Online Farmer’s Market FAQ

Prospective Members

DO I HAVE TO HAVE A SUBSCRIPTION?

Not unless you sign up for one! You can shop our market a la carte. You will still need to meet the order minimum ($17.50) for each delivery, but you can place deliveries whenever you would like. Just make sure you are logged in when you begin shopping.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO A RECURRING SUBSCRIPTION?

Recurring subscriptions are great for two reasons:

  1. If you forget to go online and place an order, you can be assured you will still receive delicious local food!
  2. We balance a good mix of familiar and adventurous produce items. Let us start the shopping for you.

CAN I CUSTOMIZE THE ITEMS IN MY RECURRING SUBSCRIPTION?

At this time our system can not handle customization of your subscriptions, we apologize for that..

SO HOW DO MARKET HOURS WORK? WHEN DO I PLACE ORDERS?

Our market officially opens on Friday at 12:00pm. This is when we have uploaded all of our estimates from farmers for what will be available the following week. If you have a recurring subscription, this is when you can log into your account and check out what will be delivered the following week.

Our market officially closes on Monday at 10:00am. If you would like to make any changes to your basket (including cancelling your order), it must be done by the time your shopping window closes. This ensures that we have enough time to pick, pack, and deliver your order.

ARE THERE ANY MEMBERSHIP FEES, ORDER MINIMUM, OR SMALL PRINT?

There are no fees to create an account with Alfrea. There is a $17.50 order minimum for each farmers’ market delivery – if you’re having trouble reaching that, try combining orders with a friend! Any orders under the minimum will be deleted at market close and not processed.

HOW DO I ACTUALLY GET MY FOOD?

Each participating Lourdes location has a designated day and time in which farmers market orders will be delivered. Simply mark your calendar, show up, and we’ll be waiting for you.

ARE THERE ANY SALES?

You will receive sporadic emails with discounts on specific items, as well as  “Specials” section in the store, or discounts for ordering a certain amount, so keep your eyes peeled!

IS YOUR FOOD ORGANIC?

All of our food is grown using organic methods. It is entirely free of hormones, antibiotics and GMOs. Some of our producers are certified organic, but some are not. We’ve made a commitment first and foremost to farmers in the Mid-Atlantic. We decided to choose producers based on our own calibration of standards. The official organic certification is too costly for many of our producers, even though they abide by the same practices.

Our approach involves talking with every farmer and discussing their growing practices. We ask questions that are key components to other certifications such as G.A.P. (Good Agricultural Practices) and Naturally Certified Organic (USDA Organic Certification alternative).

All of the fruit we sell is grown using IPM (Integrated Pest Management). It is a farming process in which farmers use as little spray as possible and do what they can to cultivate a strong presence of “good” bugs.

We cannot officially call our farmers organic, but we do trust that the farmers we work with raise       crops that are healthy for them, their farm and anyone who consumes the food they raise.

For Members

HOW DO I CUSTOMIZE MY SMALL FARMER’S SHARE, CHEF’S SHARE OR OTHER SUBSCRIPTIONS?

Unfortunately our system does not allow for subscription customization, we plan to bring this as an option in the future.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A SHARE COMING?

The system will send you an automatic sign-up confirmation email with your next delivery date.

HOW DO I CANCEL OR HOLD MY SUBSCRIPTION?

There are two options to either temporarily, or permanently, hold your subscription:

  1. Temporary Holds work great for weeks when you’re on vacation, or already have a full fridge. Place it for a designated time period of up to 3 weeks, and the system will skip your delivery. Once the hold expires, the system will automatically return the account to active.
  2. Permanent Holds are better for long periods of time. When a subscription is set on permanent hold, the system removes the subscription from deliveries. If you miss your subscription, you can simply remove the permanent hold flag to make it active again.

Both functionalities can be set from the “ My Account”  Member Actions “Delivery Hold” section of the dashboard.

WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH MY SHARE BOX AND PACKAGING MATERIALS?

Return them to us, please!

We are able to reuse them for future deliveries and lessen our environmental impact. The easiest way to do this is to break down your box and bring it with you to your next produce pickup.

CAN I VIEW MY ACCOUNT BALANCE?

Your account balance may be reviewed by going to ‘My Account’ and ‘Overview’ in the Member Actions section farmers’ market.

HOW CAN I CHANGE MY DROP-OFF LOCATION?

