Shop locally and sustainably at the Port Townsend Farmers Market in honor of Earth Day this Saturday, April 22. Shopping locally is something we can do daily to reduce our personal environmental impact. This is especially true when we purchase our food directly from local farms.
Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970 in 193 countries. Today, Earth Day is honored worldwide. In fact, many communities celebrate Earth Week with an entire week devoted to actions and gatherings in support of greater environmental awareness and fostering a sustainable future.
In this modern world we depend heavily on fossil fuels for our personal, food and goods transportation. Fossil fuels are one of the largest contributors to climate changes and environmental degradation. Our environmental impact extends beyond transport when we consider how many of the goods we consume are produced. For example, conventionally grown crops utilize petroleum-based pesticides and fertilizers that are toxic to our environment as well as our bodies. In fact, the largest use of fossil fuels in industrial farming is not food transportation or the fueling of machinery, it is the chemicals used to grow crops and manage pests. As much as 40% of the energy used in our national food system goes towards the production of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Transportation, processing and packaging of food nationally puts tremendous stress on our environment.
Shopping locally and for sustainably produced products is one way you can reduce your impact on the environment. When you purchase locally, you reduce the transportation required for the goods you use. Market vendors are mostly from Jefferson County and all are from within 50 miles or less of our market locations. Furthermore, participating farms take a sustainable approach to food production through organic and environmentally conscientious farming methods. They work to sustain and build local soil through composting, cover crops, crop rotation, organic soil amendment, and careful use of machinery. Our farms also support the environment through land and watershed stewardship. Many of our market farms have worked with the Jefferson Land Trust, Jefferson County Conservation District, the LandWorks Collaborative and other partners to preserve their land for future generations of sustainable farming and to care for local creeks, salmon and native animal habitat. Lastly, market farmers avoid packaging and food waste by harvesting crops when they are ready to sell and selling them directly to you at market. When you shop at market you are supporting sustainable farms while bringing home truly fresh and nutritious food.
Consider taking your environmental care a step further this weekend for Earth Day by walking, biking or skipping to market rather than driving. We will give the first ten customers who arrived at market on foot or by bike a reusable ReCyclery/Chimacum Farmers Market water bottle. Walk on by the farmers market booth to get your bottle while supplies last. Bring your own reusable bag for shopping, cup for your morning coffee and silverware for the tasty treats you purchase from local food vendors. When at market, take a moment when disposing of any "trash" to identify if your items are recyclable. If they are, put them in the recycling and please avoid putting items that cannot be recycled in the recycling as dirty plates often cover the recycling with sticky gunk.
See you at market! ~Amanda Milholland, JCFM Director
P.S. We welcome letters of appreciation all season to market vendors in honor of our 25th anniversary year. Stop on by the market booth for a pen and paper or to deliver your love letter to our mailbox.
Earth Day Celebrations this Weekend in Jefferson County:
- Tomorrow, film showing, Rose Theatre, Saturday and Sunday, 1pm
- Celebrate Earth Day and Bigfoot in Jefferson County, hosted by Local 20/20, 3-5pm, Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
- People's Climate March, hosted by Local 20/20, April 29
From Our Vendors
Red Dog Farm is exploding with tulips! New this week are peony and parrot varieties. We have new varieties coming on every week- over 30 varieties total! In addition to our lovely tulips, we have loads of greens - salad mix, spinach, kales, raabs, and herbs. If you are itching to start your own garden, we have carts of herb and flower starts for you to choose from. Tomato plants will be available for those with greenhouses this weekend! See you Saturday!
Chimacum Valley Dairy will be at market on Saturday with a variety of our raw cow's milk cheeses. Come out and celebrate Raw Milk Appreciation Day. The nutritional benefits of raw milk cheese, a fermented food, are many. We are delighted to be able to make cheese that inspires good health through cultural food tradition.
- Wikipedia, Earth Day, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Day
- Observer, The Environmental Benefits of Organic and Local Food, Steve Cohen, 05/29/08 7:59pm, http://observer.com/2008/05/the-environmental-benefits-of-organic-and-local-food/
- Environment for Beginners, What Does Buying Local Food Do for the Environment?, http://www.environmentforbeginners.com/content/view/110/1/
- The Huffington Post, Why Buying Local Is Worth Every Cent, Michael Salguero, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-salguero/why-buying-local-is-worth_b_4310520.html