Q: How does this work?
A: On Friday of every week, we send out a menu via email of produce available the following week. Then you have until noon on Tuesday to place your order for the week. Deliveries are that same week, Thursday-Sunday, depending on your address. You’ll be notified of your delivery day after you place your first order. You can order week-by-week or set up a recurring order. Most folks start with a small, medium or large fruit or veggie bin. You have the choice of a "fixed" bin or a "customizable" bin. You can always add extra items like meat, eggs, dairy, bread and pantry staples to your bin.
Q: Are you a CSA?
A: The concept is similar to local CSAs with the important benefit of supporting local agriculture by working directly with area farms. However, instead of working with one farm, customers of Mother Earth Produce will be helping to support a network of local, sustainable farms. Mother Earth Produce is a year-round service, as where most CSAs are seasonal. With Mother Earth Produce you will also have the convenience of home delivery as well as the option to customize your bin contents. There is no commitment; customers may order one time, weekly or set up recurring orders at their convenience.
Q: Do you offer any recipes to cook the produce?
A: Yes! We have a FREE weekly meal plan each week that provides 5 quick entree recipes based around the medium bin. This menu will be provided on our website with a link from the "New Harvest Menu" page, and the "Free Weekly Meal Plan" page under "Shop Our Products". This will also be distributed in via email on Monday mornings, and on our Facebook page.>
Q: How fresh is your produce?
A:Produce is often picked up at our farms the day before we deliver the produce to you. We order only what we need for each week. Any leftovers at the end of the week are donated to local charities.
Q: What is your definition of “local”?
A: Our local farms are defined by our delivery area: North & South Carolina. Farms that are regionally certified by Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project are within 100 miles of Asheville, North Carolina. We depend on our network of farmers to supply us with seasonal, yet diverse produce. Having the luxury of multiple growing regions in the Carolinas helps us to provide year-round local food. We develop personal relationships with every one of our growers & food artisans, most of them are small family-owned businesses like ourselves. We strive to choose produce from close to home as possible. Seasonal availabilty and growing climates of certain products, such as bananas will limit the ability to source exclusively from farmers in the Appalachian Foodshed, in which case we certain products are sourced regionally or beyond.
Q: Is your food organic?
A: The majority of the farms we work with certified organic,* with over 80% of our produce falling in this category. We do however also source from farmers who utilize organic growing practices, but are not certified, as this is often restrictive and cost prohibitive for the small farmer. Each product will be noted with the growing practice and source.
*To maintain transparency, items labeled organic are from farms certified by the USDA. Organically grown are items from farms that are not certified by utilize organic growing practices. This is common for small farms.
Q: What do you do through the winter season?
A: During the winter season, we will source everything we can locally. We will be working with some local hydroponic growers and using hardy root crops. If we cannot source items locally, from the Appalachian Foodshed, we do aim for organically grown as the gold standard. Each item will be noted with the growing method and the source.
Q: Can I get items not listed on the menu?
A: Let us know if you are looking for a specific fruit or veggie that we do not have. Please contact us and we will do our best to find what you are looking for.
Q: Is there an optimal browser to use when placing an order?
A: Desktop browsers work best with our current site. These include Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and Edge. Mobile browsers can sometimes experience formatting issues that degrade the customer experience.
Q: When will my credit card be charged?
A: Your credit card will not be charged until the day after your delivery. That way, if there are changes or adjustments that need to be made we can do that before you are charged.
***Please note that items in the cart at the cutoff time on Tuesday will be invoiced and delivered. Please attend to any changes, additions and/or modifications before this time.
Q: Can I purchase this service as gifts for friends and family?
A. Definitely. Simply click on "Gifts" to purchase customizable gift certificate in various amounts.
Q: I cancelled my account/didn't order for at least 3 months but I want to place an order! Now what?
A. Great! Our system will automatically deactivate your account after 3 months of inactivity. Not to worry, we are happy to help! Contact us and we'll reactivate your account. Thank you for your support!!
Q: Where do you deliver?
A: Please check out our deliverymaps to view our delivery areas. If your zip code is not accepted upon registration, contact us to see when we may be able to serve you.
Q: When do you deliver?
A: You will be assigned a delivery day after you register. The delivery day and time will depend on when our truck is traveling through your area. Our route times are dependent on number of deliveries, traffic, and other variables, but we do work to continuously optimize routes for timeliness and efficiency.* At this time, we deliver to Asheville area every Thursday & Friday, and to the Greenville, SC area on Saturdays; and Spartanburg and Hendersonville areas on Sundays.
*Deliveries on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays start at 8am, and end around 6pm approximately. Our drivers will text when the delivery is complete. Please make sure to update phone number in "My Account" to receive notification.
Q: What if I am not home on my delivery day?
A: Not a problem! The majority of our customers are not able to be home on their delivery day. We will deliver your produce in recycled plastic bins that insulate well against the elements. Meat will be delivered, frozen, in insulated bags with an ice pack. If you foresee a difficult or complicated drop off, please contact us beforehand, and we will work out the details. If you are ordering milk or yogurt, please leave out a cooler. This will be your responsibility if you choose to order these items. Our drivers will transfer items to your cooler.
Q: What do I do with my delivery bin?
A: Our bins are recycled plastic bins that insulate well against the elements. They are also covered to keep critters out! When you register, you will have two bins assigned to you, so that we can consistently exchange your bins. There will be a $15 non-refundable deposit for these. Please remember to always leave your empty bin out for us to pick up/exchange on the following delivery each time. We will contact you if we notice unreturned bins and remind you to please put them out for your next regularly scheduled delivery. Thank you so much for your help and cooperation with this!
Q: Is there a bin deposit?
A: Yes. There is a ONE TIME $15 non-refundable bin and bag deposit. Deliveries will be made in recycled plastic bins and will be left in accordance with the delivery instructions on your Account Profile. In preparation for your next delivery, simply leave out your bin and the driver will pick it up. We ask that you return the bins to us as we reuse them. We will contact you if we notice unreturned bins (or if it has been one month since your last delivery) and remind you to put them out for your next regularly scheduled delivery.
Q: Do you have free delivery?
A: $75 is the minimum for free delivery. For orders under $75, a $2.99 delivery fee will be added.
Q: Is there a minimum order requirement?
A. Yes. $28. Minimums ensure an efficient, sustainable delivery system, and align with our smallest bins. Thank you for your understanding! Carts under $27 are automatically emptied after a few hours in our system.