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Cranberries, well cranberry prices actually, are underwater — today it costs $35 to produce a barrel of the tart red fruit, but in 2018 that barrel sold for only $25 according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. Now some cranberry producers in Massachusetts, the second-largest grower after Wisconsin, want to do something that has not been tried before at scale — build solar panels above the bogs they harvest each fall. They hope to build solar arrays high enough off the ground and in spaced-out clusters that allow for cranberries to be safely grown and harvested underneath.
Solar developer NextSun Energy is working on an array of 27,000 solar panels over about 60 acres (24 hectares) of active bogs across three cranberry farms in Carver, near Cape Cod.
If it works, the project will produce about 10 megawatts of energy, which is enough to power more than 1,600 homes.
Why This Matters: Farmers, who are trying to make ends meet in tough economic times caused by a surplus of supply plus the trade wars with China and Europe (thanks to the turkey in the White House), are betting that renewable energy and working farms go together like, er, cranberry sauce and stuffing.
To Go Deeper into the Sauce: Watch the video below.
What You Can Do: Support cranberry farmers in your area — make lots of sauce and muffins while they are fresh and in season!
Over the past 50 years, fewer crops are feeding the world’s people and diets around the world are becoming more alike. This puts us at risk of a “globalized diet” based on major crops such as soybeans, wheat, rice, and corn–which are grown on almost half the world’s agricultural lands.
The Wall Street Journal’s headline says it all — “Smaller Loaves of Bread Are on the Rise. Bakers cook up new options to suit small households and millennials who don’t want to waste food.” We hate food waste! And we know you do too, and don’t want to buy more than you will use. So […]
A vegetarian or even vegan Thanksgiving does not have to be a sacrifice! This year, there are more ways to prepare a meatless Thanksgiving meal, with recipes in abundance (keep reading). And more Americans than ever are preparing meat-free meals this Thanksgiving, according to Time Magazine — due to climate change and health reasons.
Why This Matters: Time reports that a Neilsen poll taken in December 2018 found that more than 60% of Americans are willing to cut back on their meat consumption in order to personally reduce their carbon footprint.