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North country farmers markets preparing for fruitful season

in Enviroment 73 views

CANTON — Summer is awakening farmers markets across the north country from their winter hibernation. Here’s what to know about this year’s farmers markets in Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties.

Some markets in St. Lawrence County have already begun.

The Potsdam market began last week, and is held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays in Ives Park.

Ogdensburg’s market takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays at 2321 Ford St. Extension.

According to GardenShare’s local food guide, the Ogdensburg market may operate other days, but updates can be found on its Facebook page.

Massena’s market starts in July, and takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays at 105 Harte Haven Plaza.

Hammond’s market starts June 15, and will be from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays.

Gouverneur’s farmers market starts June 3, and will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays at the village park on Main Street.

Canton’s market starts May 27, and is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Tuesday and Friday at the village park.

The Akwesasne market starts June 18, and is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays at 580 Route 37, Hogansburg.

Most of the markets accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program EBT, Double Up Food Bucks, and Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks. Some small changes are coming to the Potsdam, Canton and Gouverneur markets, according to Carlene L. Doane, executive director of GardenShare.

“GardenShare is taking on a shared market management for those markets,” she said. “So instead of each one having its own manager, it will be one person managing all three.”

Ms. Doane said this will help streamline the market for vendors and customers who might have questions or concerns, and therefore don’t need to wonder who to approach.

“If a customer has concerns, it’s going through one person now instead of three,” she said.

Ms. Doane encouraged people to attend their local farmers market.

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Hundreds of US Cities Composting Their Food Waste Helps Farmers and Cuts Tons of Emissions

in Enviroment/Food 578 views

Last week, new water restrictions issued for millions of residents of Southern California highlighted the need to make agriculture more efficient—and a new statewide composting mandate is providing the solution.

California leads the nation in food production, which requires a lot of water, and now because they became the second state in the nation after Vermont to make large-scale composting required by law means we can have our produce ‘cake’ and eat it, too.

Compost Awareness Week, which begins today, may sound superficial, but we need to know that farms can grow up to 40 percent more food in times of drought when they use compost—and when citizens dump their coffee grounds and banana peels into a bin for pick up, they are feeding the soil, while guarding against water shortages.

City composting programs produce thousands of truckloads of finished compost that go onto farms, orchards, and vineyards, creating a natural sponge that attracts and retains moisture. Not only that, the recycling loop is combatting global warming.

Food waste makes up nearly 20% of the stuff in our landfills. When that food decomposes, it releases methane; tens of times more potent than carbon dioxide, it’s one of the main greenhouse gasses fueling the climate crisis, and landfills are the third-largest source of methane emissions in the U.S.

More than 200 cities across the country, and many universities, have followed San Francisco’s lead and implemented curbside collection of food scraps for composting. In compliance with the new law—(SB 1383) requiring California cities to reduce landfilling of compostable materials by 75 percent by 2025—cities up and down California are establishing curbside programs that provide bins for food scraps, sticks, and leaves, so they can be turned into ‘black gold’ compost for farmers.

San Francisco-based Recology, an employee-owned company with a workforce of 3,800 operates 8 composting facilities in California, Oregon, and Washington serving nearly 150 communities. In 2020 alone, they recycled over 810,000 metric tons of organic waste, including food scraps and yard trimmings.

“This program gives individuals, communities and entire municipalities a way to do something very useful to help slow climate change—and to help get carbon out of the atmosphere and back into the soil where it belongs,” said Recology’s Robert Reed.

San Francisco’s pioneering food scrap collection program, which was maligned as something that would never work, created momentum for the statewide program.

“We started collecting food scraps separately from other trash in 1996,” Reed told GNN. “At the time, executives at the largest garbage companies were quoted in the trade press saying the San Francisco program had never been tried and would not work. They said our trucks would leak and our new program would fail.”

“In fact, our program worked and continues to work extremely well. San Franciscans have embraced curbside composting of food scraps together with sticks and leaves more than any other city in the country.”

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Leaving No Molecule Behind: ‘Landfill of the Future’ Turns Farming Waste Into Soaps, Compost, and Candles

in Enviroment 135 views

Among sparsely populated communities in Newfoundland, a landfill for the future—where every molecule is accounted for and reused—is steadily growing its portfolio of circularly produced goods that utilize waste from the island’s forests, farms, and fisheries.

For clients, it’s just like any other landfill. They can go and dump whatever amount of biological waste that they have from their operations, and then drive off without ever needing to think about it again.

But for investors, for consumers, and for the world, 3F Waste Recovery is anything but ordinary.

“3F is founded on the principle that every molecule that comes through our door, we want to have an application for it,” Founder Ben Wiper explains to Hakai Magazine. “My vision is the landfill of the future—where producers can take anything they haven’t processed, to break it down into a form that has a function.”

Science has moved us into an increasingly molecularized world. It’s common to hear businesses accounting for things like protein or CO2, as if they’re counting assets, expenditures, or cash flow.

When a company has the technology to turn practically all kinds of biological waste into valuable consumer products, this accounting method becomes even more extreme. Every unit of lignin not burnt from a tree means one more unit of lignin needed from a tree that hasn’t been felled. Every unit of cod skin placed in a landfill is one more unit of cod skin needed from a living cod.

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