Holy Hail! Which has resulted in holey vegetables. We have been hit by a few hail storms, and now your veggies are going to show you what happens to them when ice balls pelt thru their tender leaves. For the next couple of weeks check out your produce, you will see the results. When the sunflowers come in you will be able to still see the damage on the leaves. I like it when veggies come in and I can look at them and remember a particular storm, or what I was doing while it was hailing. (Usually looking out the window thinking protective thoughts for the garden!) The veggies can tell us a story! We just have to listen!
There are lots of opinions on getting Certified Organic. Some farms don't want to do it because it is expensive (it is!), the government is involved (they are!), farmers don't want to keep records (neither do I...Yay for Jed!) or they don't believe it works (we think it does).
The arguments against: Too Expensive. Yep. It is, but we pay Demeter, who is a Biodynamic Certifiing agency. Not the government. I like Demeter (http://www.demeter-usa.org/). They have integrity and use the money to do good things. I like paying them for what they are doing for the world. I feel like we work with them, not us against them. We all have the same goal, to make sure our food is pure and to "heal the earth thru agriculture". I strongly believe the service they provide us (you and I) is worth the money we pay them.
The government...well farmers are kind of known for the anti-bureaucracy mentality. And the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) does regulate Organics. Many folks were upset when the USDA made it so farms were unable to use the term "organic" unless they became certified. I can see why that upset folks who were at it for a long time. But the truth is the word meant nothing because it was so abused before certification. Anyone could claim they were OG but it was not defined. The USDA defined it, and thus "owns it". But we needed something. Consumers needed a starting point for confidence building. Farmer's markets needed some baseline to understand what they were getting. We at Cosmic Apple do not feel the USDA standards are strong enough, which is why we choose to use Demeter. So the farms who don't like working with the government, can choose other agencies, which the USDA accredits to distribute the Organic label. Some have more stringent requirements, some require the USDA standards. Farmers can choose.
Record keeping...yes, it is a lot of work we could do without. But we have streamlined it into our system and I am loathe to admit it, we are way more organized because of it. And again, the trade off is worth it for the assurance of clean food. When our inspector shows up we often trace the paper trail of an item (like broccoli) from a seed receipt to your veggie pick up.
Next week I'll write about why I think certification works and why I think you should feel good about supporting farms who choose to certify.
WASH YOUR VEGGIES!!
Whole and Half pigs for sale. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details!
Bring Bags to pick-ups!
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, The People's Market and Jackson Saturday Market