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Farmers do their part to reduce food waste

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Posted on June 21, 2018 |
By Rachel Cohen



ElmerFarm6819.jpg
ELMER FARM CO-OWNER Spencer Blackwell, shown with his daughter Ida at their on-farm CSA pick-up in Middlebury, said his farm donates thousands of pounds of produce that could not be sold. Independent photo/Rachel Cohen

ADDISON COUNTY — 2014 was a great year for cabbage in Vermont. Spencer Blackwell’s cabbages on Elmer Farm in Middlebury grew to be around 12 pounds each.

It was amazing to see, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to sell the especially heavy heads of greens to any of his usual markets. He ended up “turning under” two-thirds of the cabbages, not harvesting them so that the nutrients from the germinated crops could be recycled into the soil.

While this was an anomaly for Blackwell, it happens regularly on farms throughout the state.

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