Everything we grow on our farm is free of
chemicals and GMOs.
Most people ask us if everything we grow is
Organic. We are not Certified Organic by the USDA, nor do we plan to
The term "organic", in relation to farming, was first used in Lord
Northbourne's book Look to the Land in 1940. He used the term to
describe an ecologically balanced approach to farming. This was in
contrast to what he called "chemical" farming, which translates today to
conventional farming. (Thanks Wikipedia)
Since 2002, the term "Organic" is federally regulated. The USDA sets the
policies for the organic certification. The USDA does not do the
certifying themselves; they rely on approved certifiers. Farms must go
through a lengthy paperwork process and pay a substantial fee with a
certifier in their area.
Policymakers from the USDA are continually lobbied by agrigiants and
corporations to change the Organic standards.
is a current list of chemicals approved for use in organic farming.
While GMOs cannot be certified organic, give it a few more years.
Chemicals shouldn't be used in food production, because you shouldn't be
eating chemicals. Genetically modified foods have not been tested for
safety (at all) and shouldn't be eaten either.
We don't ever plan to be certified by the USDA because the system is
broken. When buying from us, we encourage everyone to ask questions
about our growing practices. The best part about buying local is that
you can talk to the farmer that grows your food!
Here is a very brief overview of how we farm without chemicals:
The most important thing we do to deter
pests is to constantly promote the health of the soil and plants. Crop
diversity also plays a role in pest resistance. Planting a variety or
crops supports a wider range of beneficial insects and soil
microorganisms and leads to healthy plants. We rotate crop families
to slow pest reproduction. Row covers are used to protect some crops.
Fencing is used to deter deer and groundhogs. We know that not every
single fruit and vegetable will make it to harvest, and accept some loss
due to pests.
Hand cultivation is the primary way we combat
weeds. "Weeding" can be a soothing task, although we're sure not
everyone would agree with us. Our small plot will allow this to be
manageable. We also minimize tillage as much as possible, as to not
disturb dormant weed seeds. For crops with a long growing season, we
will use mulch, both natural and artificial. Compostable "plastic" mulch
warms the soil in the spring and allows for earlier planting.
The best way to promote soil health is through
composted vegetative matter and animal manure. Natural lime is used to
raise soil ph. Cover crops are planted to add nutrients to
the soil. When absolutely necessary, all natural organic fertilizer is
applied to amend soil nutrients. Fish emulsion is used to give seedlings a boost when