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Author Topic: Any mentors out there?
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Any mentors out there?    (Posted Wed, Oct 11 '06 at 02:11 UTC)

I have a 524 pg USDA Organic document in front of me. I am wary of becoming certified under current political conditions, yet would appreciate some guidance as to this chicken or egg thing since I already maintain a sustainable farm. I would like to do better than current "organic" standards, so one question is: I grew some plants that used treated seeds last year and then saved some of the seeds from the plants (and did not treat the saved seeds), next year would I be able to use these untreated saved seeds and still be able to call it organic? Also, am wondering about manure to apply to garden and animal feed, and what ingredients in the animal feed/upkeep should I look out for? Thanks

farm fresh goods from our all natural & chemical free gardens in the heart of Minnesota
Re: Any mentors out there?    (Posted Wed, Oct 11 '06 at 04:20 UTC)

you seeds you saved can be considered organic only if they were grown on a certified farm, legally. but yes they are organic, none of that fungicide was tranfered to the seeds you saved.

My question to you is why certify? Will certification help your bottom line by allowing you access to new markets, wholesale markets? If so do it. But if you are selling direct to your customers I would not think you need to be certified organic. The certification will likely not increase your customer base enough to justfy the cost and time you will spend keeping records.

Lucy Goodman Boulder Belt Eco-Farm Eaton, OH
Re: Any mentors out there?    (Posted Thu, Oct 12 '06 at 08:13 UTC)

thanks for the seed info. I am "scoping out" the situation, and have not decided anything except that next year all will be better than organic standards and for my own personal high standards.

farm fresh goods from our all natural & chemical free gardens in the heart of Minnesota
 Country Corners Farm
Re: Any mentors out there?    (Posted Mon, Jan 15 '07 at 12:09 UTC)

I disagree, Certification has helped my bottom line dramaticlly in Direct sales. I am als Certified Naturally Grown. That Organization costs zero, but asks for donations if you can help. It is designed for the Family farm and small Farm operations and may fit your need. They follow the same NOP Rules. The USDA Certification helps open other doors and venues and people will seek you out if you are Certified Organic.

You should contact youe Certification agency with any questions dealing with issues of seed, fertilizers, and even OMRI Approved chemicals to be on the safe side. I call mine all the time just to make sure before I use anything!

They will talk to you even if you are not certified. Most are very knowledgable and friendly, but if you run across a stinker, try again with a different person or group, after all , we are still all humans ...

Bernie a.k.a. The Mad Polish Farmer
Re: Any mentors out there?    (Posted Sun, Feb 4 '07 at 10:06 UTC)

The best information I've found is from North Carolina. They have a very dedicated extension agent, Debbie Roos. I wish I had her website as a resource when I first began. As far as a mentor, I'd be willing to help, as much as I can, because I think that there are several societal benefits as well as the premium prices organic and transitional products command. The most important thing being that now that the federal government has regulated organic practices sustainable farmers have a voice. We need to speak with a common language and have a common message: conventional agriculture is unsustainable and we need help changing the agricultural model. WE, the small producers are ready to take on the challenge but we need help from our government. Contact your legislators and tell them you need help, be specific. Ask for funds to help with retraining, ask for help during the transition period to replace what you may have been depending on for your bread and butter. Let them know that the most helpful way for our government to support small farmers are to provide a way to help us meet the demands of the market. We must begin to carry the same message ahead or will get lost in the confusion as our leaders plan for the future.

Earth's Promise Farm
Re: Any mentors out there?    (Posted Wed, Jul 11 '07 at 08:04 UTC)

could you provide me with Debbie Roos contact info?

David Deeds
Re: Any mentors out there?    (Posted Mon, Jul 16 '07 at 10:23 UTC)
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