This can be changed in “My Account” – “Pick up” (change) option.

HOW DO I UPDATE MY PERSONAL INFORMATION OR CREDIT CARD INFORMATION?

Access the “My Account” option when signed in and then access “Manage Payments” update card information.

Sharing Community FAQ

Where does the name “Alfrea” come from?

Alfrea is made up of two words, area and alfresco. The definition of alfresco is “in the open air”. The combination of the two is an area in open air which relates to one of our goals of finding land for people to grow food.

How do I license land?

First let’s discuss the legal language. Yes our attorney made us do it. : )

What is a license? A license is not a lease, but a mere privilege to enter upon the designated land for a specific purpose for a defined time and at a set price.

In order to license land you must sign up for a free membership with Alfrea. After you search our site for the land that fits your needs and you find it, it is time to pick the dates which you need the land and click the Rent! Button. This will send a request to the landowner who will then get back to you with the details of the transaction.

How do I Sell my Fresh Grown Food

In order to sell your food you must sign up for an Individual or Business membership. Once you have either of these memberships you can begin selling your food. Click post a listing and follow the steps until your listing is successfully posted. Remember: You have to keep track of your own inventory and the expiration dates of your items.

How do I Hire Services?

In order to hire services you must sign up for at least a Free Membership. When you are ready to hire find the right service provider for you and click Hire!

How do I post my services

To post your services you must have an Individual or Business membership. Post a listing telling your future employer what you can do for them. Let them know your rate of pay and when you are available. Having a picture helps the person who will employ you to feel more secure when hiring you. Please limit the services posted to gardening/farming/landscaping tasks.

How can I connect with local farmers or people with fresh produce?

You want fresh produce? We have it here! Search our listing for local food near you. Click on the food you want to purchase pay for it and pick it up at your convenience.

Remember: As an Alfrea policy you must do all transactions through the Alfrea portal. All messages are screened to ensure no personal information is passed until a payment has been made.

How do I cancel my subscription?

We are sad to see you go! We we hope you had a successful time growing and sharing with us. To cancel your subscription, simply send an email to support@alfrea.desk-mail. Please write “Subscription Cancellation” in the subject line, and be sure to include your name and email address. We would love to know why you’re cancelling, so we can make Alfrea better! You will receive an email confirmation within 48 hours that your subscription was canceled.

If you cancel in the middle of a month, your account will be downgraded to a free user when the month ends.

When will I be billed for the month? 

You will be billed for your first month on the day you sign up, and on the same day every month thereafter. For example, if you sign up on June 17, you will be charged for the first month on June 17. In the the following months you will be billed July 17, August 17, and so on. We do not bill retroactively. If you have questions about your billing, please contact us a support@alfrea.desk-mail.com with the subject “Billing Question.” Please provide your name, email and a short description of the problem so that we can look into the issue further.

When can I cancel?

You can cancel your subscription at any time.  We do not offer refunds, so if you cancel in the middle of the month, your account will be downgraded when the month ends. Once you are downgraded to a free user, all of your listings will be deactivated.

Can I get a refund if I change my mind right away?

If you change your mind within 48 hours of signing up, we will refund you for your subscription, in full.  Listings posted during those 48 hours will be removed.

Can I get a refund if no one rents my land, hires my services or buys my food?

No. We do not guarantee that someone will rent land, hire services or buy food.

What are my transaction limits?

If you are an individual user you can have up to 25 listings at any given time, if you are a business user you can have up to 500 listings at any given time. If you think you received a listing limit message in error, please contact us at support@alfrea.desk-mail with the subject “Listing Limit.” Please provide your name and e-mail so that we can look into your problem.

What is your posting policy? What can’t I post?

Alfrea was designed to build your community and strengthen your local food economy. We ask that you only post organic, homegrown food, land that belongs to you and services you provide yourself. You cannot rent out land that you do not own. You cannot sell food you have not grown yourself, or services you do not provide yourself. Please don’t post anything illegal or offensive. The Alfrea team works around the clock reading and editing listings, and Alfrea reserves the right to remove posts it deems unacceptable, for whatever reason. We do not offer refunds if posts are removed due to a violation of posting policy.

I don’t have land. Can I rent out the containers on my porch, or the back of my truck?

You can rent out anything in which someone can plant and grow a viable garden. Be creative! We love to see new things pop up for rent on Alfrea. As long as it belongs to you, you can rent it out!