lēf FARMS SALADS ARE ESPECIALLY TENDER, WHY IS THAT?
A: At lēf Farms we grow in an indoor, controlled environment, and sell our produce locally. Unlike field grown greens, which are subject to harsh weather conditions and a long journey from southern California across the US, our greens are grown for flavor and nutrition instead of durability. lēf Farms greens are grown in water in a hydroponic system and given the perfect amount of nutrients, so they don’t ‘struggle’ which can cause greens to become tough and bitter. Given this perfect environment, and a short drive to the local supermarket, we are able to harvest them at their best which results in beautifully fresh and tender salads.
DO I HAVE TO WASH lēf FARMS GREENS?
A: There is no need to wash! All of lēf Farms products are ready to eat. Our greens are grown in a controlled environment, inside of greenhouse farms, which allows for cleaner, safer, and pesticide free produce. You do not need to wash our produce unless you prefer to.
THERE ARE LITTLE PELLETS IN MY SALAD CONTAINER – WHAT IS THAT?
A: Seeds! The seeds of our greens sometimes get into the packages when harvesting. Seeds are edible and safe to eat. If you’ve received an unusually high amount of seeds in your greens please let us know.
THERE ARE SMALL SKINNY LEAVES IN MY SALAD CONTAINER – WHAT IS THAT?
A: Super baby, or newborn leaves! These tiny starter leaves are called cotyledons – the first two leaves that emerge from the seed before the true leaves emerge. These are part of the leaf and are completely safe to eat, just like the true leaves. If you see an unusually high amount of cotyledons in your greens please let us know. For a fun read on cotyledons, check out this article on EatorToss.com.
I HATE PLASTIC. WHY DO YOU USE IT?
A: We hear you.. and honestly we hate plastic too! Which is why we are working on alternate packaging solutions. In the meantime our current packaging is 100% recyclable nationally through municipal recycling, as a #1 PETE. If you do not get recycling collection at home you can look up a local communal recycling collection center in your area. Many Target, Wegmans, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and other grocery stores have recycling centers on site. Websites like earth911 and berecycled.org can help as well. Finally, we strongly recommend re-using your containers! We use them as storage containers (for pens, post-its, office supplies), to hold our seeds, or use them to organize your pantry! You can also use them to create a small, apartment friendly, compost bins. This is a nifty way to get rid of your food waste and put it to good use by producing more plants.
IS lēf FARMS ORGANIC?
A: lēf Farms is not yet certified organic – but we grow in the most organic way! We use absolutely no pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, or fungicides in our greenhouses and all our products are non-GMO. This is actually better than organic, because organic can (and does!) use organically certified pesticides. lēf Farms uses none at all. Nothing goes on the plants except sunshine. Nothing goes in the plants except crystal clean water and nutrients. We are committed to growing you the safest, healthiest, and cleanest greens possible. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us!
WHAT IS THE NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION FOR YOUR PRODUCTS?
A: Please visit our Products page for nutritional information.
HOW WE GROW
HOW DOES lēf FARMS GROW THEIR PRODUCTS?
A: lēf Farms grows hydroponically inside greenhouse farms. We start with seeds, and plant them into a soil-free media. We let the plants grow on top of water, under sunshine, in a perfect temperature greenhouse and give them the vitamins and minerals they need through the water. We harvest them as a baby leaf, pack them that same day, and ship to stores within hours of harvest!
HOW DO I KNOW YOUR SALADS ARE SAFE TO EAT?
A: lēf Farms greenhouses are much different than conventional agriculture. We do not share the same level of pathogen risk associated with field grown farms, as indoor farms help keep plants away from animals – both wild and CAFOs. This significantly reduces the risk of contamination from excrement and pathogens that use the animal as a vector. lēf Farms’ hydroponic approach does not use dirt, soil, or manure. Plants are grown on grow beds with a clean, sterile plant-based media that suspend the plant roots in a hydroponic solution. Our water is sourced from a private well. This means that all of our water for growing and cleaning is potable and meets strict EPA guidelines. Additionally we voluntarily test our product, water once a week for harmful bacteria and pathogens. lēf Farms indoor CEA (controlled environment agriculture) greenhouse farms provide protection from harsh weather and reduce the potential for contaminants to be blown in from nearby areas. Finally, our supply chain is extremely simple, and structurally safer. We grow, harvest, pack and ship from one greenhouse, and drive it directly to retailers. We are proud that food safety is our #1 priority.
DO YOU USE PESTICIDES?
A: No! We do not spray our greens with any pesticides, herbicides or fungicides at all. Integrated Pest Management allows us to control the population of pests in the greenhouse without the use of pesticides or insecticides.
WHAT DOES HYDROPONIC MEAN?
A: Our lettuces and herbs absorb the nutrients they need through water, as opposed to field growing where nutrients are absorbed through the soil. The water keeps the greens hydrated and allows us to control vitamin and mineral uptake. The hydroponic system also allows no agricultural runoff, and water recirculation, which is tested frequently. This method uses 80% less water than traditional field grown produce.
WHY DO YOU GROW IN A GREENHOUSE?
A: There are many benefits to growing in a greenhouse. First, we can provide fresh local greens year round, even in the winter, in the chilly mid-west and northeast. An indoor, controlled environment allows for less volatility due to weather and less exposure to pests. Growing in water eliminates soil contamination and allows us to control the input materials that go into the greens. A greenhouse is also more energy efficient than a vertical farm, because it can harness the power of earth’s greatest energy resource: the sun. It’s always 72 degrees and sunny at lēf Farms.
DO YOUR FARMS USE RENEWABLE ENERGY?
A: lēf Farms is working to expand our use of renewable energy for our facilities through a number of initiatives. Future plans include evaluating on-site renewable energy generation, expanding our purchase of renewable energy, and seeking partnerships with complementary businesses.
HOW CAN YOU GET YOUR PRODUCTS TO STORES SO QUICKLY?
A: In the US, most salad greens are grown in an outdoor field farm in California or Arizona, washed in a different location, packed in another, and trucked all over the country. At lēf Farms, our greens are grown, harvested, packed, and shipped out of one location – so you always know where your greens come from. And our farms are located close to our grocery stores. Most of our stores lie within a 100 mile radius of our farms (or a 2 hour drive) so we can quickly get freshly harvested product into the market.
ARE YOUR GREENHOUSES ALLERGEN FREE?
A: Our facilities are allergen free environments. We do not allow any outside food, especially allergens, into our production/processing areas.
CAN I TOUR YOUR FARM?
A: Thank you for your interest in lēf Farms! We sometimes do tours for the community or specific education events. We can add your name and email address to our contact list to be notified of when we do an open house. Please send us a message through our contact us page.
ABOUT lēf Farms
WHEN WAS lēf FARMS FOUNDED?
A: lēf Farms was founded in 2016 from a desire to grow food in the same communities where it would be consumed.
WHERE IS lēf FARMS GOING NEXT?
A: lēf Farms has partnered with leading baby greens grower, BrightFarms and plans to build greenhouses all across the United States. Contact Us to tell us where you would like to see us!
HOW DO I APPLY FOR A JOB AT lēf FARMS?
A: Please visit our Employment page for current job postings.