FreshBox Articles is where you’ll find some of the best content on the web about hydroponics, vertical farming, and sustainable agriculture. Explore the science and technology behind your food, right here, and make The Thoughtful Choice!

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA):
How Indoor Farming Supports Land Conservation

Plants need space to grow. Regardless of whether food comes from an open field, a greenhouse, or an indoor facility, it is ultimately connected to the land on which it’s produced. Moreover, unlike many other inputs that plants need – like sunlight and water – land is not a renewable resource.

Although it is estimated that only 30% of arable land worldwide is currently being farmed, the vast majority of the farmland still available is located in Africa and South America—meaning that expansion of local and national crop production is drastically limited for many countries. Additionally, out of all of this global land, 33% has been moderately to severely degraded due to climate change and unsustainable agricultural practices. We must therefore turn towards new solutions and strategies that preserve and make good use of our farmable areas.


An Explanation of Local Food: What does Local Actually Mean?

It’s indisputable that the Local food movement has grown rapidly over the past several years. The evidence of this expansion is often found right in front of us, from the colorful signs in our grocery stores to the bustling farmers’ markets downtown. Eaters have made their intentions clear to shops and producers—with sales of locally made and grown foods increasing from $5 Billion in 2008 to $12 Billion in 2014.


What is Fresh? Understanding the Term.

We all know when we’re eating fresh food, whether that realization comes right after biting into a perfectly crunchy apple or while tasting the crisp leaves of a just-harvested salad. But, what really makes something fresh?

Our team often finds ourselves wondering:

What are those “Fresh Moments” for consumers? And, how can we be certain that our food is truly the freshest it could be?

To answer these questions, we decided to take a deep dive into the concept of freshness, in order to explore how the word is used, and what it really means.


What Does Triple Washed Salad Mean?

It was a long day at work, and you’re looking forward to getting home and eating dinner. You had planned on making a nice meal with a tasty salad. But the process of washing the leaves, breaking out the salad spinner, and drying everything off is eating up way too much of your evening.

During those busy times, we all enjoy when meal prep is made just a little bit easier. Recognizing this, major lettuce producers saw an opportunity to capitalize on consumers’ love for convenience. Many brands now offer packages of salad that state that they are “Pre-Washed,” “Triple Washed,” or “Ready to Eat.” In fact, more than 70% of U.S. households currently purchase bagged or packaged salad blends.


Kosher Vegetables: What Our Kosher Certification Means for You

Nowadays, there are many types of labels that get stamped onto your food. Non-GMO, rBST-free, Grass-Fed… the list goes on and on. These little stickers and badges convey important information to the consumer; however, it can often be overwhelming to fully learn what each one means.

Because of this potential for confusion, we thought that we’d take the time to explain FreshBox Farms’ newest seal. All of our greens are now Kosher Certified, which makes us the only Kosher Certified grower in Massachusetts.


Four Tips on How to Buy Good Vegetables

To clear up some of the mysteriousness of the produce section, we’ve put together a brief list of Four Tips on How to Buy Good Vegetables.

It’s Sunday afternoon and you are at your local grocery store. You’ve made your shopping list, and think that you’re all set to grab what you need and get on with your day. What you fail to remember is how challenging it can be to buy good vegetables.

While wandering the aisles you find yourself getting confused as you peruse the peppers, glance at the greens, and turn over the tomatoes. In a market with so much choice, it’s often difficult to determine what veggies are better than others.


Food Poisoning: How it Affects Your Leafy Greens

Most people know that to avoid food poisoning you must refrigerate meat or wash your hands after cracking an egg. However, it may come as a surprise that the leading cause of food poisoning is, in fact, leafy green vegetables.

Each year, approximately 48 million people in the U.S. contract some form of food-borne illness. A 2013 publication from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 20% of all such illnesses were directly attributable to leafy greens. These figures can be frightening, considering that vegetables are often thought of as a healthy choice.


6 Types of Leafy Greens that Pack a Healthy Punch

We’ve put together a list of six greens and their health benefits so you can easily understand the best greens for your body’s needs. These greens range in flavor from sweet to bitter to spicy, and the textures range from leafy and tender to crispy and crunchy. Different greens have different nutrients, and, generally speaking, a leaf has more nutrients the darker it is in color. We’ve got recipe ideas for you, too, so you can easily add these greens to your diet.

Find out the 6 Greens on our List! >>

The Future of Farming: Agriculture & Water Conservation

The agricultural industry is the United States’ largest consumer of water, accounting for 80% of the nation’s consumptive water usage. Today, that number is more relevant than ever, as 18.8% of the lower 48 U.S. states are currently experiencing drought conditions. Water is an incredibly valuable national resource, and should be given the attention that it deserves.

Read our Second Article >>

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA): More than Hydroponics

Controlled Environment Agriculture is an umbrella term used for many varieties of indoor plant cultivation. This can include something as simple as a DIY greenhouse or as complex as NASA’s Biomass Production System. Most generally, however, CEA can be defined as a method of cultivating plants in an enclosed environment, using technology to ensure optimal growing conditions.

Read our First Article >>