The whole idea behind a CSA is that it becomes a community farm. The community not only gets the benefits of reconnecting to the land and directly participating in food production and helping the farmer receive better prices for their crops. But, it also means sharing in the risks that go along with farming; from bad weather to pest problems.
Not only does the CSA provide you with the freshest local food around, but it offers you the chance to try new vegetables and to learn new ways to prepare them. And, most farmers open up their farms to their members at least once during the season, and many even let them come and help harvest if they want to.
While it is a simple way to get fresh local food, it is not affordable for everyone. In the US, a typical CSA subscription ranges between 400-600 dollars per season (between 15 to 20 weeks depending on location) for a weekly box that feeds two people. One way to make it more affordable is to share your CSA subscription with a friend or family member.
Some CSAs also offer a variety of payment plans to give members some flexibility in paying for their shares, such as installments, sliding scale fees or scholarship shares. Some are even geared towards low-income residents and are organized as part of regional food banks.