There’s one simple truth about organics that seems to blow everyone away: it isn’t a new fad or phase that we’re finally taking advantage of. It has been around as long as farming.
In reality, we’re returning to our roots and farming our land the way nature intended, the way our ancestors did. In the future, we hope to have inspired others to do the same.
What does it mean to be ‘Organic’?
If we’re talking in literal terms, organic means:
of, relating to, or derived from living matter.
You and I both are organic in this sense of the word, but when we delve deeper into the world of agricultural organics things get much more specific.
In the world of agriculture, organic doesn’t have it easy, organic agriculture has to work for it.
For a piece of produce to be considered organic, the fresh fruits and vegetables we love so much must pass an entire set of conditions, procedures, and standards before it can proudly display the shiny “USDA Organic” seal with pride.
- Complete an application and develop an Organic System Plan (OSP)
- Implement their OSP, afterward, a certifier will perform a review.
- The certified inspector completes an on-site inspection of the entire operation to evaluate the way the OSP has been implemented, as well as USDA compliance of organic operations.
- The certifier reviews the inspection.
- A decision is then made by the certifier whether to grant certification to the operation.*
*For a deeper look into the standards set by the USDA, continue reading here.
From there, organic consistency requires that there are no pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing. This means organic farmers have to find different ways to control pests, weeds, and other things that can inconvenience the proper growth of a crop.
This is not a speedy process by any means. It is time-intensive and extremely in-depth—something each and every organic farmer should be proud of. On top of the rigorous certification process, there’s a required annual update where there’s an opportunity to give any new information or updates to the organizations Organic System Plan. All of these things are in place to provide comfort and safety for us, the consumer, in a transparent way.
Organic and the Consumer
Think about this for a moment: we know that organics have become seemingly more prevalent over the last few years which has made some folks question the benefits. Are they legitimate? Are they just as good for us?
How does this process help us, the consumer?
The short answer: It provides the accountability we all love and deserve.
It also provides us with the education needed to make smart buying decisions. One of our favorite practices that we’ve ever seen put into place was simply knowing where your food came from and how it was grown, something the world of organic produce helps to encourage.
You’d be surprised how willing (and excited!) farmers are to encourage and teach the future generations about the wonders of organic agriculture. Ask your local farmer the next time you see them if they offer farm tours for the kids. This way you can tag along and get all of those burning questions answered that you’ve been pondering over non-stop since the beginning of time.
It’s easy to think that organic farming is simply about providing healthy food for our communities, but it includes so much more than that, it’s also about taking care of the earth’s health and well-being in tandem with ours.
Sustainability can truly become a passion where we, hand in hand, take care of our families, our communities, and the beautiful planet we live on. It is only one of our passions here at Homegrown Organic Farms, but the big idea is we want to world to be a better place for all families and loved ones.
It starts with us. Check out this video for a brief glimpse of how our passion for organics grew into Homegrown Organic Farms.