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Feed the Birds

November 12, 2010

Photo By Bill Dalton

By Brianne Harrison

If you’re putting out your winter birdfeeder (or replenishing one you keep out all year) you might want to consider stocking it with The New Jersey Audubon’s S.A.V.E. Birdseed, which not only nourishes our musical friends, it also helps support local farmers and is a greener alternative to birdseed that gets shipped hundreds of miles.

Here’s the deal: New Jersey farmers planted acres of sunflowers, which were then harvested for their seeds and became the first products marketed under the NJ Audubon’s S.A.V.E. (Support Agricultural Viability and the Environment) brand. S.A.V.E. is dedicating to promoting the production of products that are both economically and ecologically sustainable. For every five acres planted for seed, NJAS manages and maintains one acre of grassland habitat for threatened and endangered birds. Proceeds from the birdseed benefits both the farmers and NJAS’s conservation mission. Because it’s grown locally, the seed cuts down on the amount of fossil fuels needed for transit, reducing the seeds’ carbon footprint and making it a greener choice.

This is the second season for NJAS’s S.A.V.E. program, and it’s already borne fruit for some of the farmers involved. The crop offers farmers a greater price per acre than traditional grain crops like corn, and working with the Audubon Society has given many of the farmers greater exposure, making it easier for them to sell their other crops. So, if you want to help keep New Jersey green, buy some birdseed!

S.A.V.E. seed is available through NJAS stores in Franklin Lakes, Ringwood, Bernardsville, Mount Holly, Cape May, and Plainsboro. In addition, the seed can be purchased at Wild Birds Unlimited stores in Red Bank, Sewell, Cherry Hill, and Toms River; Wild Bird Center in West Caldwell; Agway in Raritan/Hillsborough; Greenland Landscape Company in Paramus; Grain and Feed in Sergeantsville; and Pet Agree Pets in Manahawkin. Brodhecker Farms in Newton, Liberty Farms in Sandyston, and Laine Farm in Hillsborough will sell it at their farm stores and stands. You can pre-order online by visiting njaudubon.org.

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