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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Produce-delivery service expands to Fredericksburg

A North Carolina-based company that delivers organic fruits and vegetables and other farm products to people’s homes has expanded to the Fredericksburg area.

Backyard Produce & Market started home-delivery service in Northern Virginia on Nov. 6 and will now offer weekly deliveries in the region every Wednesday afternoon.

The local delivery area doesn’t include all of the Fredericksburg region, according to a map on Backyard Produce’s website. The delivery area is along the Interstate 95 corridor and appears to include most of Stafford County, all or almost all of Fredericksburg, and parts of Spotsylvania County along U.S. 1 down to the Southpoint area. The company hopes to expand the local delivery area over time.

Customers pay a $15 annual membership fee and a weekly subscription charge that ranges from $25 to $65 based on how much produce is delivered. Customers can either select the weekly “variety basket” or choose individual items with the points they are allotted. Customers can place a hold on their account and roll over unused points to the next week.

Backyard’s products come from farms in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. They include a variety of fruits and vegetables as well as bakery items, meats, cheeses, eggs, coffee, milk and more. Produce that is not grown seasonally in those areas is sourced from organic and fair trade distributors. The company is looking for farmers in Northern Virginia.

Backyard Produce — which is based in Raleigh, N.C., and expanded into the Richmond market earlier this year — is the latest local entrant into the produce-delivery business.

Richmond-based Dominion Harvest offers a local home-delivery service for farm products that is similar to Backyard Produce’s. In addition, many local farms offer Community Supported Agriculture programs in the summer where customers get weekly supplies of produce.

Charlottesville-based Relay Foods last month started a twice-weekly delivery service in Fredericksburg that allows customers to pick out a large variety of grocery items. Relay doesn’t offer home-delivery service in the Fredericksburg area but rather offers pickups every Monday and Thursday afternoon at Fredericksburg’s Hurkamp Park.

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