Are Mountain Foot Farm products “organic”?
We have always used (and continue to use) growing practices that were historically referred to as “organic.” These include the use of: natural instead of synthetic amendments; compost; crop rotations; diversification; and in general working with natural processes instead of against them.
Why don’t we call our products “organic”?
According to USDA regulations, we are not allowed to use the “O” word to describe our products without being certified “organic” by an USDA accredited organization.
Why is Mountain Foot Farm not certified organic?
For a variety of reasons which include (this is the short form of the answer):
Since we sell direct and never wholesale, any concerns about our growing practices can be handled face to face. There is no logical need for an independent “trusted” agency to make assurances. If you do not trust the farmer you are directly dealing with, then you should not trust some faceless bureaucracy that spends most of its effort of accreditation and certification reviewing documents and tracing paper trails.
USDA regulations would prohibit us from claiming our products any different or better than any other certified organic product. According to USDA regulations, a head of lettuce harvested by migrant workers days ago from a 10,000 acre (organic) factory farm that had been sprayed with (organic) pesticide and then shipped thousands of miles is no different than a head of lettuce harvested by our family less than 24 hours ago from a quarter acre garden on our diversified farm and had never been sprayed with anything. We think there is a difference.
For decades, USDA has promoted the industrialization of agriculture, resulting in many serious consequences. Organic practices were implemented (in part) to address many of those serious consequences. Now USDA is promoting the industrialization of organic agriculture. This is suppose to be good?
It costs money (fees) and (more importantly) significant amounts of time (doing paperwork) to become certified organic. The paperwork required is excessive. The economic benefit to offset these costs of time and money for our farm is questionable at best.