The New York Times had a great story about a local CSA (community supported agriculture) farm in Illinois. A CSA is a small (often family-run) farm from which you buy a portion of its crops. So, for example, you may pay $300 for four months worth of produce. Every week you pick up your share of whatever is in season (e.g., 1 lb kale, 4 potatoes, 2 cartons of strawberries). Often, you are asked to volunteer several hours of work in return for the discount–everything from helping on the farm to manning the produce shelves at the pick-up location to helping to design or write the farm’s newsletter.
The benefit of joining a CSA is that you’re supporting local farmers and you get a great discount on produce–there’s not middlemen. CSAs around Manhattan even offer eggs, meat, and flowers for an extra cost. Many CSA farms feature organic produce, as well.
To find a CSA near you, click here.