Friday, 21 April 2017 14:07

For Saratoga Farmers’ Market, Green Goes beyond Great Vegetables

Written by Julia Howard, Market Director
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It’s not easy being green. But as one of our shoppers put it, it’s better for all of us.

Camm Epstein arrived at the market to shop on a recent Saturday with a backpack. He filled his pack, and prepared for a one-mile walk home. “It’s good for me and the planet,” he said.

As we join the nation in celebrating Earth Day, we recognize that while we are a source of healthy, locally grown food, being green should be more than that. 

Our customers noted in a survey last year that while they loved the range of local foods that we offer, they wished we could reduce our waste and be more earth-friendly.

We took that advice to heart and have launched two initiatives:

The first is a compost station. We invite shoppers to bring fruit and vegetable scraps, egg shells, and other easily compostable items from their homes to our compost bin. We also encourage you to deposit any leftovers from foods that you might consume at the market that you don’t plan to take home to eat later. This compost is going to a farm owned by two market volunteers and turned into their compost pile. Nearly 1,000 pounds of new soil that has resulted from these efforts is being put into the Franklin Community Center’s food pantry garden, said volunteer Jim Gupta-Carlson. From leftovers and waste come vegetables for our community.

Our second initiative is about recycling. If you’re one of our weekly shoppers, you might be buying cups of coffee, snacking on yogurt cups or cookies, or buying a hot meal to enjoy while listening to our musicians. Consider disposing of these items’ packaging not in the trash but in bins labeled with recycling signs. The same goes for napkins and other paper items.

We hope our market becomes a green collaboration between farmers, shoppers, and the community. As Gupta-Carlson notes, by using baskets and reusable bags and by adapting such healthy habits as walking to the market when feasible, we all can contribute to “the environmental benefit of supporting local food systems and healthy farming practices.”

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market will be at its winter location – the Lincoln Baths Building in the Saratoga Spa State Park – for two more Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1p.m., before moving outdoors May 3 to High Rock Park.

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