Updated: Jul 1, 2021
Seaside Sustainability is always excited to find organizations that share an appreciation for the planet’s oceans and the vast amount of resources they have to offer. Neptune’s Harvest is an organic fertilizer company based in Gloucester, MA and is a division of the seafood company Ocean Crest Seafoods, Inc. What makes their fertilizer so special is the ingredient - liquid fish. The company takes the inedible parts of fish that remain after the filleting process and further refines them to create their fertilizer. With the help of universities in the area and the state of Massachusetts, Neptune’s Harvest has created an economical and environmentally sustainable use for a by-product that would have otherwise gone to waste.
Left: Neptune's Harvest's Sales Director, Ann Molloy, proudly displaying their products
Right: A view of the Neptune's Harvest headquarters in Gloucester, MA
It’s not only their commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly products that has earned this organization a special place in our hearts. Neptune’s Harvest has developed a special relationship with the Sicangu Oyate and the Rosebud Reservation community in South Dakota. In Rosebud, there is a growing movement to overhaul the extractive, colonial food and agriculture system through Indigenous-led solutions.
The Sicangu Food Sovereignty Initiative is the local leader of the movement, and they employ a multi-pronged approach to revolutionize the broken systems. Their leadership and vision recently gained global recognition when they were named finalists for the Food System Vision Prize, created by Rockefeller Foundation and SecondMuse.
According to the Sicangu Food Sovereignty Director, Matthew Wilson, regenerative agriculture has always been a part of the Sicangu culture. He describes their philosophy as a commitment to the idea that “we must leave the Earth better than how we found it.” It is this appreciation for The Unci Maka (or “Grandmother Earth”) and the current state of the climate change crisis that led the Rosebud Reservation to work toward preparing a resilient food system for the future. The Rosebud Reservation has put their ideas into practice through the Keya Wakpala Community Garden, Sicangu Harvest Farmer’s Market, and educating community members on food sovereignty.
Community members shucking corn and harvesting food from the Rosebud Reservation's one-acre community garden
Thanks to facilitation by Seaside Sustainability’s Board Chair, Alan McCoy, Neptune’s Harvest recently made a generous donation of their fertilizer to the reservation to aid their community garden. The donation has allowed the continued maintenance of the Rosebud Reservation’s community garden with a fertilizer that provides natural benefits to the soil and allowed Neptune’s Harvest to give back to a community equally committed to sustainability, food justice, and the protection of the planet. Neptune Harvest’s Sales Director, Ann Molloy, explained, “It’s a great product with a perfect balance that builds organic matter, sequesters carbon and draws nitrogen from the atmosphere. It provides so many benefits to the soil. We are more than happy to help the community.”
Now more than ever, it’s necessary for people to come together to move us closer to a cleaner, more sustainable, and more equitable planet. Food sovereignty remains especially relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is only through like-minded individuals and their generosity that we can achieve it on a national and global scale. Neptune’s Harvest’s donation is an example of the generosity necessary to allow people across cultures access to healthy and sustainably produced food.
It is Seaside Sustainability’s hope that more of our readers will look to the regenerative agricultural practices of native communities like the Sicangu Oyate community as inspiration for living a more sustainable, environmentally beneficial lifestyle. Investing in your own fertilizers and gardening products from Neptune’s Harvest is a great place to start!