, live music and events at the farm.

Red Fire Farm

Montague and Granby, MA 

Though it is a bit further than “metro” west, this Western Massachusetts farm has pick up locations for crop and meat shares in multiple Greater Boston locations, including Boston, Newton and Watertown. 

Sarah Aspinwall
Sarah grew up in Connecticut, but Massachusetts has always felt like a second home with extended family across the state. With a master's in public health and a lifelong passion for healthcare, Sarah moved to Boston after graduation. She is a fierce advocate for better access and reducing the complexities of the healthcare system. Sarah met her husband covered in sweat and lifting weights at a local CrossFit gym (talk about first impressions!). They adopted a rescue pup from Mississippi and welcomed their daughter in 2021. After nearly a decade of city living, Sarah and her family headed to the Metro West area to start a new adventure in the suburbs. Sarah has volunteered for Community Consulting Teams of Boston (CCT), offering pro bono management consulting to Boston-area nonprofits, and she served a three-year term on the board. She is an alumna member of the Kappa Delta sorority and has served as an advisor to the Northeastern chapter since 2014.