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We strive to do everything with intention and transparency at Mother Earth Produce. When sourcing, the gold standard is farms that are local and certified organic. We do recognize that organic certification can be costly and restrictive to the small farmer, and as such, we also source from farms that grow organically grown produce. While the majority of the produce that we carry is locally grown, there are times of the year, or certain items that are sourced outside of the Appalachian Foodshed. Each of the growing practices and location where item was grown is provided. As far as meat and dairy items, we source from farmers using humane, environmentally conscious livestock standards.
Organic indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods. These methods integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.
Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.
Food sourced within North Carolina or South Carolina. Appalachian grown partners are located within 100 miles of Asheville, North Carolina.
A sustainable agriculture technique that calls for the raising of laying chickens, meat chickens, and/or turkeys on pasture, with no less than 108 square feet on rotated pastures as opposed to indoor confinement.
Free from "Genetically Modified Organisms", an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. A growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage, and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights, which has lead to bans of GMOs in parts of the world. In the US, the easiest way to avoid GMOs is to look for organic certification.
So you've got all these great fruits and vegetables and now we're going to help you keep them at their freshest with these tips. These tips are from the Berkley Farmer's Market which is a Zero Waste market! Here is a printable PDF of their original tip sheet.
|Apples||Store on a cool counter or shelf for up to two weeks. For longer storage, place in a cardboard box in the fridge.|
|Citrus||Store in a cool place, with good airflow, never in an air tight container.|
|Cherries||Store in an airtight container. Do not wash cherries until ready to eat ~ any added moisture encourages mold.|
|Berries||Don't forget, they are fragile. When storing be careful not to stack too many high, a single layer if possible. A paper bag works well, only wash before you plan on eating them.|
|Dates||Dryer dates (like deglet noon) are fine to store out on the counter in a bowl or the paper bag they were bought in.
Moist dates (like medjool) need a bit of refrigeration if they are going to be stored over a week, either in a cloth or a paper bag- as long as it is porous to keeping the moisture away from the skin of the dates.
|Fig||Don't like humidity, so, no closed containers. A paper bag works to absorb excess moisture, but a plate works best in the fridge up to a week un-stacked.|
|Melons||Uncut in a cool, dry place, out of the sun up to a couple weeks. Cut melons should be in the fridge, an open container is fine.|
|Nectarines||Store in the fridge if ripe, but best taken out a day or two before you plan on eating them so they soften to room temperature.|
|Peaches||(and most stone fruit) refrigerate only when fully ripe. More firm fruit will ripen on the counter.|
|Pears||Will keep for a few weeks on a counter, but fine in a paper bag. To hasten the ripening put an apple in with them.|
|Persimmons||Fuyu-(shorter/pumpkin shaped): store at room temperature.
|Persimmons||Hachiya-(longer/ pointed end): room temperature until completely mushy. The astringentness of them only subsides when they are completely ripe. To hasten the ripening process place in a paper bag with a few apples for a week, check now and then, but don't stack- they get very fragile when really ripe.|
|Pomegranates||Keep up to a month on a cool counter.|
|Strawberries||Don't like to be wet. Do best in a paper bag in the fridge for a up to a week. Check the bag for moisture every other day.|
|**ALWAYS REMOVE ANY TIGHT BANDS FROM YOUR VEGGIES OR AT LEAST LOOSEN THEM TO ALLOW THEM TO BREATH.**
|Artichokes||Place in an airtight container sealed, with light moisture.|
|Asparagus||Place them loosely in a glass or bowl upright with water at room temperature. (will keep for a week outside the fridge)|
|Avocados||Place in a paper bag at room temperature. To speed up their ripening-place an apple in the bag with them.|
|Arugula||Like lettuce, should not stay wet! Dunk in cooler water and spin or lay flat to dry. Place dry arugula in an open container, wrapped with a dry towel to absorb any extra moisture.|
|Basil||This is difficult to store well. Basil does not like the cold, or to be wet for that matter. The best method here is an airtight container/jar loosely packed with a small damp piece of paper inside-left out on a cool counter.|
|Beans, shelling||Open container in the fridge, eat ASAP. Some recommend freezing them if not going to eat right away.|
