I am a big fan of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and I am not the only one because it seems to spreading across the country. The way it works is this, you buy a subscription to a farm early in the growing season and then you pick up a weekly box of food. It is much cheaper than the farmers market, but you get whatever is harvested that week. You take the risk with the farmer – if it is a good season for apples, you get a lot of apples and if there is tomato blight one year, then you get fewer tomatoes. With a CSA, you might get foods you may have never tried before which can be fun. Most CSA’s have websites that post that weeks harvest so you can do menu planning.
Even though this is a cheaper way to get local food, it is also really helpful for farmers because they need money to plant and CSA’s help them avoid borrowing from banks.
Joining a CSA is great for city kids and gives them a greater connection to their food. Often CSA members get to meet the farmer. My whole family went to visit the farm of our CSA and my daughters got to feed the goats. My oldest daughter and I volunteered distributing the food one evening in NYC and she loved it.