When Jim and Debbie Athearn first started this farm more than 40 years ago, packaging was pretty basic. Our original farmstand had paper bags for customers to fill with produce, just as we do today.
But now we stock a lot more than just our farm-raised vegetables, herbs and fruits. We have a carry-out soup and salad bar, coffee and tea to go, farm-baked breads and pastries and a panorama of meals and side dishes from our farm kitchen.
So paper bags aren’t enough any more: All these housemade products, along with the dried fruits, nuts and other snacks we sell, have to be packaged for our customers. And unfortunately, that usually means plastic. We’re not happy when we have to use any disposable items that can’t be recycled or repurposed, so our managers have been working to source the most sustainable carry-out and to-go containers we can find. It’s part of our commitment to being an environmentally sustainable farm that leaves the lightest “footprint” possible.
- We now use Massachusetts-made deli containers that are both recyclable and recycled, with 100 percent post-consumer content.
- The nuts, dried fruits and other snacks we formerly sold in wasteful, single-use Mylar bags are now being packaged in these containers, which can be rinsed and reused at home before their final trip to the recycling bin.
- You’ll also find olives, grated cheeses, fresh mozzarella, hummus and other dips and roasted vegetables in these containers.
- Our plastic salad “clamshells” are also 100 percent recycled and recyclable as well as reusable. (We have experimented with paper-based mealware that was billed as compostable, but experience has shown that these larger dishes and containers simply don’t break down in the Morning Glory compost heap. They’re not recyclable, either, in most cases, so we prefer not to use them.)
- Instead of single-use, non-reclaimable toothpicks, our daily product-sampling program uses paper tasting utensils that are both compostable and recyclable.
- We’ll continue to source as much recycled, recyclable and compostable product packaging as we can. with the long-term goal of eliminating single-use plastics from the farmstand wherever possible.
Interested in sustainability? Read about our electricity-generating windmill »»