veg bags outside the arch

FAQs

Below are some helpful answers that customers often have about our scheme. If you can't find the answer to your question on our website, please email info@localgreens.org.uk and we'll be happy to chat. We are a small team run by part-time staff and volunteers and we endeavour to get back to your queries within 3 working days. 

If the matter is urgent, we are in the office Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9am - 6pm. You can pop in or call us on 02086719633 during office hours. During veg deliveries on Thursdays and Fridays, you can ring or text us on 07808651665 until 8pm.

What is organic?

Organic by simple definition means 'relating to or derived from living matter.' When used in a food production or farming sense, it means that produce is certified by one of the government approved control bodies. There are no artificial fertilisers pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or insecticides used in the production of the produce.

Farmers use, grow and rotate a mixture of crops to keep the soil fertile and use other natural methods to prevent disease and reduce pests. All farms are inspected at least once a year by one of the control bodies to ensure that they comply with the high standards set down by legislation. 

Farms are havens for wildlife and provide homes for bees, birds and butterflies (a fact supported not only by the Government but also major conservation groups like the RSPB and WWF). The UK Government’s own advisors found that plant, insect and bird life is up to 50% greater on organic farms.

This form of ethical and environmental farming also produces less carbon dioxide (the main global warming gas) as well as fewer dangerous wastes generally. Choosing local and seasonal food grown using organic principals can significantly reduce your carbon footprint

Genetically modified (GM) crops aren’t allowed under these standards.

What is biodynamic?

Biodynamic farming is a holistic, ecological, and ethical approach to farming, gardening, food, and nutrition. This practice recognises that the Earth is a living, interconnected organism, and that farmers should work with, harness, and encourage its natural behaviours. A biodynamic farm functions as a strong, self-sustaining and vibrant single organism that recognises and respects the basic principles at work in nature. As another form of organic farming, artificial fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides are strictly avoided.

Biodynamics originated in the 1920s, out of the work of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy, an Austrian social philosopher who was widely admired at the turn of the twentieth century. Methods unique to the biodynamic approach include using fermented herbal and mineral preparations as compost additives and field sprays, and following an astronomical sowing and planting calendar. The special manure and herb-based preparations that are applied to the fields and compost have been shown to significantly improve the health and well being of soil, plant and animal as well as enhancing the vitality, flavour and keeping qualities of the produce.

There are independent certification agencies for biodynamic products. Learn more at Biodynamic Association

What is spray-free?

Spray-free farms, like organic farms, don’t use artificial fertilizers or chemical pesticides. Many small producers that are working towards organic certification are spray-free farms.

Can I substitute an item?

As a small veg scheme, we don’t have the resources to organise and offer bespoke bags. We also champion the principles of seasonal eating, and do our best to offer a variety of what's in season throughout the year. If you simply don't like something, we challenge you to give it another go with a new recipe or preparation you may not have tried before. If you definitely still don't like it, we have swap boxes at many collection points where you can trade an item you don't love for one that you do.

If you have a food allergy to certain fruits or veg, please do contact us to discuss how we can create a bag to suit your dietary needs.

I have an allergy. Can I still order a bag?

Yes! We don't want anyone to miss out on delicious veg because of an allergy. We are able to amend our bags for customers who may be allergic to some of the fruit or veg supplied. Please email us at info@localgreens.org.uk so we can discuss your specific allergy and the best options for you. We do request that only customers with real food allergies, not simply veg dislikes, contact us about this.

Can I change my bag / add to my order?

Yes, you can easily add to or change your order from your customer account. Follow these instructions:

  1. Click the 'Your Account' button in the top menu
  2. Log in using your username and password. This will bring up your account page
  3. Click on Edit a Current Order or Orders in the top right
  4. You can change / add to or remove items from your order here
  5. Confirm all changes

Do note that any account changes must be made by Thursday at noon to take effect for the delivery on the following Thursday. Any changes made after this cut off will be available for the week after, meaning there will be one Thursday between where your previous order will still be in effect.

If you increase your order value, a payment will be debited immediately via GoCardless. If you reduce your order value, GoCardless cannot process refunds and we will appropriately adjust your following month's payment to reflect any monies owed. 

Note, if you don't have a valid payment method, you won't be able to charge your order until this is updated.

 

Is there an option to add items to my bag?

