I suppose the moral of the story is what I always emphasize in all of my writing:
Fortunately, I live right across the street from The Nashville Farmers market. Each day, there's dozens of stands open featuring fresh and seasonal ingredients. But on Saturdays, I can stock up on anything from butter beans to goat cheese, to rabbit, to seafood, to cupcakes. It's truly amazing. The best part? It's cheap.
The next time you are paying $5.00 per lb for 'vine ripe tomatoes', put down your basket and head over to your local farmers market. I'll bet you'll find tomatoes at half the price, with twice the taste, and maybe make a few friends in the process. Farmers are friendly folk.
Better yet - grow it yourself! (More on that later)
Anywho, here are a few pics from my stomping grounds. I'm off to WI for the weekend - land of Sausage, Cheese, and Beer. Ah-mazing.