FAQ About the Leafy Greens CSA Program

What is the Leafy Greens CSA?

The Leafy Greens CSA is an opportunity to have a variety of the freshest possible bionutrient-dense  hydroponic greens delivered every week, direct from the greenhouse to your door for same-day freshness.

How does a CSA work?  

CSA stands for community supported agriculture, and it is a model of supporting local growers through paying their production costs upfront to grow food specifically for you, guaranteeing that it will be available at peak freshness to you every week.  By becoming a member, you are committing to be part of the community. 

Why is this a better option than shopping at the supermarket for my greens?

Fresh produce loses its nutritional content over time, so the less time between harvest to plate, the better.  Produce in the supermarket will always be less fresh than something delivered straight to you from the greenhouse.  And you avoid a trip to the store.

Who runs the CSA?

The Leafy Greens CSA is bought to you through a partnership between Fresh Start Food Gardens, of Westford, and FreshRoots Greenhouse, located on property we co-lease with Jones Farm in Chelmsford.

What kinds of greens are included in my base order?

Each week, you’ll get four small heads of lettuce – 2 of a Romaine variety, and 2 of a Greenleaf variety. This is called a base order. 

What do the greens look like when delivered? 

They will be delivered in a poly bag.  The roots will still be attached, as the plant will still be living.    

How long will the greens stay fresh?

They will stay fresh up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator crisper drawer if roots are kept from drying out.   

How do I apply for a membership?

Fill out an application form by August 8.  https://forms.gle/piZ8bQvC77bhExA2A 

How do I accept my order, do I have to be home?

You absolutely need not be home.  Please leave a cooler out and we will leave your order there.  It need not be cool.  These are living plants, so better if it is room temperature.  On a hot day, please add an ice pack.   On a cold day, we ask that you leave a bottle filled with warm water to raise the temperature inside of the cooler and keep the plants from freezing.  If you are getting extras that need being kept cold, please leave a second cooler with an ice pack.

Can I customize my base order from week to week? 

Our goal is to bring you the highest quality, most nutritious produce at the lowest cost to get to your door.  Customization adds cost to fulfill the orders, so you cannot customize the base order from week to week.

Do I need to do anything each week after I pay for my membership to start receiving my base order? 

No.  Delivery of the base order is automatic. 

Can I get other vegetables delivered with my delivery?

Yes.  Every week we will offer whatever extra crops are available from the greenhouse at a discounted rate per unit (a unit might be one large or two small heads of lettuce or a single basil plant.)  We will also curate a selection of other seasonal produce from other hyper-local farms, offered at market price.  We’ve had dairy, mushrooms, meat, fruit, root vegetables, soups, entrees, and baked goods, but offerings will change from week to week, depending on local vendor availability and seasonal produce.  We expect to be adding a wide variety of fresh produce plus seafood and other meat products. 

How do I place my order for extra items?

A link to an online order form for delivery the following week will be emailed to you on Mondays.  Your order is due no later than Wednesdays at midnight.  Pre-payment is due by Thursday by Midnight. Your delivery will be made the following week between Wednesday and Friday.  Based on your location, we will tell you which route and day your delivery will be made on.  If you want any of these in addition to the base order, fill out the form.  You do not need to fill out the form to receive the base delivery.

What is the commitment?

As a CSA member, you are signing up for a one-time commitment of 14 weeks for $155, running from the week of Sept. 15 to the week of Dec. 15.  If you wish to commit to a shorter time frame, you can commit to a 10 week period from Oct. 15-Dec. 15 for $125.  There is no commitment to renew if you are not fully satisfied.  Based on the number of people asking to pre-order, we fully expect the shares to sell out.  If the shares sell out in full share memberships, late season shares may not be available. 

Are the greens organic?

All treatments used at the greenhouse are OMRI (Organic Material Review Institute) approved. These are the treatments used by organic farmers. For example, one treatment is made from a root extract. No harsh chemicals. Periodically, treatments are needed to fight some pests but the greenhouse does a great job of protecting the plants compared to the exposure of outdoor crops in the soil. 

 

The greens are grown hydroponically with nutrient salts to create a bio nutrient dense plant. Aquaponics is a method that has been approved to be classified as organic hydroponics since it recirculates fish waste from a fish tank to the roots of hydroponically grown plants. FreshRoots does not have aquaponics but all other parts of the operation are organic from the seeds and the Integrated Pest Management system using OMRI approved treatments.

Have your greens ever been subject to recall?

No. Bacteria that prompts a recall are commonly found among stockyard animals.  These factors are absent in a hydroponic environment.

What precautions have you taken to preserve the health and safety of the products?

Over and above the USDA’s guidelines for safe food handling, your drivers will be tested before each delivery shift, wear gloves and masks, and sanitize frequently. 

What happens if COVid-19 interrupts the service? 

In the event we cannot deliver due to complications caused by COVid-19, a prompt refund will be made.

I have another question.  How do I get an answer?

Please submit you question on the application form.  Thank you. FAQ  About the Leafy Greens CSA Program


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