April 22, Earth Day, marks the 46th anniversary of the modern environmental movement. Living by the sea, we may be reminded more than most how important it is to live sustainably. Our Brigantine Beach Green Team that helped Brigantine obtain bronze certification from Sustainable New Jersey is responsible for starting the popular farmers market that opens for its third season May 28.
The farmers market committee works to partner with everyone to live sustainably. Last summer the market went single-use bag free. That change has made it a model for other markets, like the Collingswood farmers market. This season the farmers market committee encourages eco-friendly and reusable rather than disposable materials from its vendors and shoppers.
On Saturday mornings in the summer your carbon footprint is reduced because the vegetables, fruit and fish that you purchase come from local farms and fishermen. Nothing is trucked from hundreds of miles away. In fact, the clams and scallops from Clam Daddy’s and Viking are caught right off our coast.
Additionally, our farmers and fisherman are aware of food waste. Maury and Helen Sheets of Woodland Produce Farm report, “All spoiled vegetables go in to compost pile – never wasted.” At the end of the market day, volunteer Lisa McClay collects still-usable fruits and vegetables from the farmers, which are given to our Brigantine Food Bank.
Look no further than vegetable row on Revere Boulevard for Jah’s Creation Organic Farm for organic fruits and vegetables. Farming without pesticides is challenging and important work. Matt Bruckler III of Jah’s Creation has attained the seal of Certified Organic.
The very popular children’s tent is ready to go sustainable this season. Led by Linda Congemi and Gillian Eyde, it will feature projects that recycle and repurpose, and you can help. Designate a spot in your home to save toilet and paper towel holders, washed small tin cans, metal jar lids and bottle caps. Drop-off bins will be stationed at the info tent for contributions.
Everyone looks forward to going to the farmers market; it is the summer Saturday place to be. With a little planning you can “live sustainably” at the marketplace too. Walk or bike over to Haneman Park. There are bike racks on 15th Street near the library entrance and in Haneman Park. Equip your bike with one of those baskets that easily clip off the handlebars for ease of shopping.
One final tip and you will be ready for the market season. Prepare a farmers market kit. First in are reusable bags, next include reusable water bottles and coffee cups, add brown paper lunch bags for carrying smaller fruits and vegetables, and finally mix in a few containers for your take-out food.
Working together, you and the Brigantine Farmers Market will continue to lead the way to living sustainably.