We feature seasonal add-ins throughout the year, depending on what is bountiful on the farms. Please see our newsletter and social media each week for the available add-ins. You can login to your customer account and select Edit Order > Add New Items > Seasonal Extras to also see what's available and make your purchase.

 

Can I get a fortnightly bag?

Yes! Several customers use this option and we are happy to arrange fortnightly delivery if this works best for your lifestyle. If you'd like to set up fortnightly delivery, please send us an email at info@localgreens.org.uk so we can manually make this change to your account.

Can I suspend or pause my veg bag?

Yes! We know life happens - new jobs, new babies, holidays - and you may need to take a break from weekly deliveries from time to time. If you need to pause deliveries for a week or for awhile, you can do this from your customer account:

  1. Click the 'Your Account' button in the top menu
  2. Log in using your username and password. This will bring up your account page
  3. Click on the 'Holiday, Pause or Cancel' box.
  4. Under New Suspension > What do you want to suspend? Select Whole Delivery
  5. This brings up two options:
    • Suspend until next delivery date - use this to suspend your veg bag for one week
    • Suspend for a range of dates - use this to choose when you want the suspension to start and stop. You can plan this in up to 5 weeks in advance. If you don't know when you will restart your weekly veg bag, leave this as n/a and you can update it later when you have a date
  6. Confirm which suspension you require. The suspension will show in the Holiday, Pause or Cancel homepage until you wish to remove the suspension
  7. When you're ready to restart, you can remove the suspension by simply going back into your account and clicking the 'Remove Suspension' button

If you register a suspension for the current month, your next direct debit will be adjusted to reflect the number of weeks for which you suspended your veg bag. If your suspension is planned after your next direct debit, you will only pay for the bags you are getting that month. This assumes you register your holiday before the direct debit is taken.

Alternatively, if you are thinking of pausing for a short period, which on holiday for example, you can donate your bag to the Brixton & Norwood food bank and provide a person in need with fresh veg. Email us and let us know if you'd prefer this option.

Do note that any account changes must be made by Thursday at noon to take effect for the delivery on the following Thursday. Any changes made after this cut off will be available for the week after, meaning there will be one Thursday between where we may still deliver your bag.

How do I cancel my order?

We request a one month notice for your cancellation. This gives us enough time to process on our end and manage orders with our farmers. You will continue to get your veg until the end of the month in which your cancellation is processed. If you have any questions please contact us.

To cancel your bag, log into your customer account and follow these instructions:

  1. Click the 'Your Account' buttom in the top menu
  2. Log in using your username and password. This will bring up your account page
  3. Click on the Holiday, Pause or Cancel box
  4. Under New Suspension > What do you want to suspend? Select Whole Delivery
  5. This brings up the button to Permanently cancel your order. Click this button
  6. Please complete the short survey to capture your leaving reasons and any feedback, then click Permanently remove me from the box scheme

We'll be sad to see you go!

 

How do I change my collection point?

Changing your collection point is easy from your customer account

  1. Log in using the 'Your Account' button in the top menu
  2. Go to Personal Details and scroll to Collection Point
  3. Select a new collection point from drop-down list
  4. Confirm your selection by clicking the 'confirm your collection point' button

Do note that any account changes must be made by Thursday at noon to take effect for the delivery on the following Thursday. Any changes made after this cut off will be available for the week after, meaning there will be one Thursday between where your previous collection point will still be in effect.

How do I setup a direct debit / GoCardless payment?

Local Greens charges on a monthly, up-front basis. When you sign up, you will be charged for a full month of deliveries (4 or 5 deliveries depending on how many Thursdays are in the month). You will then be charged for a full month on an ongoing basis by the 1st of each month.

When you sign up and place an order, you will be directed to GoCardless to setup a monthly direct debit. You will be asked for contact and bank account details. Local Greens does not have access to this information. You will get a confirmation email from GoCardless telling you the date of your first payment and your first bag will be the following week. 

If you didn't manage to setup a GoCardless when registering, you can do this in your account.

  1. Click on the 'Your Account'  button in the top menu
  2. Log in using your username and password. This will bring up your account page
  3. Click on Payments and GoCardless Mandates
  4. Click on the Create a Direct Debit Mandate button
  5. You will be taken to the GoCardless payment registration page. Complete all field and confirm details

How much does each bag cost?

