We have our annual Organic/Biodynamic inspection this week! Every year our certifying agency sends an inspector to the farm to make sure we are growing pure food for you! We spend a day with him or her, showing them the farm and going over records. They look at all of our inputs. Seeds, animal feed, bedding, medications, dish soap, seasonings we add to our meats, new animals purchased, born and butchered, plant start soil mix, water samples. Anything they or we can think of. We trace a cut of meat backwards thru our system via paperwork. We look at distribution of veggies and follow a head of lettuce back to a seed receipt! We have share records, harvest records, transplanting records, garden maps, seed starting records and finally a receipt from a reputable seed company!
We have been at this for so long now (20 years!) our record keeping is second nature. I do like that someone comes and goes through our farm with a fine tooth comb. We have the best of intentions for the food we grow, but I like having someone check in on our practices. We also have someone we can call if we have a sick animal to find out if there is an approved medication before we save an animal, with conventional treatment, but loose it's organic certification. We always choose saving a life, but sometimes the local vets (understandably) don't know of other options.
The inspectors are usually great folks who we would like to spend more time chatting with, but we try to remember the hourly fee for them being here! They've been to so many farms and are a wealth of information. They work hard to make sure each farm earns the Biodynamic or Organic label. We have heard some tales of people faking it and being caught. Inspectors will peek in trash cans, to see what was disposed of before their arrival, look in sheds and pay very close attention to what they are seeing in a field!
There are 2 routes to go when getting certified. One is to go through a state's USDA program. Inspectors from Idaho would do the job. BUT we go through an independent inspection agency. The Demeter Association is in Oregon. They are accredited by the USDA, to issue certificates. We like them because they have higher standards then the USDA! Check them out here: www.demeter-usa.org/index.asp
Being certified via Demeter is the gold standard in Organics. They like us, believe farming should heal the earth, not just extract from it. Familiarize yourself with their label, and support it when you can!
What do you want me to write about in the newsletter?
Give me a topic or ask a question! Email me your questions, or call and leave them on the answering machine if you want to be anonymous, we don't have caller ID!
Along with lots more veggies coming in the future, we will soon have Cosmic Apple Pork available. Certified Organic, pasture raised, milk fed, as good as it gets pork. I'll let you know as soon as we have it!
Check the coolers at your site. I attached a list of prices and cuts to your email. If you know you want something, please email me and I will send it over for you. You can also tell your site hosts you have a request and I will send it the next week. We purchased 2 cows from Lifeline. They are packaged with our label because we brought them to the butcher live and for us to sell them they needed a label...and well, we are Cosmic Apple! It is really just the legalities of selling USDA inspected meat. More info then you need, but we want to be completely honest about what we have!
Find recipes for this weeks share here: www.cosmicapple.com/recipes.html
Bring Bags to pick-ups!
Wash Your veggies!
If you can't make it to pick up your veggies, send a friend!
Missed shares are forfeited for the week.
Members get 20% off at the Farmer's Markets!
The Driggs Market is Fridays 9-1.
The People's Market is Wednesdays 4-7.
Jackson Market is Saturdays 8-12.