Farmers’ Market Shoppers Can Drop Off Scraps for Composting, Beginning May 19

Ed Doty at a recent farmers’ market

Market and Shawangunk Growers in joint effort to collect and re-use

The Cold Spring Farmers’ Market and Shawangunk Growers are teaming up to provide market shoppers a place to drop off their unwanted kitchen scraps at the farmers’ market, from May 19 until September 22, to be turned into compost.  Shawangunk Growers is a family partnership, owned and run by Ed and Rachael Doty who have been growing plants for over two decades as a hobby.

The compost drop-off will take place every Saturday at the CSFM.  There will be a clearly marked bin placed beside the CSFM board table available during market hours from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.  Bring your kitchen waste (fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells, and nut shells) with you to the market and drop the contents in the bin.  For more information, please visit the CSFM website.

Farmers’ Market Board co-chair Krystal Ford spoke with Rachael Doty from Shawangunk Growers about their goods and about composting.

Ford: What do you grow at Shawangunk Growers?
Doty: We grow herbs, perennials, select shrubs, annuals, hanging baskets, mixed containers, berry plants, living wreaths and terrariums.

Ford: How long have you and your husband been in operation?
Doty: Ed and I have been in business since 2005.

Ford: How did you get into the plant growing business?
Doty: I guess you could say we both got into plants from weeding our relatives’ gardens as kids. I started working at a cactus nursery when I was 17 in Arizona and Ed started working for Vandenburg Bulbs in Chester, N.Y. when he was 20. I became interested in growing plants from spending the summers with my step-father, who grew 10 acres of organic vegetables, and Ed from his Grandma who also had a huge vegetable garden.

Ford: How long have you been composting?
Doty: I have been composting since 1998 and learned about it in the 1980s from my step-dad.

Ford: What do you use the compost for?
Doty: We add compost to our vegetable garden, which makes the soil lighter and full of rich organic matter. This attracts worms who then aerate the soil. When you add broken down plant material to the garden, it nourishes the new plants, which in turn feeds us more nutrients in the end. Between recycling and composting, you can greatly reduce the amount of garbage you produce.

Ford: Why do you think composting is important?
Doty: Composting is important because it reduces waste going to landfills and recycles plant material back into the soil which fertilizes in a natural way that is not dependent on oil. The plants you eat are only as nutritious as the soil it was grown in.

Ford: What plants can we expect to see for Mother’s Day?
Doty: Mothers Day we will have lilacs, many new perennials, annuals, hanging baskets, morning glories and herbs, asparagus plants, blueberry bushes and strawberry plants.

Ford: If you were going to give your mother a plant for Mother’s Day, which one would it be?
Doty: I would give my Mom a Hellebore. They are evergreen, somewhat deer resistant, grow in the shade and bloom in the late winter when most everything else is dormant.

To learn more about Shawangunk Growers visit  or stop by their tent at the market.


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