The journey from seed-to-home.
Rooting to bring you happiness every day. Here is a sneak peek at our inner workings
Selecting what to grow.
Understanding demand & planning for it.
- We take small steps. But sure ones. Deciding what to grow starts with understanding demand, and then planning for the same.
- To track existing demand, we tap into data which gives us key insights into customer preference. From understanding their likeability to the frequency of buying, along with taking a stalk of other biases, map our intervention & strategy.
- For new consumer demand, we look into a bunch of factors. We start by observing food trends that matter to our consumers. For example, many have taken to eating salad regularly. In response to that, we increased the growth of spinach, capsicum, and other salad staples.
- We also pay attention to the questions asked by our customers — about specific varieties and variants. It helps us understand what is gaining preference over time.
- We articulate our farming basis with the aforesaid information while also taking into account weather and soil conditions. For example, if we see demand for greens in the summer months, we grow them in greenhouses so as to counter the heat and insufficient groundwater supply faced by the region.
Deciding where to plant roots.
How we select which farms are best-suited for each crop.
- In this stage, we are rich with information and sure-footed to take the next move. This is when our in-house agronomy team frets through the database of farms managed by us, or scout for new farmer partners who fit the bill. It is worth mentioning that we are hard to please, because our stringent steps to ensure quality and the right produce, define our priority.
- Farms are selected based on an extensive checklist. Criteria such as previous crop quality, yield, resources and the farmer’s experience & skill are taken into consideration.
- We partner with polyhouses to ensure consistent access to high-quality produce even during the off-season. Shortfalls aren’t our shortcomings.
- Once the farms and farmers have been selected, the agronomy team engages in a 'mutual-benefit' dialogue with farmers. Here, both parties discuss costs, estimated yield, challenges, prep work, quality requirements, scheduled site-checks, fair prices, and much more. Only once both parties shake hands on all of the above, the soil is tailored.
Sowing the seed.
On-ground technical guidance and priming for sowing.
Every seed sown shadows a purpose. We start by helping the farmers in choosing the right seeds. Some of them may even need assistance to start off by transplanting the saplings. We make it possible by growing the same in our own nursery located at the city outskirts.
Our agronomy team also works hard to ensure that the ‘seed to sapling’ and ‘sapling to flowering’ losses are minimal.
In traditional farming methods, for every 100 seeds sown by a farmer, 75 would grow into plants. Approximately 15% would be lost due to natural causes & another 10-15% are affected by disease or pests.
Every growing life needs the right nurture. Our agronomy team provides the farmers with regular inputs and careful supervision is made, especially to monitor the sapling’s initial health. Our intervention has successfully increased the ‘flowering’ plants from 75% to 85-90%.
Nurturing healthy growth.
Making sure every plan meets our love & care.
- Every plant represents life, which is lived in stages. These milestones of growth are critical. To cite a few examples, the timing when a sapling sprouts, or when auxiliary stems are supposed to grow, to the time when it needs pruning, must meet our attention for a successful harvest.
- The fate of the final fruit or vegetable is linked to these milestones. That’s why our agronomy team visits each farm during these critical stages to ascertain the progress and predict and ensure the best quality of the final yield.
- The percentage of healthy saplings can say a whole lot about what farmers should expect. If the number of healthy saplings is alarming, the agronomy team conducts a 'root-cause' assessment to determine what went wrong and the following corrective measures.
- Similar checks are conducted at other stages too. This includes checks for any kind of infestation or pre-emptive measures to prevent a recurrence of sub-par harvest.
- For all hydroponically grown fruits and vegetables, checks are conducted at different day intervals, depending on the nature of the crop.
The art of a good harvest.
The merits of pre-harvest evaluation.
- Being preventive has its merits. A good yield begins with on-ground monitoring and assessment right before the harvest. We take this very seriously, especially when working with first-time farmers.
- The produce is checked for many things, including color, shape, length, weight, etc., and is classified accordingly.
The first leg of the trip home.
Transferring fresh produce to our warehouses.
We at Deep Rooted.Co don’t burden the farmers with the task of dropping off the yield at a collection centre. Perishables need less handling. Our aim is to minimize the amount of hand-to-produce contact between the harvest and its last-mile delivery.
- Additionally, by being able to do our own harvest assessment and selection on the farm site, we assure better quality control and plan for shortfalls, if any.
- We first undertake a ‘Field Quality Check’ after which many measures are implemented to ensure the safe transfer of our produce. For example, we make sure that perishables, especially greens during the summer months, are always collected in vehicles with an in-built cold storage facility.
- Another example is that of spinach collection on-site, where our quality control process ensures that we do not pick up more than 6kgs in a crate. The spinach at the bottom is stacked with roots facing the left, whereas the spinach placed above is stacked with its roots facing the right. Not more than 5 layers of spinach are piled in a single crate, and each crate is covered with a wet gunny cloth to prevent water loss post-harvest.
- After the produce arrives at the warehouse, the second series of ‘Quality Checks’ are followed. To maintain freshness, most greens have their roots intact up until the second quality check. After they clear this stage, the roots are cut off to make the produce more convenient for the consumer to use.
- Most greens are grown within four key farms which lie 30-50KM from the Deep Rooted.Co warehouse. If the harvest is conducted between 3-5PM, the produce arrives at the warehouse by 7PM. After this, the second stage of quality check is conducted. Produce is then stored overnight, and is ready to be dispatched out for delivery at 7AM - with all its freshness intact.
The final stretch.
Safely packing, planning, and delivering orders right to your doorstep.
- The warehouse team follows strict guidelines to ensure all fruits and vegetables remain fresh till they reach you.
- Greens are always packed in an ice box, whereas produce which emits natural gasses (which may hasten the ripening of other fruits) is always packed separately.
- Once the order-time cut-off (11PM) arrives, a representative moves the produce from the storage area to the packing area. Each packer is allotted a certain number of orders, but never too many, so as to maintain quality and reduce human errors.
- After the orders are packed and stored, till about 4AM, the route planning is chalked by the logistics team.
- After this, there’s one final round of checking before all the fresh produce is loaded onto the delivery trucks.
- The entire process of delivering super fresh and clean fruits and vegetables within 16-20 hours is complete, thanks to the meticulous planning and screening that we at Deep Rooted.Co conduct.