By Julia Howard
Sustainability is a word that we often hear, and although its meaning is understood, putting it into action and accepting it as our responsibility may be more challenging. We recycle, avoid plastic bags, and some plant trees or bike over driving. But how do we take these actions a step further? How do we balance the natural environment, healthy communities, and economic vitality? As we work together to find the answers, local farms and businesses at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market share their earth-minded approach.
“We try to be environmentally conscious with everything we make and do,” explains Ken Rhodes of TogaNola. “We use raw ingredients, and the process has literally no waste. And, we’re all about the packaging.” TogaNola uses biodegradable paper packaging and compostable plant-based cellulose packaging for its products.
Businesses like Junbucha and Moon Cycle Seed Company share similar sentiments, prioritizing environmental stewardship by composting food waste and recycling in their production facility. Filtering systems reduce water consumption during processing.
At Kokinda Farm, composted manure nourishes the soil, ensuring balanced nutrients for a successful growing season. The farm is also committed to reusing and recycling found and thrown-away items. “It’s amazing what people throw away,” says Laurie Kokinda, the farm owner. “We use discarded tomato cages and even found a giant insulated cooler for my farm stand.”
Many local farms compost, rotate crops, and use cover crops to hold soil nutrients. These farming practices are vital in supporting land ecology. Lovin’ Mama and Owl Wood Farm promote no-till, regenerative farming, understanding that undisturbed soil layers build a healthy ecosystem with many benefits—mainly healthy soil to grow healthy food.
Hebron Valley Meats owners Ariel Garland and Matt Campbell carefully manage their farm with sustainable practices. “We rotationally graze our cows and believe in keeping everything super local. We source hay locally and use a local butcher,” Ariel explains.
At Hepatic Farm, Melanie Seserman and Arthur Kraamwinkel have found the best way to raise Certified Organic poultry is in the pasture. “Our poultry is totally all-natural,” says Melanie. “As soon as the chickens hatch, they are shipped to the farm overnight, and we give them organic feed. Every day they are moved to fresh pasture. It’s the real deal.”
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Wilton Mall Food Court. Find us online at www.saratogafarmersmarket.org, where you can sign up for our weekly newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. The farmers’ market will return to High Rock Park on Wednesday, May 3, 2023.