Our organic farm, Nature’s Organic Haven, was started in 2012 with 2,500 elderberry plants and an additional 5,000 plants in early 2013. Phyllis Hannan, the founder of Natures Organic Haven, soon applied for organic certification, which was approved September 30th, 2012, making her entire farm USDA certified organic.
What makes a farm organic certified?
The USDA Organic seal assures consumers that the department of agriculture’s guidelines and standards for organic farming methods and production were followed. In order for a farm to be certified organic it must have not had any non-organic materials applied to it for the past three years. Organic-certified farms must have an organic system plan and records that verify compliance with that plan. Being certified assures the consumer they are getting an organic product.
USDA certified organic foods are grown and processed according to federal guidelines addressing; soil quality, pest and weed control, and use of additives. Organic farmers rely on natural substances and physical, mechanical, or biologically based farming methods.
Organic certification requires that farmers document their processes and get inspected every year. Organic on-site inspections account for every component of the operation, including, plant sources, soil conditions, crop health, weed and pest management, water systems, inputs, and record-keeping.
The USDA Organic seal also ensures that non GMO (genetically modified) seeds have not been used.
All farmers face the same challenges growing their crops; plant nutrition, weed control, disease and pest management. Organic farmers practice agriculture methods that restore, maintain and enhance ecological balance. Organic farmers manage these challenges naturally, without using synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or other prohibited materials.
Nature’s Organic Haven suggests growers interested in applying for organic certification choose a certifier company that matches your goals and budget. Some certifiers take a % of what you produce and some charge a flat rate. Our advice is to have someone knowledgeable about organic certification fill out the initial forms for your first audit from the certifier company. We will be happy to give our customers several recommendations on who to contact about setting up your first audit forms and suggestions on auditing companies. Contact us here.
Nature’s Organic Haven is proud to be an organic farm, growing our elderberries the way nature intended and producing the healthiest product we possibly can.
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