This is our trademark and our mission. But what does it mean, and why does it matter? Many business' clout themselves as SRC's (Socially Responsible Corporations), but when it comes down to it, many times it can be a mere marketing campaign and a way to advertise. With Social Responsibility being as important as it is, many people are waking up to the things that their money supports and therefore many companies are falling in line and becoming socially responsible themselves, or at least acting like they are. Ideas such as "Environmentally Friendly," "Organic," "Sustainable" etc. get thrown around regularly and many times they are simply meaningless phrases that catch the eye's of the consumer, luring them into supporting their business.
The term "Organic" is one such term that really get's under our skin. It's also a word that we refuse to use to refer to ourselves and it is something that we refuse to get certified as. Let me explain why.
With "Organic" pushing the envelope and walking a fine line between pure food and your typical CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, or Commercial Agriculture Farming Operation), the range of "Organic" farmers is very wide. From your small-town and family-owned, truly "organic" farmers, to your large and thousands-of-acres, corporate-owned and operated giant multi-national corporations, the term "Organic" has lost much of it's meaning. In many cases, it has been corrupted by those very multi-national corporations and the government certifying agency that they, essentially, run. For instance, did you know that "Organic" certification allows for 38 synthetic chemicals to be used on your food? Did you know that a percentage of GMO's (Genetically Modified Organism's) can still be considered "Organic?" http://gmo-awareness.com/2011/05/05/is-organic-always-gmo-free/. Did you know, that sewer sludge (aka, human waste) and irradiated food can still be considered "Organic?" (http://evergreenfarm.typepad.com/evergreenfarm/2007/06/why-we-choose-n.html). Did you also know that the Organic Certification could care less how the soil is treated, how our environment is impacted, how much water is wasted, how much emissions and petroleum products are consumed and emitted and how the animals are treated? (http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/free-range-organic-meat-myth/)
Certainly, purchasing organic food is MUCH better for you than purchasing non-organic food and I am not saying that there aren't amazing Certified Organic growers. My "beef" is not with those that call themselves "Organic" because many are wonderful, but with the Certification itself. It's a sham. Does Organic mean that it is sustainable? Is it as fresh as local or as economically responsible? Is it really considered pure? Are the animals really that much healthier, happier and humanely treated? The answer, sadly may be a resounding "NO!" with a few exceptions, including us. We claim to be "Better Than Organic" and this is why...
Local. By being a "Local" farm, not only do you the consumer have the opportunity to "Meet the Farmer" and visit the farm and see first-hand what and how we are growing and producing our food, but you also get to support the local economy and support the "little guy." In addition, by being local, the food you get is usually picked either the same day, or pretty close to it. Ripe, fresh and not shipped in from Mexico, California or worse, China. You know where your food is coming from. You know that it is fresh. You know how it is produced. You know who you are supporting.
Sustainable. Sustainable goes hand in hand with "pure." In order to be sustainable, you have to be "organic" but being "organic" doesn't make you automatically "sustainable." In fact, Organic farming can use many of the same farming methods as non-organic like having an enormous carbon footprint, the destruction of the soil by over-tilling and the extreme waste of other resources like water and fossil-fuels (most synthetic fertilizers are oil-based, even "Organic" ones). Sustainable agriculture takes care of the soil, uses compost, no-till methods and preserves water. There is minimal water waste, fossil fuel waste and other un-natural methods of farming are not used.
Pure. Pure ties this all together. As mentioned above, because we use sustainable farming practices, your food is pure. It's not "organic" it's better-than-organic. No synthetic chemicals, fertilizers, sprays or genetically engineered seeds etc. are used. In fact, every vegetable that we sell is heirloom. This means that it hasn't been altered in any way. In addition, we use row-covers, hand-tools and old-fashioned pure and natural farming methods to avoid pests and to control weeds. Your food is picked fresh and ripened on the plant and not on a truck. The same goes for our animals. Our chickens and ducks get to roam the land eating bugs and grasses as well as our kitchen scraps and our left-over produce. All supplemented feed is "organic" and soy and corn free and the animals are loved, well-cared for and simply the cleanest birds you have ever seen! In short, there is no possible way to get fresher, healthier and more pure produce than you can from our farm or from your own garden.