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Local farmer pedals “green” greens

By: Eric Fisher

HADLEY, Mass. (WGGB) — Many vegetables are green, so why not use a “green” method to deliver them? That’s exactly what Michael Docter, of Wintermoon Farm, has in mind.

“Our goal is to be carbon neutral by 2015 on this farm,” says Doctor, who recently started delivering his produce by bicycle.

Most of his rides are in the one to seven mile range, and he heads out two or three times per week. Long range deliveries are still made by truck. But Michael believes every little bit helps, even if it’s a very small gesture in the global scope of things.

“I don’t think it requires riding around in a bicycle with your roots necessarily,” says Doctor. “I do it because it’s fun. I get to go outside, and I get a good workout.”

His customers include Smith College, Serio’s Market, and other local grocers and restaurants. Right now he’s serving up winter vegetables, which include carrots, turnips, radishes, and beets. At times, his trailer can carry up to 350 pounds.

While he loves the new way of delivering his products, he admits it didn’t sound all that attractive at first.

“When I first saw anybody pulling something on a trailer with a bicycle I thought it was the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen in my life,” says Doctor. He’s referring to the Pedal People, who remove trash by bicycle in the city of Northampton.

But once he began, he was hooked. And his customers love the idea.

“To our surprise, he was actually going to bike them over from Hadley. To us it was just a huge win-win,” says Kathleen Zieja, Director of Dining Services at Smith College. Zieja says it’s great to have one less truck on campus, and it shores up their philosophy of being a more sustainable college.

Wintermoon Farm will also be starting up a CSA this coming spring.


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