Sunday, January 29, 2017

Organic Production

Are we the only ones who scour the produce department of grocery stores to compare organic vegetables ... and their prices ... with our own?

And when you see a sign for a Farmer's Market, do you stop to take a look ... and have a visit with the growers?

Sale price is $1.98 per pound for USDA Certified Organic apples
These were grown in Washington, where 60% of the apples
in the USA are produced.

Price is $2.99 lb.
And some of us even capture the images on our handy phone cameras.

The price is $4 lb. for USDA Certified Organic Potatoes
From Trader Joe's
So how do we price the certified organic produce we grow on our farm? We have been relying more and more on calculations that help us figure out the actual costs of production. As a result of that work, we have come to the conclusion that there are vegetables we have grown for sale in the past that cannot be sold at a price that compensates us for the cost of production.  And there are others that can be profitable if we pay attention to the variables.

The USDA has the following advice for organic growers regarding pricing:

"Your pricing strategy speaks volumes about your business. You will quickly earn a reputation as fair and ethical if you have a good pricing strategy. The alternative is to be known as cheap, dishonest and desperate among consumers and competitors. Your pricing strategy should be consistent, accurate and reliable. Many people want farmers to have a good quality of life and are willing to pay a fair price for quality products, so price according to what you are spending and add a reasonable markup."
Buying directly from the farmer - either at the farm or at Farmers' Markets puts all profit into the hands of the farmer.

From a Farmers' Market in a nearby town

Friday, January 27, 2017

How About Them Apples?

. . . from the 2016 harvest of USDA Certified Organic Apples
It's nearly the end of January 2017 and we're still taking stock of the 2016 growing season ... our second year as a USDA Certified Organic operation.

After two late spring freezes destroyed much of our 2015 apple crop, we greeted 2016 with optimism.

It was exciting to bring a nice selection of apple varieties to the Farmers' Market in the early fall.

We delivered several varieties to our fellow organic farmers Dennis and Bridget to sell at Quest Farm Produce in Almond, N.Y. We also marketed apples at Costa's Shursave Food Shop in Coudersport.

Certified organic apples that had some defects were sold at a reduced price for folks to use for applesauce and other processed foods. (And our pantry is stocked with jars of certified organic applesauce too!)

Less-Than-Perfect apples make great pie, too!

In looking to the coming year, it's valuable to remind our customers that the average conventionally-grown apple has more pesticide residue on it than any other fruit or vegetable. According to the Environmental Working Group, pesticides showed up on 98 percent of the washed apple samples tested. Apples were found to have up to 48 different kinds of pesticides on them.
You will pay more for USDA certified apples but you will have the assurance that the apples you are eating are free of harmful pesticide residue.