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.

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. 

Who runs the CSA?

The Leafy Greens CSA is a new partnership between Fresh Start Food Gardens, of Westford, and FreshRoots Greenhouse, located on property owned by Jones Farm in Chelmsford.

What kinds of greens are included?

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

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 crisper drawer of your refrigerator, if roots are kept from drying out.   They can even be left on your kitchen counter in a vase with a bit of water, like a fruit bowl to remind you of their goodness.  They taste so good, they won’t hang around for long.

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 warm.  On a cold day, we ask that you leave a bottle filled with warm water to warm the 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 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 from week to week.

Can I get other vegetables delivered at the same time?

Yes.  Each week we will offer whatever extra crops are available from the greenhouse at just $2.50 per unit (a unit might be one large or two small heads of lettuce or a single basil plant.)  We often also have other produce from other hyper-local farms, offered at market price.  We’ve had dairy, mushrooms, meat, fruit, root vegetables, and baked goods, but offerings will change from week to week, depending on availability.

What is the commitment?

You are signing up for a one-time 10-week program for $99.  There is no commitment to renew if you are not absolutely delighted.

What will the price be if we want to extend the service beyond 10 weeks? 

After the initial 10-week program, the cost for an 8-week extension is $99.  

How will I know what day and time you’re going to deliver?

An email will be sent to let you know the day a couple days prior to delivery. 

Is the produce 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.

Is your Romaine lettuce subject to the recent recall?

No. Only Romaine lettuce grown in the Salinas Valley in California was recalled in November, and a second outbreak of e.coli has the CDC recommending consumers throw away packaged salad products from Fresh Express, also grown in that region.  E.coli is a potent toxin that causes symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting and kidney failure. The bacteria are commonly found among stockyard animals such as cows.  These factors are absent in a hydroponic environment.

How do I pay?

The easiest and quickest way to secure your membership is to Venmo the $99 fee to Christine-Berthold. That will also make it very easy for you to add extras to your order from week to week.  If you can’t set up a Vemno account, you may leave a check made out to Christine Berthold in your cooler to be picked up on your first delivery.

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.  Who can I contact?

You can contact Fresh Start at 617-803-3921 or email info@freshstartfoodgardens.com.

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