Living Simply and With the Earth
Our core values of social and environmental responsibility inform every decision we make at Eden Village. Below are a few examples of the great care we take in choosing the products we use in our community.
- Local and Sustainable Milk, Eggs, and Ice Cream
- Free-Roaming, Ethically Raised Chicken
- Environmentally Conscious and Safe Cleaning Products
- Food that is 100% Consciously Sourced
- Stainless Steel and 100% Recycled Tableware
- 100% Recycled Paper Goods
- Solar Panels, Farm, Greenhouse, Hundreds of Small Choices…
Local and Sustainable Milk, Eggs, and Ice Cream
As farmers, we know how important and delightful it is to know where your food comes from and who produced it. This region produces delicious food, and we love supporting our neighbors and fellow local farmers. Whenever we can, we choose high-quality local products for our kitchen. Our dairy products including milk, butter, and ice cream primarily come from New York’s Ronnybrook Farm Dairy. Ronnybrook practices “beyond organic” standards, produces non-homogenized milk, and raises only grass-fed, pastured cows.
We are also lucky to have a direct relationship with Oliver’s Organic Eggs, who provides us with organic, pasture-raised, high-welfare, local eggs. We have also worked to reduce the use of products with low-welfare eggs as ingredients. This includes using egg-free ice cream and egg-free Just Mayo. We believe our egg purchasing represents the highest commercial standard at an industrial scale anywhere in the country.
Free-roaming, ethically raised Chicken
We’re lucky to have a formed a special partnership with Robariah Farms, supported by the Jewish Initiative for Animals (JIFA). Robariah Farms is a small-scale poultry farm in Western Massachusetts specializing in pasture-raised, kosher chicken, started by two alumni of the Adamah Jewish Farming Fellowship.
Unlike organic “free-range” or “free-roaming” chickens (which have access to the outdoors, but spend most of their lives inside), these chickens live outdoors in fresh pasture each day.
With the partnership of JIFA, Robariah Farms raised a special flock just for us of “Freedom Ranger” breed chickens – considered the highest welfare type of chicken commercially available. In addition, with our direct relationship with Robariah, we are able to track the life of each chicken from chick to farm to slaughterhouse (a small, high-welfare operation in upstate NY) to our dinner plates.
Environmentally conscious and safe cleaning products
At camp, we keep harsh chemicals out of our cleaning strategy while effectively addressing dirt, germs, and grime. Using carefully sourced cleaning products and soap, we keep camp clean with products that are toxin-free, environmentally safe, and biodegradable.
100% Consciously Sourced Food
Our kitchen follows strict standards, most importantly, knowing where every product in our kitchen comes from and why we chose it. This means all our products are reviewed to ensure they meet our strict kosher, organic, fair-trade, welfare, local, and sustainability standards. No products “slip through,” nothing is “grandfathered in,” we never say “we’ve always used that,” and we definitely do not ever say “whenever possible.” That’s because keeping high standards and is possible – the only times it’s not possible is when you are not 100% committed to your values. We adjust our menus, say no when something isn’t available, and work within the realm of what’s possible based on the values we believe in.
Stainless Steel and 100% Recycled Tableware
We love amazing food – which means also thinking about what we use to consume it! The everyday plates, bowls, and mugs we use in our dining hall are stainless steel and enamelware stainless steel so that we don’t worry about leeching or contamination. The cups we use for water and other cold beverages are made by Preserve and are 100% recycled #5 plastic. Known for their recycled toothbrushes, Preserve makes a line of tableware that is completely recycled and both BPA- and melamine-free. For those places our stainless steel plates can’t go, we use Preserve’s lightweight, dishwasher safe On-The-Go tableware.
100% Recycled Paper Goods
Throughout our facility, from paper towels to toilet paper to napkins to our copy paper, folders, and envelopes, we use only 100% recycled paper. We take great care to minimize our use of paper whenever possible. These efforts involve strategic decisions designed to discourage excessive paper use. One such example is our decision to purchase a smaller, energy-efficient photo copier and printer. Designed for medium-size jobs and printing at somewhat slower speeds, it encourages smaller copying jobs and fewer copies. It’s an example of a choice to pick a product that reflects not simply what is possible, but what is responsible and prudent for our world.
Solar Panels, Farm, Greenhouse, hundreds of small choices…
We get to use energy straight from the sun! Thanks to grants from the Jewish Greening Fellowship and New York State, there is a 2.8kW, grid-connected Photovoltaic system on the office roof overlooking the farm. Our cedar greenhouse, also a generous donation, will allow us to start seeding early in the Spring and increase food production. Countless smaller purchases take social and environmental responsibility into account, and tie into the larger vision of living harmoniously with our earth. We love reducing, reusing, recycling, and most of all rethinking!
If there is a product you want to know more about or if you have an awesome suggestion, please let us know. We are always excited to share our process with you and add more intention to our choices.
In our efforts to learn more about the world around us, we’ve included a background image of one of the plant species native to our campgrounds. On this page you can find the: