My roommate, Jenny, and I joined a CSA this summer. "CSA" stands for "community supported agriculture" and the basic concept is that you buy a share in a local farm and, in exchange, you receive a weekly box of fresh vegetables (and occasionally some fruit). Belonging to a CSA is a great way to get fresh, local, organically-grown, seasonal produce while supporting a small farm. One thing that I've really noticed is that I actually have strong affection for the vegetables we receive. I've never felt such pride for my food (I can only imagine what I would feel if I actually gardened and grew some of my own veggies). This pride means that I actually use the vegetables. Also, we don't get to choose what goes into our CSA box. We just get whatever was harvested that week. I was already a pretty avid vegetable eater, but I've already been introduced to some foods that I wouldn't normally have even noticed in the produce section of the grocery store--kholrabi and garlic scapes, namely.
The picture above represents the box that my roommate and I got this week. This was a particularily plentiful box. The previous ones have contained a little less, but that may have been due to the cool spring and some flooding at our CSA farm. Now, we only have a half share, meaning that our delieveries come every other week. So far, this has been adequate. We strategically eat the foods that spoil quickly first and we've even had to freeze some peas. I think next year we might try sharing a full share with someone else. That way we would have a smaller portion, but we would get it every week and might get even more variety.
There is a lot of information on CSAs out there, but here are a few links for some more information.
CSA information at Local Harvest
Driftless Organics, my CSA
CSAte, a blog written by some of the members of my CSA