From Soil to City

FAQ

How are you different than a meal kit, farmer’s market, grocery store, or CSA?
The Local Roots NYC is a unique food system. We are a shift in lifestyle by allowing you to subscribe to 3 month seasonal market seasons so that cooking and familiarity with local foods becomes second nature, because that feels a lot more natural to us than eating food made anonymously. We have minimal packaging, you can trust your food comes straight from a local farm and it’s not just marketing hype, and we are a one-stop shop for all locally produced foods.

We also host events. The kinds of foods we eat and the types of farms we support are a serious matter, but they should also be celebrated and bring us together. All of our events and markets are fun while also educational.

Please see Our Values page to see what makes us unique.

Is everything you sell organic ?
Kindness to animals and land are extremely important to us. Our growers and producers all practice different sustainability measures specific to their farms and surroundings.

Our vegetables are all USDA organic, our chickens and animals run free on pasture without any antibiotics or hormones, breads are freshly baked with no preservatives, and so on.

Check out our Farm page for more information about each producer with whom we work.

How are your markets more convenient?
With once-a-week pickups, Local Roots Markets become part of your lifestyle and it saves you time from grocery shopping. We’ve got over 22 pickup sites so it’s easy to fit the farm share into your schedule. Members have also said that the seasonal payments makes food budgeting easier, and even saves them money– without the temptation of impulse buys, members have even been able to go on vacation with their saved money! Local Roots also offers home delivery (see below).

Do you offer home delivery?
Yes, we offer home delivery throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan for a flat seasonal fee. Home delivery can be added to your order through our page here —simply enter your address and any delivery notes at checkout.

What if I’m going to be traveling for a week or two?
Not a problem! Submit your Away Request by Aug 21 for no fee. Requests submitted after incur a $5 service charge. If you’d rather gift your food to a friend, all they need to do is show up and give your name at pickup, no advance notice needed.

What happens if I miss a food pickup?
We are unable to ask our host sites to hold food overnight, but we ensure that any produce not picked up by the end of the evening is donated.

Can I add on a share to my Farm Share order mid-season?
Certainly! You can always add on shares to your order: late orders can be added through our website. If you’re already a member, simply email us for the code to waive the late fee at checkout.

Why isn’t your fruit organic? What does Integrated Pest Management mean?
Weather conditions in the Northeast make growing organic tree fruit in large quantities near impossible. Though many local fruit growers are not certified organic, most small, local farmers will follow good growing practices because avoiding the use of pesticides means preserving their farm land and protecting their own family from toxic materials.

To ensure safe growing practices, farmers use a method called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). This method is an environmentally sensitive approach to growing fruit that reduces or eliminates the use of pesticides, while at the same time managing pest populations at an acceptable level. Potential pests that may endanger the fruit are first analyzed; strategies are then decided on the best way to deter these pests from the crop. Strategies of IPM include using mechanical trapping devices, natural predators (e.g., insects that eat other insects), insect growth regulators, and mating disruption substances (pheromones). Though IPM has no public certification, a farm’s IPM program is closely monitored by an agricultural institution, such as Cornell Cooperative Extension, to ensure the most strategic and least toxic methods are being used. Many times, however, farms will not become IPM certified because the cost of certification is expensive.

How come I see certain varieties of fruit or vegetables available at the farmers market or grocery store that we don’t have at the Local Roots markets?
Grocery stores purchase produce from all across the world that travels for long periods of time, losing much of its flavor and nutrients along the way.

At the farmers market, you’ll see produce considered “local,” which usually means that it comes from farms within 250 miles of NYC; food coming from as far south as New Jersey or as far north as upstate New York. Availability and abundance differs; climates can be drastically different between two farms even a few miles apart. New Jersey farms, for example, tend to be one month ahead of the growing season of upstate New York, which explains why you might see blueberries from our CSA but not at the farmers market.

Being a part of a Local Roots market means that you’ll get fresh, nutritious food and find out what makes the regions we work with and live in unique.

Sometimes it feels like some items are less expensive at the grocery store or farmers market. Why is that?
At the grocery store or places such as Fresh Direct, organic foods are usually imported from overseas or California, which are cheaper because those USDA organic farmers are big enough to afford a more mechanized process and cheap labor, and the grocers are big enough to negotiate low prices. Those farms might grow organically according to the USDA National Organic Program (see question 2), but the specific guidelines they follow are not necessarily sustainable. According to the USDA definitions, ”organic” does not mean “no spray”, or even “sustainable”; USDA organic producers are typically medium to large-scale producers that might farm acres and acres of just one crop. Through a CSA, you are able to visit the farm yourself or ask the farmer about their growing practices. There is far less anonymity when purchasing local.

At the farmers market, all the farms are local; however, the majority of the farms are not organic. It’s always important to ask a farmer their growing practices if this is a concern to you. Because our farmer is organic and does not use any spray, some items may be more expensive due to the extra labor required.

It’s always good to remember that the 3 month Local Roots Farm Share is priced at an average over a 3 month season. Weekly bounties may differ depending on farm conditions but we’ll always ensure that you receive a healthy harvest of food.

Will I be able to pick what I get in each share?
Every week, the farmer and producers inform us on what they have available, and we select items to feature in the CSA that week based on variety and what our members suggest. Sometimes, you’ll have an opportunity to choose between items if the producer doesn’t have enough of one single option. For example, you may be able to chose between white peaches or yellow peaches in a fruit share or between kale and collard greens in a vegetable share. Having a choice between two items always depends on what members choose during the distribution time, and members who arrive later might only see one option left but we will always do our best to accommodate late comers.

I don’t live/work near any of your CSA locations, but would like to join one. What do I do?
Feel free to send us suggestions of new locations to [email protected]

I would like a Local Roots Market at my workplace. How do I do that?
We work with many offices such as Spotify, Twitter, and AppNexus for weekly produce markets. Email [email protected] to bring a community focused, farm fresh market to your office!