The Local Roots NYC is a unique food system. We embody a shift in lifestyle by allowing you to subscribe to seasonal market season so that cooking and familiarity with local foods becomes second nature, because that feels a lot more natural to us than eating food grown anonymously from across the world. We have minimal packaging, so 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. Please see Our Values page to see what makes us unique.
Farmers markets have their perks but if it’s a rainy day, there might be less foot traffic and low sales (and therefore food wasted). It's also important to note that not all the farms at the market are organic, so be sure to ask each stand their growing practices. Through a subscription-based model like a CSA or Farm Share, you pay all at one time for a season’s worth of produce, enabling farmers to better plan their farm with income and commitment early on in the season, and enabling members to pick up fresh, local and organic food every week. We think it’s important to support local farms through farmer’s markets, co-ops, and farm shares since each type of market offers farmers different kinds of support.
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 20 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 options for added convenience.
Can I change my market mid-season?
Yes, however there is a $10 processing fee for doing so. If you would like to change your market site, please email email@example.com to let them know which market you are currently at and which market you would like to change to. Please note that some markets have limitations on which items can be sent there, for instance some do not accept meat products, and others cannot have any cooler items.
Do you offer home delivery?
Yes, we offer home delivery throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens 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. You must be home to receive your delivery or allow us to leave it behind. We are NOT responsible for lost items if you are not home.
Why are your markets at bars and cafes?
Picking up your farm share at your local bar or cafe is a great way to get to know your neighbors, swap recipe ideas, and grab a drink while you pick up your Local Roots Farm Share. For many members, Local Roots is not only their grocery stop, but a post-work social time as well!
I don’t live/work near any of your locations, but would like to join one. What do I do?
You can either send us suggestions for new locations or start your own! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for info.
If I decide a few weeks into the season that this share isn’t working for me, can I cancel and receive a refund?
Local Roots is a commitment to a local food system that involves all of us—farmers and members alike. By signing up, you’re an integral part of making this system work! That said, we understand that things change. If you selected a one time purchase of a subscription, we’re happy to offer you Local Roots store credit for the remainder of the season with two full week’s notification.
If you've opted to 'autorenew' your subscription and want to cancel, go into your account and "manage subscription" --> "subscriptions" --> click "cancel". Your subscription will cancel for the upcoming billing cycle, not the current one. We do not offer cancellations during the billing cycle for autorenew subscriptions.
What if I’m going to be traveling for a week or two?
Not a problem! Submit your Away Request at least ONE FULL WEEK prior to your travels. 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 pickup?
We are unable to ask our host sites to hold shares overnight, so any produce not picked up by the end of the evening is gifted to the staff of our host locations for being wonderful community partners.
Why can’t I choose what I receive every week?
We work with our farmers to bring our members fresh produce harvested at its peak flavor -- this means we offer as much variety as the seasons allow. Product availability depends on many factors, including weather, pests, seasonality, and yields. To allow for meal planning, we offer a sharelist forecast for each coming week, so you can know what you’ll likely receive in your farm share.
But don't worry, we're New Yorkers who also cook frequently and we keep that in mind when curating your weekly share. You won't get an overabundance of one vegetable or items that are too big to fit into your fridge.
I live alone and don’t think I can eat all this food -- do you have any options for single households?
Absolutely. If you cook frequently, the vegetable and fruit share can be suitable for one person. Otherwise, we offer a variety of options to stock your kitchen with the right amount of local produce such as a salad mix share or a basics package (3 veggies per delivery). Check out our orders page here to customize your Local Roots grocery experience.
I’m not sure if I’m ready to commit, though I want to support my local farmers! What do I do?
We offer trials for some of our products! Taste how good our food is and then subscribe if it makes you happy.
I don’t understand the prices listed on your website. Do I pay that amount every week?
No, way! The price you see in checkout is for a 3 month subscription. You can find a breakdown listed in the product description.
I’m worried about getting the same fruit three weeks in a row in the beginning of the season. Why can’t we have more variety?
We are committed to providing food that’s seasonal and fresh. There may be a stretch of time when only one or two fruits are available (most likely when we transition from berries to stone fruits in mid-summer) because not many fruits grow abundantly in the area local to New York City. Unlike vegetables, fruit is quite limited. However, we’ll see more variety as the season progresses.
How come I see certain varieties of fruit or vegetables available at the farmer’s market or grocery store that we don’t have at Local Roots NYC?
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 150 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 Local Roots NYC but not at the farmers market.
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.
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 farmers are organic and don't use any sprays, some items may be more expensive due to the extra labor required to keep their plants healthy.
It’s always good to remember that a Farm Share is priced at an average over a season. Weekly bounties may differ depending on farm conditions but we’ll always ensure that you receive a healthy harvest of food and a price that's fair to yourself and the farm.
Can I add on a share to my order mid-season?
Certainly! You can always add on shares to your order.
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 Farm Share 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, though we will always do our best to accommodate late comers.
FOOD LABELS AND SUSTAINABILITY
Is everything organic?
Our growers and producers all practice different sustainability measures specific to their farms and surroundings.
Our vegetables are USDA organic, cheese is handmade and antibiotic free, etc.
Check out our Farm page for more information about each producer with whom we work.
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 nearly impossible. Though many local fruit growers are not certified organic, most small, local farmers will still follow similar 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 officially IPM certified because the cost of certification is too expensive.
How long have you been around for and how did Local Roots NYC get started?
We started in 2011. Please see our “About Us” page.
How do you choose your farmers and producers?
We work closely with all of our suppliers and have high standards for joining the Local Roots family. All of our farmers care about the quality and nutrition of their produce, and take their role as stewards of the land seriously. Everyone involved in Local Roots-- from Brooklyn bakers to Upstate cheesemakers--are passionate about their product, produce as sustainably as possible, and care for their employees.
Can I visit the farm?
We offer trips to our producers at least once each season, open to members and non-members alike. Farm trips are a great way to escape the city for an afternoon while getting to know more about where your food comes from and enjoying a tasty meal along the way! We’re also happy to put you in touch with any of our producers if you’d like to arrange your own visit.
What’s the difference between your cooking clubs and a cooking class?
Our cooking clubs not only instruct on basic kitchen skills, but also focus on getting the most out of your seasonal produce. As a participant in one of Local Roots’ cooking clubs, you’ll be individually engaged in the lesson, getting to work in small groups and meet other home cooks! Each cooking club culminates in conversation over a delicious shared meal.
I would like a market at work. Do these exist?
We offer markets to several offices such as Etsy, CBS, NYULangone Health, and others. Want a one time special order to fit to your employees? Email us at email@example.com for more info.
Do you only sell to home chefs or do you also source for restaurants, schools, and other institutions?
Local Roots has partnered with a variety of institutions and businesses including the NYU Medical Cafe at Langone, among others. If your business is interested in working with Local Roots, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Who is the team behind Local Roots NYC?
We’re a team of strong women (and two cool dudes) with can-do attitude! For more info on us, check out our bios here.