Details about all of our bag types, including example contents and weekly costs, can be found on the Our Bags page. Our current price list is below:

Small (Yellow)£8.25 per week
Small no potatoes (Green) £9.20 per week
Standard (Blue) £12.50 per week
Standard no potatoes (Red) £13.80 per week
Veggie++ (Purple) £23 per week
Furit (Brown) £6 per week

When you register for a weekly veg bag, you will be directed to setup a direct debit with GoCardless. Payments are debited for the cost of a full month, at the start of teach month. The total amount will be for either 4 or 5 deliveries, depending on how many Thursdays are in that month.

How much produce is in each bag?

Details about each bag type, including example contents and costs, can be found on the Our Bags.page

Below are general guidelines for what we strive to include on a weekly basis in each bag. The contents is seasonal, and will change week to week throughout the year and follow what is available from our farmers and suppliers. Please use this as a guideline only. To see what is in our bag this week, please visit our This Week's Bag page.

Small (Yellow) - A selection of 6 varieties of seasonal produce from:

  • Approximately 500g potatoes, and 300g carrots or onions, alternating weeks
  • 1 to 2 leafy green vegetables
  • 1 to 2 other seasonal vegetables

Small no potatoes (Green) - A selection of 6 varieties of seasonal produce from:

  • Approximately 300g carrots or onions, alternating weeks
  • 2 leafy green vegetables
  • 2 to 3 other seasonal vegetables
  • 1 other seasonal root vegetable

Standard (Blue) - A selection of 8 to 9 varieties of seasonal produce from:

  • Approximately 1kg potatoes, 500g onions and 500g carrots
  • 2 leafy green vegetables
  • 3 to 4 other seasonal vegetables

Standard no potatoes (Red) - A selection of 8 to 9 varieties of seasonal produce from:

  • Approximately 500g onions and 500g carrots
  • 2 leafy green vegetables
  • 4 to 5 other seasonal vegetables

Veggie++ (Purple) - A selection of 12+ varieties of seasonal produce from:

  • Approximately 1kg potatoes
  • 12 other seasonal vegetables
  • 1 other seasonal item such as fresh herbs or dried good such as beans or grains

Fruit (Brown) - A selection of 2 to 3 seasonal fruit varieties

I have an issue with my bag

 If there is ever anything less than perfect with your bag, please let us know. We want to make it right and have you enjoying veg as a happy customer.

Please email us at info@localgreens.org.uk if you can’t find the right bag at your collection point, an item is missing, or you have any questions about quantity or quality. We are here to help!

My produce was damaged

We work hard to bring you fresh, high-quality produce and our packing team quality checks all veg before going into your bags. However, things happen and if there is ever anything less than perfect with your bag, please let us know. We want to make it right and have you enjoying veg as a happy customer.

Please email us at info@localgreens.org.uk so we can look into the issue and resolve it with you. We are here to help!

What's in my bag?

The best place to see what veggies are coming to you this week is on our Instagram page.

We post the bag contents there each Wednesday morning and it will be the most up to date.

You can also check the This Week's Bag page for the weekly contents. This is published before we know if any substitutions or changes are coming from the farms, so Instagram is the most reliable source. Be sure to also stay subscribed to our customer newsletter that arrives each Thursday with the latest bag information.

What's in season?

That depends on the season! Eating seasonally celebrates eating the right food at the right time of the year. Seasonal vegetables taste better because they are grown when and where they should be, and are packed with the nutrients and minerals our bodies need at particular times of year. Additionally, seasonal eating is better for the planet as growing in season requires lower levels of artificial inputs.

A good guide for what is in season at any given time of the British calendar can be found on the BBC Good Food website. This is a guide only, and as weather and nature are unpredictable, some crops may shift beyond these guidelines.

What’s the weight of the bag each week?

There is no set weight for each bag and it will vary greatly throughout the year. Summer salads and tomatoes will weigh much less than winter root vegetables, for example.

The price of veg is also not relative to the weight. For example, £1 worth of lettuce weighs far less than £1 worth of beetroot, so in the summer months, bags may be lighter but will still maintain the variety and quantity of other months. The price of the produce changes as the season changes too. For example, at the beginning of the spring season, the cost of new potatoes and carrots is high, and comes down later in the season, so you may get more as the season progresses.

 

When is payment taken?

We charge for a full month of deliveries at the start of each month. The charge is based on the number of Thursdays in a month, so it will fluctuate between 4 and 5 deliveries.

