Why Certified Organic….?

Organic has become tricky catch phrase of marketing. If you approach farmers at your local market and ask them if they are certified organic, they will most likely tell you that, no, they are not certified, but that, yes, they do use organic farming techniques and sustainable practices. If you press them, and they are honest, you will probably get them to admit they are “low-spray”, meaning, they spray. They probably fertilize too. Unless you are fully committed to balance in your soil, it is likely that your crops would have a pretty hard time without some synthetic help. So, if you are fully committed, why are you not certified?

Charlie’s Redhouse Farm is certified by MOFGA. The farm was certified for several years before we purchased it in 2009, and we have maintained our certification ever since. Being certified means we are accountable for everything we put into the land. Everything must be written, recorded, and verified. We are inspected annually by an authorized inspector from MOFGA. We are committed to putting a lot of love into the earth so that everything we take out of it is as delicious and wholesome as it can be… and that means nothing artificial or synthetic, in the air or the soil.

Most people will be surprised to learn that, sadly, there are more than 150 pesticides and fertilizers approved for use in growing produce that is Certified Organic by the USDA. Charlie’s Redhouse Farm does not use a single one of them. The true goal of organic farming lies in achieving a balance in the soil that supports sustainable growth and cultivation. That is done over time by building organic matter and conditioning the soil with different minerals, nutrients, and cover crops. At our farm, there are fields that, just three years ago were over-run with invasive weeds, rocks, and pests. After seasons spent patiently caring for the soil, these lovely acres have become some of the richest, most velvety soil you have ever seen, teeming with earth worms, microbes and all the happy organisms that make the soil a nurturing environment for cultivated plants of all kinds. Healthy, balanced soil has less weeds and attracts less pests than soil that has not had the benefit of this kind of love. Tragically, most conventionally grown veggies come from soil rife with fertilizers and chemicals used to artificially bring weeds and pests under control, to say nothing of the genetically engineered seeds that grow into those “perfect” looking peppers and other unblemished vegetables. Because big agri-business employs these non-renewable practices, the soil continues to degenerate year after year, and earth’s precious resources are laid to waste, contributing to our planetary crisis. By buying & eating local and organic produce, you are doing a wonderful thing for small business, local farmers, the planet, and most importantly: you!