By Julia Howard
Earth Day is April 22, and with it comes the opportunity to reflect on the environment; what can we do to honor and protect the nature surrounding us. Earthday.org describes this global event as not just a day but a movement. At Saratoga Farmers’ Market, we agree wholeheartedly. The environmentally-conscious collaboration between local businesses, farms, shoppers, and the community is inspiring and encouraging, and we invite you to join in!
Saratoga Farmers’ Market is pleased to continue offering community composting with help from Squash Villa Farm. Market-goers may drop fruit and vegetable scraps and compostable household matter like coffee grounds and eggshells in a large composting bin located at the TrustCo entrance at the Wilton Mall. Composted material is donated to local farms.
By shopping with baskets and reusable bags and adopting healthy habits like carpooling or taking public transit, we all can contribute to a healthy environment.
And, when you shop at Saratoga Farmers’ Market, every dollar makes a difference in supporting local farms and businesses that, in turn, support environmental health and sustainability.
Local businesses have found innovative ways to reduce waste, which substantially affects the environment. Mean Max Brew Works repurposes their spent grain at [farmacy] Restobar in Glens Falls, where the restaurant makes crackers and other dishes from the leftovers. Argyle Cheese Farmer makes bread from whey, a byproduct of making cheese. Award-winning cheesemakers, Nettle Meadow, feed whey to their goats. And, Pork & Greens pigs feast on food bank goods, spent brewer’s grains, and whey.
Businesses like Junbucha prioritize environmental stewardship by composting food waste and recycling cardboard, metal, and plastic in their production facility. Filtering systems reduce their water consumption.
Reusing packaging is also a top priority. Farms accept clean egg cartons, plastic and glass containers, and even rubber bands from produce. Ballston Lake Apiaries sterilizes and reuses all of their glass honey jars rinsed and returned by customers.
Many local farms, such as Pleasant Valley Farm, 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. Undisturbed soil layers build a healthy ecosystem with many benefits—mainly healthy soil to grow healthy food.
This week’s recipe: Chicken Spinach Salad with Butternut Squash