Frequently Asked Questions
We know that understanding exactly what we do, how we do it, and what to do with our products can be confusing! But look no further because we've compiled some commonly asked questions below. Have additional questions? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is a CSA?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a system that connects consumers directly with farmers and allows them to subscribe to the products of the farm. Supported by an upfront payment, farmer's grow and distribute a variety of their crops to consumers on a weekly basis throughout a fixed period.
CSA: Important Information
Where do you deliver?
We deliver to the following areas: Arlington, Alexandria, all areas of Falls Church, Fairfax County and McLean in Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Delivery fees are $5 per delivery and are already included in the Delivery CSA price. Not sure if you're in our delivery range? Shoot us a message at email@example.com and we'll confirm for you.
I live in an apartment, will you bring my CSA up to my door?
In order to minimize our delivery drivers' contact with elevators, doorbells etc. we will coordinate with you and your apartment building to either leave them with the front desk or locate an area in the lobby where we can leave your bag.
But I have health concerns and would like it to be brought up to my door, can you help with that?
Of course! We can work with you individually to meet your medical needs. Just let us know.
Can I customize my CSA?
We can't allow members to customize their share at this time but there's plenty you can add to your CSA. We have an extensive online farm shop where you can purchase a variety of products including additional greens, herbs, and seasonal items to add to your CSA. We also work with local farms and businesses to provide vegetables, fruits, dips, and more on a weekly basis.
To add items to your CSA:
Browse our online farm shop
Add whichever goodies you'd like to your cart
View your cart & click check out
Enter your shipping details (required even for pick up orders)
Click continue to proceed to 'Delivery Method'
Select the 'Include with CSA' option (note this is always free!)
Click continue to enter your billing details
Proceed to review and place order!
Delivery: These items will be delivered with your upcoming share.
Pick up: Please call 571-310-5979 when you come to pick up your share and we will bring out the add-ons AND your CSA share. No need to take one from the cooler!
Can I upgrade or downgrade my CSA share?
Loving your share but want more greens? Too many greens for just you!? You can certainly change your share type. In order to do so, you must cancel your current subscription (by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org) and then simply subscribe to your new share type from our store. When your month's subscription has finished, your next month will begin with your new share type.
Can I skip a week of my CSA share if I'm out of town?
Yes, you can now skip a week (only one per month) with our subscription service! If you will be out of town or need to skip a week's delivery, simply email email@example.com and let us know at least 48 hours in advance. We will then issue a refund for the week. If we are not notified 48 hours in advance, you will not receive a refund.
Can I cancel my CSA?
Yes, you can cancel your CSA subscription. To cancel your CSA subscription, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with a message that you'd like to cancel. Since the CSA model is designed to pay the farmer up front, the farm has already allocated that money to the production of crops so your cancellation will not go into affect until the current month is finished. If you'd like to stop the delivery of greens immediately and not receive any more deliveries, kindly include that in your cancellation message.
Can I gift a CSA?
You definitely can, you thoughtful person! If you're gifting to another person, simply purchase the share and include the recipient's address, email, and phone number in the notes with the order. If you have any questions or need some help, shoot us an email, email@example.com.
When will my CSA be available for Pick-Up or Delivery?
Your CSA subscription will begin the first week of the coming month. The CSAs will be delivered on either Wednesday or Thursday depending on your address, we'll notify you of the day before the first deliveries begin. If you selected the farm pick-up option the CSAs will be available on Wednesdays between the hours of 11 AM - 3 PM. If you selected Ballston Exchange as your pick up location the shares will be available on Thursday from 11 AM - 3 PM. You also do not have to be a Ballston exchange resident to select that as your pick up location. If Thursdays work better for you, go ahead and select Ballston. Instructions for both pick up locations will be included in your subscription confirmation and weekly newsletter.
When will I be charged for the CSA?
Your card will be charged monthly on the day you initially purchased your CSA subscription. However, the CSA service will not begin until the first week of the coming month.
I don't need a CSA at this moment, but I would still like to support a local business. How can I do so?
