Arthur and Jane are stewards of the Matteson/Metzger family farm on Crandall Hill in Potter County, Pennsylvania. Now Certified Organic by Pennsylvania Certified Organic!
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
USDA Organic Certification In Sight!
Arthur and I spent the afternoon on Friday with the inspector from Pennsylvania Certified Organic. He sat down at our dining room table, opened his laptop and began a painstaking review of our organic systems plan. We had prepared for his visit by pulling out binders, receipts and notes, gathering seeds, fertilizer and other inputs and anything else we thought he might need. Then together we toured the fields, gardens, orchards, high tunnel and barns.
He will submit his report to PCO early this week and we're keeping our fingers crossed that we'll have the certificate in hand by month's end.
Here's the description of Organic Agriculture from the USDA Website:
What is Organic Agriculture?
Organic agriculture produces products using methods that preserve the environment and avoid most synthetic materials, such as pesticides and antibiotics. USDA organic standards describe how farmers grow crops and raise livestock and which materials they may use.
Organic farmers, ranchers, and food processors follow a defined set of standards to produce organic food and fiber. Congress described general organic principles in the Organic Foods Production Act, and the USDA defines specific organic standards. These standards cover the product from farm to table, including soil and water quality, pest control, livestock practices, and rules for food additives.
Organic farms and processors:
Preserve natural resources and biodiversity
Support animal health and welfare
Provide access to the outdoors so that animals can exercise their natural behaviors
Only use approved materials
Do not use genetically modified ingredients
Receive annual onsite inspections
Separate organic food from non-organic food
We'll see you at the Potter County Farmers' Market on Friday, offering for sale our vegetables grown organically right here in our own community. This week we will have peppers of all temperatures and colors; winter squash including acorn, butternut, buttercup, Red Kuri, delicata; leafy head lettuce; fresh herbs; string beans; carrots; beets ... and whatever else is still growing. And be sure to ask us about Organic Certification!