CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, is a way to have fresh, local produce available to you every week. You buy a share in a farmer's yield in the beginning of the growing season, and they get the money up front so they can have what they need for the year. In return you get locally grown produce. Many times you get to try things you would not normally get from the supermarket. Since I found out about this concept, I have been trying to find one that is nearby and lo and behold there was an article in this week's paper about one right in my neighborhood!
I am most anxious to try this and plan to get a half year subscription for next year. The share period is over for now as the growing period is pretty much over for the season, but I think the price they are asking is very reasonable for fresh produce. I figure I spend twice that at the market for a year's time and there are things that I don't grow in my garden.
CSA's are growing (pun unintended) in popularity. As of 2009, more than 12,500 U.S. farms reported marketing products through a CSA. These local farmers don't just sell their own grown things, but things they get through people they deal with and some will have access to things like soaps, honey, and even meats. I believe this is one way we can beat the conglomerates at their own game. Buy local or go home.