The easiest way for you to support our business is to tell your friends and family about us! If you would like to try something from the farm, you can purchase a one-time order on our "Show-Now" page that can either be picked up from the farm or delivered to your home. Additionally, we offer gift cards in customizable amounts. Perfect as a gift to a colleague, friend, family member, or anyone in need of some lovely, leafy greens! As farmers, we believe it is our responsibility to grow food for our local community and this is one way you can help us do just that. If this interests you, you can find the gift cards located on the bar above under "Gift Card". You can also follow us on Facebook or Instagram @freshimpactfarms.
General Fresh Impact Questions
Why have I never heard of Fresh Impact Farms?
When the business started, the goal was to sell our-high end, hyper-local products directly to chefs. During that time we weren't selling directly to consumers so it was easy for the community to be unaware there was a farm nearby. Additionally, our location is hidden in the back of a shopping outlet and has no storefront (yet). Since the first round of COVID-19 lockdowns if early 2020, we started actively selling and marketing towards the local community which is why you may be just now hearing about us! However, we look forward to enjoying a retail space soon and cannot wait to meet our amazing customers!
Do our products have to be washed before eating them?
Our products are not like products grown in a field with soil, which is an important distinction because modern food safety guidelines are designed with field-grown crops in mind. In soil grown produce, the largest sources of contamination include: irrigation water sprayed onto the plants, bird droppings falling on the crops, human contamination from poor sanitation practices during harvest or directly from the soil itself. Our crops are all grown indoors, without any soil, in a climate controlled environment where food safety is the top priority. The water we use only touches the roots of the crops, never the edible portions, and comes directly out of the municipal water supply for Arlington County, VA but is filtered an additional time before it goes into our systems. Being that we grow indoors, bird droppings aren't an issue and our staff wear scrubs, gloves and masks when working with the crops and during harvests. Due to the level of care we take and how seriously we take food safety, we don't personally wash our crops before eating them. In fact, with most herbs and delicate products, washing removes some of the flavor from the product because you are removing some of the oils from the leaves that produce the flavor, while also shortening the shelf-life of the product due to the damage that washing can do to the cells on the leaves or flowers.
That being said, our lawyers tell us we should mention that according to the FDA, all produce should be washed before consumption. We do not pre-wash our products prior to packaging. The reason why all of those bags of lettuce in the grocery store say "triple washed for your safety" is because field-grown leafy greens are one of the largest sources of food-borne illnesses in this country. That is primarily because of the way they are grown and the fact that 95% of all leafy greens in this country come from just two places (Salinas, CA and Yuma, AZ). If you choose to wash our products, the best way to do so is to gently run them under cold water and dry them thoroughly right away. If you choose to wash them, be delicate with the products as these aren't standard field-grown products that have been toughened up due to the nature of growing outside in a field. Once the products are washed and thoroughly dried, place them in a clean, dry resealable container with a dry paper towel at the bottom of the container.
How do I store my Fresh Impact Products?
For salad mixes delivered in bags: we recommend removing the salad mix from the bag we packed it in and placing it in a large bowl in your refrigerator with a dry paper towel on the bottom of the bowl and a piece of plastic wrap sealing the top of the bowl. You can also use a resealable container with a dry paper towel in the bottom.
For micro green mixes and other herbs delivered in plastic clamshells: if there is not already a paper towel in the bottom of the clamshell, we recommend placing one underneath the products and storing them in your refrigerator. Most products store well for up to a week.
Special note on storing basil: Basil is a tropical plant that does not like cold temperature. This is why you will find fresh basil in the grocery store not being stored in the refrigerator with the other herbs. The best place to store your basil is in the clamshell container we delivered them in either in a wine fridge (if you have one) or a cool dry area away from sources of heat. The best temperatures to store basil at is between 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. If you aren't going to use the products within the first two days, we recommend opening the container to release some moisture and also placing a dry paper towel in the bottom underneath the herbs.
What can I do with your products?
Micro mixes (impact, sweet, spicy) & individual micros - You can put these mixes on just about any dish (pizza, salads, meats, veggies). The possibilities are endless! Our micro green mixes can be tossed up into a salad for a nutrient dense, flavorful and unique salad. Combine just the micros, or add them to full sized lettuce mixes. We recommend topping it with a simple dressing since the flavors of the micros will already make it taste great. If you're familiar full-size herbs (I.e. cilantro, parsley, basil etc), our baby sized varieties will blow you away with their flavor in such a small package!