|Beets||Cut the tops off to keep beet firm, (be sure to keep the greens) by leaving any top on root vegetable draws moisture from the root, making them lose flavor and firmness.|
|Beet greens||Place in airtight container with a little moisture.|
|Broccoli||Place in an open container in the fridge or wrap in a damp towel before placing in the fridge.|
|Broccoli Rabe||Left in an open container in the crisper, but best used as soon as possible.|
|Brussel Sprouts||If bought on the stalk leave on that stalk. Put the stalk in the fridge or leave it on a cold place. If they are bought loose store them in an open container with a damp towel on top.|
|Cabbage||Left out on a cool counter is fine up to a week, in the crisper otherwise. Peel off outer leaves if they start to wilt. Cabbage might begin to lose its moisture after a week, so, best used as soon as possible.|
|Carrots||Cut the tops off to keep them fresh longer. Place them in closed container with plenty of moisutre, either wrapped in a damp towel or dunk them in cold water every couple of days if they are stored that long.|
|Cauliflower||Will last a while in a closed container if the fridge, but they say cauliflower has the best flavor the day it is bought.|
|Celery||Does best when simply placed in a cup or bowl of shallow water on the counter.|
|Celery root/ Celeriac||Wrap the root in a damp towel and place in the crisper.|
|Corn||Leave unhusked in an open container if you must, but corn really is best the day it is picked.|
|Cucumber||Wrapped in a moist towel in the fridge. If you're planning on eating them within a day or two after buying them they should be fine left out in a cool room.|
|Eggplant||Does fine left out in a cool room. Don't wash it, eggplant doesn't like extra moisture around it's leaves. For longer storage- place loose, in the crisper.|
|Fava beans||Place in airtight container.|
|Fennel||If used within a couple days after it's bought, fennel can be left out on the counter, upright in a cup or bowl of water (like celery). If wanting to keep longer than a few days place in the fridge in a closed container with a little water.|
|Garlic||Store in a cool, dark, place.|
|Green garlic||An airtight container in the fridge or left out for a day or two is fine, best before dried out.|
|Greens||Remove any bands, twist ties, etc. most greens must be kept in an air tight container with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out. Kale, collards, and chard even do well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge.|
|Green beans||They like humidity, but not wetness. A damp cloth draped over an open or loosely closed container.|
|Green tomatoes||Store in a cool room away from the sun to keep them green and use quickly or they will begin to color.|
|Herbs||A closed container in the fridge to keep up to a week. Any longer might encourage mold.|
|Lettuce||Keep damp in an airtight container in the fridge.|
|Leeks||Leave in an open container in teh crisper wrapped in a damp cloth or in a shallow cup of water on teh counter (just so the very bottom of the stem has water).|
|Okra||Doesn't like humidity. So a dry towel in an airtight container. Doesn't store that well, best eaten quickly after purchase.|
|Parsnips||An open container in the crisper, or, like a carrot, wrapped in a damp cloth in the fridge.|
|Potatoes||(like garlic and onion) store in cool, dark and dry place, such as, a box in a dark corner of the pantry; paper bag also works well.|
|Radishes||Remove the greens (store seperately) so they don't draw out excess moisture from the roots and place them in a open container in the fridge with a wet towel placed on top.|
|Radicchio||Place in the fridge in an open container with a damp cloth on top.|
|Rhubarb||Wrap in a damp towel and place in an open container in the fridge.|
|Rutabagas||In an ideal situation a cool, dark, humid root cellar or a closed container in the crisper to keep their mositure in.|
|Snap peas||Refrigerate in an open container.|
|Spinach||Store loose in an open container in the crisper, cool as soon as possible. Spinach loves to stay cold.|
|Spring onions||Remove any band or tie and place in the crisper.|
|Summer squash||Does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut.|
|Sweet peppers||Only wash them right before you plan on eating them as wetness decreases storage times. Store in a cool room to use in a couple a days, place in the crisper if longer storage needed.|
|Sweet potatoes||Store in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place. Never refrigerate--sweet potatoes do not like the cold.|
|Tomatoes||Never refrigerate. Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two wekks on a counter. To hasten ripeness place in a paper bag with an apple.|
|Turnips||Remove the greens (store separately) same as radishes and beets, store them in an open container with a moist cloth.|
|Winter squash||Store in a cool, dark, well ventilated place. Many groweers say winter squash get sweeter if they're stored for a week or so before eaten.|
|Zucchini||Does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut. Wrap in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage.|