Sunday, September 25, 2011
Back when Organic Certification of fruits, vegetables, herbs, grains, animals, etc was done within states, our farm, Heavenly Llamas, was indeed Certified Organic each year with Montana, for fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers. AND I was on the screening committee for a number of years. So I had to know the regulations well.
Once the certification process went USDA and national, it no longer made economic (costs soared) sense to continue to certify. Nor did I have the time for the huge increase in certification paperwork as more children joined our family. :-)
We are legally allowed to call our produce "organic" ONLY if our gross farm income is below $5000. In 2010, after golf ball size hail destroyed much of the produce, it was ;-D. Most years, we hope we'll end up over that mark. Thus, our produce is labeled "local sustainable" on local store shelves. But please be assured that we have not lessened our farm's standards, and in fact have improved them as we do more green manure crops, mulching, crop rotation and become more efficient with water usage (microirrigation).