Many of our growers have additional certifications that help them get into new markets, assure environmental protection, and provide customers with more information on their practices.
What: Overall, organic operations must demonstrate that they are protecting natural resources, conserving biodiversity, and using only approved substances.
How Many of our Farmers are Certified: 5
Good Agricultural Practices
What: GAP involves voluntary audits that verify that fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled, and stored as safely as possible to minimize risks of microbial food safety hazards.
How Many of our Farmers are Certified: 4
MI Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program
What: MAEAP is a program that helps farms of all sizes and all commodities voluntarily prevent or minimize agricultural pollution risks. They help ensure that MI farmers are engaging in cost-effective pollution prevention practices while compying with state and federal environmental regulations.
How Many of our Farmers are Certified: 6
What is this benefits program you ask? It's a national incentive program that allows participating small businesses to give discounts to customers that run their errands by bike. At the market if you purchase a $5 bike benefits sticker, we will give you a $2 tocken each time you bike to the market. Talk about a good deal- you save on gas, groceries, and you get a prime parking space. Other local businesses around Kalamazoo also have their own discounts. Check out their website or visit the Market Office to learn more.
Someday we hope to be a zero waste market, meaning we wouldn't send any waste to the landfill and would instead reuse, recycle, and rot (compost). We're taking small actions every day to get us there, which include donating excess produce to Loaves and Fishes, sending compost home with a Vendor for chicken feed, and we are currently working to get all of our vendors using reusable or compostable food and drink containers.
Food Donated: 28,670 Lbs.
Food Waste Composted: 7,900 Lbs.
Bring Your Own Bag- Every. Day. It's easy to forget, but make it a primary goal for a month and take the time to go back to your car to grab it when you forget.
Buy Produce Bags- Filling your reusable bag with five plastic bags to separate your veggies has it's own set of problems. Invest in a few produce bags and stash them in your grocery bag for easy access.
Coffee Cups and Water Bottles- Cups and bottles make up the bulk of our landfill bins. Bring your own to help us out! If you forget, go "topless" and skip the lid, and remember to visit the Hydration Station by the Office to fill up your water bottle. Special thanks to Gordon Water Systems for the water donations!
Utensils- Planning on staying for lunch? Keep a fork and napkin in your market bag and skip the plastic ones- although they are made with plastic, they are not recyclable in our facilities.
Since 2016 we've partnered with Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes to assist with food donations on market. They've been a tremendous help staffing volunteers, creating connections with farmers, and ultimately getting what would have gone to waste in the fields into the hands of those who need it most.
2016- 27,561 pounds
2017- 28,670 pounds
2018- 19,316 pounds
Customers are welcome to donate as well! Look for their big white truck in the SW Corner around 1pm on Saturdays, or stop by the market office to drop off a bag at any time. They're always grateful for fresh produce and bread donations.
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