Edible flowers - Pull the leaves off and top any dish with them to add a kick of flavor, color, and nutrients. See each individual product description for serving suggestions.
Edible succulents - These little guys are a lot of fun and can be snacked on alone or used to top various dishes. They vary in flavor from salty to sour and all have a great crunch!
Sorrels - Sorrel has a citrusy/sour (think sour candy meets citrus) that'll burst in your mouth. Depending on the sorrel variety, some have a more pronounced flavor than others. Great for fish dishes, salads, or fruit dishes.
Pea shoots - You'll be amazed at how similar these little rockstars taste to actual sweet peas. They're great for salads, stir fry, or sautéed with some garlic. They also pack an amazing amount of vitamins C and A!
Golden frill mustard - Treat this like any mustard greens you might find in a grocery store. The flavor will blow you away!
Tangerine lace - Think the zest of an orange. This can be added to anything you'd usually add zest or a kick of tang to (think ice creams, desserts, fish, salad, even use it for oil-infusions.
Lemon verbena - Tastes like a tamer lemon - your lips won't pucker like a lemon when you eat it though! Pro tip: muddle it up with some club soda, vodka or gin, and a splash of lemon/lime/orange for a wonderfully refreshing adult beverage.
Huacatay - Also known as black mint, this is a popular Peruvian herb. The cool, refreshing flavor goes great with fish, chicken or vegetable dishes.
Nasturtium - A sweet and peppery leaf that goes well with salads, chicken, or fish.
Anise hyssop - Anise is a flavor many connect to licorice, but these leaves have a more mild yet sweeter flavor, so even licorice haters should give it a shot.
Szechuan buttons - Many bartenders use these in drinks to give it a fun kick, either as a garnish or mixed in. See full product description for more on what these little guys taste like...!
Oxalis Triangularis - Much like eating a natural sour candy! Similar to sorrel's tangy/citrusy/sour kick, but oxalis has an even more pronounced flavor burst.
How can I get your products?
We currently offer no-contact delivery on Tuesday (Arlington, Alexandria, DC) and Thursday (most of Fairfax County) and no-contact pick up from the farm Tuesday-Friday from 10am-2pm.
I was asked to leave a note with my order but I can't find where to do that. Help!
When an item has been added to your cart and you click "View Cart," there should be the list of the products you'd like to order and below that there should be a "Promo Code" option next to a tag icon. Below that there should be a notepad icon with a "Add a Note" option. Click those words and a designated note area will come up. This should be the same on your mobile device. If you're still having issues, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your note/issue.
I would like to select 'Farm Pickup' but cannot find that option when checking out. Please help!
After reviewing your cart and entering your pick up details, you will arrive at the 'Delivery Method' page, the following options will be listed: Tuesday Delivery (Arlington, Alexandria, DC, Fairfax),Deliver with CSA: Wednesday/Thursday, and 'Farm Pickup,' which will say "Free" next to it. Select this option. This should be the same on both a desktop or mobile device.
How long do your products last?
When stored in their containers, in the refrigerator, most of our products last about 5-7 days (though some last much longer).
How are your micro greens different than their full size version?
All of our micro options have a similar taste to their full sized cousins. But the micro versions pack a greater punch of both flavor and nutrients into a smaller package.
Are you certified organic by the USDA?
No, not officially. Obtaining USDA organic certification is an incredibly expensive process. For a small business like ours obtaining that certification is cost prohibitive. Instead, we grow to standards many would label as beyond organic. While growing inside doesn't eliminate crop irritants and pests entirely it does drastically reduce them and we use a version of integrated pest management (IPM) when needed. We do not spray our crops with pesticides and instead use beneficial insects to target any pests within the farm.
How do you grow your products indoors?
We grow in substrates (think rock wool, volcanic rock variations, or plant based felt) instead of soil and deliver nutrients via our automated watering systems. But rest assured we aren't wasting water; we actually use roughly half the amount of water than an average US single family home uses in a year, and roughly 90% less water than similar crops grown outdoors.