Jul/19/2011 09:53 PM Filed in: orchard
So this year we decided to get certified as organic growers. Our apples, cider, and cider vinegar are now certified organic, as well as any other tree fruit we decide to sell. We have been hesitant to undertake this process, since it requires some hours in paperwork and annual inspections, but we decided the word organic allows our customers to know something about how we grow apples without each one of them needing to ask us about how we grow apples. Of course this has not changed the way we grow; we have been growing to, and beyond the organic standards since we started. Growing apples organically is certainly a challenging job in many ways, and we want to be able to let folks know without pussyfooting around the “O” word. So, we now have the legal right to say our apples are ORGANIC! We are still more than happy to talk about exactly how we grow apples, since organic growers use many different practices (and there are pesticides allowed under organic certification that we are unwilling to use). So feel free to ask.
There was a really large application, asking many questions that we couldn’t answer, like what our crop rotation practices are. But the certifying agency (Baystate Organic Certifiers) were very helpful, the inspection was thorough but pleasant, and the process went quite smoothly. We are happy to have one more bureaucratic hurdle down. Amazing how good you have to be with legalese, tax law, etc. to be a farmer. Any small business owner needs those same skills I guess.