We’re not for profit and so we operate an up-front monthly payment system to minimise the amount of time and money spent on administration. Monthly direct debits provide us with a stable, guaranteed flow of money for our farmers, staff and the rent. 

Where do you get your produce?

We’re committed to sourcing from farms and suppliers as local as practicably possible. We receive most of our veg via the Better Food Shed, the wholesale arm of the Better Food Traders.

You can view a list of our current providers on our Farmers page

We guarantee these farmers and producers a market for their veg and ensure they get the best price for their crop. Along with what will be in your bags, we list the farm or supplier for each item, so you will know each week where your food comes from.

Why do you use plastic?

We have taken great steps in reducing our use of plastic packaging. In March 2018, we moved all of our bags to 100% reusable bags. Many of our suppliers have also shifted to using compostable plastic or paper bags for more delicate items. Anything Local Greens packages at ourselves at the arch will be in compostable plastic or paper bags.

Occasionally, a supplier may send us leafy, highly perishable greens packaged in plastic. This is because it is the best way to maintain and preserve the quality and freshness of these greens that would otherwise spoil in transit or delivery and arrive to you inedible. Our supplier for many leafy greens, Wild Country Organic has written more in depth on this topic. If you receive a plastic bag, we ask you to reuse it. When it comes to the end of its usefulness, many supermarkets have bins that will accept these types of bags for recycling.

For a local scheme like ours, change can take time. Logistically and financially, we feel change more than larger box schemes and we are working to keep single-use plastic out of our bags where we can.

Why is there a separate £5 charge when I sign up?

The £5 charge is a refundable deposit for the reusable bags that your veg comes in each week. We ask that you return your old bag when you collect your new one each week so that our system always has enough in circulation. When you leave the scheme and have returned all of your reusable bags, we can refund your deposit.

I have returned all of my reusable bags. How do I get my £5 refunded?

Once you have dropped off your last bag, please email us to let us know and we will issue a refund

I am no longer a customer. What shall I do with my reusable bags?

Please return your bags to any of our collection points. We would love to have them back - our system depends on them.

I have a balance on my account. How do I get a refund ?

Please email us if you think you are due a refund. It can take up to 4-6 weeks for the refund to reach you.

What happens to my balance when I pause a bag?

Our charges are made monthly at the start of each month. You balance will carry over to the next month any time you choose to pause a delivery.

Why is my charge for this month more than last month?

Our charges are based on the number of Thursday deliveries in each month. Some months have 5 Thursdays, some have 4, therefore the cost will fluctuate.

What is your email address and phone number?

info@localgreens.org.uk

Our contact information is in the footer of this website. You can also use the handy letter icon in the top menu to send us an email.

When is the latest I can make a change to my order?

Thursday at midday is the latest you can make a change for the following Thursday. When you submit your change by this deadline, it will be processed in time for deliveries on the next Thursday. Anything after this time, it will be two weeks before the change takes effect. If you have any questions or doubts, please do contact us.

Can I alternate my bag type from week to week?

Yes, we can make that happen. Email us at info@localgreens.org.uk and we can make the changes to your account.

How do I know which bag I am getting each week?

There is a printed list at each collection point that shows your name and which bag you are receiving that week. You can also log into your account and look at 'My Orders' for this information. When your payment is charged at the start of each month, your bag types are also broken down in the confirmation email.

Can I order a fruit bag only?

No. Fruit bags are supplementary bags that can only be ordered with a veg bag.

When will my bag be delivered?

We deliver on Thursdays and bags are available for collection from 3pm. Do be sure to consult the collection times for your specific collection point for opening and closing times.

Can I collect my bag on Sunday?

We guarantee our bags until the close of business on Friday for each collection point. Some points clear out the veg after this time, so your bag may not be available. Some points are unmanned and will still have remaining bags there on Sunday. The veg may not be its best at that point, but you are still welcome to collect it. We are only able to help with missing bags or quality issues for bags collected within our guaranteed time frame.

I forgot to cancel my bag. What do I do?

Email us as soon as possible and we will be able to donate your bag to the food bank. It will not go to waste and will go to someone who will be very grateful for it.

My name is not on the list at the collection point. What do I do?

If your name is not on the list at the collection point, please do not take a bag. You are not in our system for delivery that week and we have counted enough bag numbers only for the people on the list. Please call, text or email us from the collection point and we can investigate with you.

Photo Credit: Jonny Hughes @jonny2love
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