A few years ago I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and it made a lasting impact on my thoughts about the importance of supporting local agriculture and buying local whenever possible. Lucky for me I live in central Texas where we have farmers markets year round thanks to not having that pesky thing the rest of you call Winter :) Last year I started subscribing to a CSA and I love it. For those who don't know a CSA is where local farms have people "subscribe" and pay in advance for a weekly share of the farm's produce. There are many variations; some you have to pay for a whole season, some are weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Some even partner with local livestock farms to provide grass fed beef, poultry, eggs, and other items.
It is a little more expensive than produce at the local grocery store but I've found it's actually cheaper than if I were to buy the same quantity in all organic produce at a place like Whole Foods. And it's worth it. The produce is fresher, it's organic (mine is- most are) and it's in season. And the money goes to my local farmer, not to some huge agribusiness company. Plus for me it's like a fun adventure, each week I get a box and I don't know what is going to be in it. My farm does post a blog each week telling what is likely to be in it but you don't know for sure until you pick it up.
I have another blog where last year I was documenting what I got each week and then how I planned to use it all up. I've gotten lazy and did take a short break from the CSA over Christmas due to budget shortages :) Hopefully I'll get back to it as well, now that my blogging excitement has returned. Plus I eat better and don't let as much go to waste when I plan out how to use it all up. Take a look and let me know if any of you would like to see it resumed.
A great source to find a CSA near you is LocalHarvest.org.
Look at this bounty!