Yea, organic and natural became such buzz words that many people simply equate those ideas with "safe and good."
It's sometimes hard reminding people that many of the deadliest poisons are quite organic and natural.
There is a misconception that organic means pesticide free. NOT TRUE! There are a lot of organic approved pesticides. There are either plant based like neem or bugs fighting bugs like BT. I get at least one horrified person a week to learn this during my farm tours.
I am still trying to come up with a new label for aquaponics and remove us from the o word.
No arguement with me in that regard Kobus... just wasn't sure exactly what you meant...
With regards to GM crops "getting out"... there's a current case in Western Australia where a farmer is suing his neighbour due to cross pollination of some of his crops which has resulted in the withdrawl of his "organic" certification...
Sadly he has to sue his neighbour, rather than Monsanto who supplied the "trial" crop seed... or the government that allowed it to proceed...
He should be thankful... Monsanto has a history of suing neighbouring farms for use illegal of "intellectual property".. after cross pollination events...
On another note.. rightly or wrongly... a group of greenpeace activists recently whipper-snippered an entire trial GM crop in Canberra... run by the government funded CSIRO....
It is interesting that GMO crops are being discussed...not trying to cause trouble but this has been my biggest concern..the commercial food many (including myself at this time) are feeding the fish in aquaponics systems are very much likely to have come from GMO crops.
just a disclaimer- I do believe very much that education in what standard organic practices involves is important and I too started the certification process and decided not to go through with it. I found my customers found locally grown and knowing their farmer to be more important..
However, that being said..not sure if I believe that using commercial fish feed is the safest and healthiest option..still trying to get the fish completely off it..
I would love to connect with others growing on a large scale that are not using any commercial feed. I've tried various things with some success and some not so great results.. know there is plenty of options(duckweed,moringa,spent grains etc)...just had other issues to deal with in my hybrid system that it kept falling to the side.
I apologize, this probably should be another thread, as I got way off topic.
Passion for Produce
Peter I hope you are still following this thread........
Could you or anyone point me to the regulations that say you can not use the word ORGANIC in anything.;;; as long as you do not say "Certified Organic" what regulations apply to stop you from using the word ORGANIC in any statement or trade mark..??
Peter Shaw said:
We went through the certification process for several reasons:
1. we are an educational facility and the process is something that needs to be taught. We also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the certification in general.
2. Some of our former students are with the local certifier and we felt it was a good way to make connections for students, as several have been hired to be the "dreaded certifiers" but its a pretty decent job.
3. Certification is the only way you can use the word Organic
Organic has a market advantage in some areas, maybe not everywhere but in some areas it is large. People will pay a premium for O produce.
We have a great sat market that is open to certified and non-certified produce. The booths that say "no spray" or "sustainably grown" do not get the same $ for their crops.
I do think certified is becoming somewhat diluted but for the most part consumers know that synthetic fertilizers are not used, but of course they do not know that pesticides are allowed.
Sylvia, you will not be able to use Better than Organic because it has the O word in it,
E. coli can of course enter into your produce if you have employees that do not wash their hands and handle food.
TCLynx... agreed, local food is key, getting the purchaser to know the grower is the answer. And, there is more than one way to do it right, Local is great, we also do inorganic hydroponics and it sells very well at several local stores and when our consumers that see our system and understand how little water is used to produce basil and lettuce or tomatoes.
God... I joined this community only today, haven't started a system yet, in fact I just had my first fishes in my whole life offered this Christmas and already you guys are getting me into thinking that I will really want to grow all my fish food myself (duckweed/BSF/worms etc) .... If possible ....
Also, hello to all, this is my first post, am already enjoying myself here, I really like the prevailing mindset in all that I've read so far ... :)
It's been my experience after observing interactions with the growers at two CSAs my wife worked with that knowing your grower is much more important in a CSA setting that the organic certification. In fact, the certified organic hydroponic CSA has abandoned the organic certification for the hydroponics and is going back to more traditional hydroponic growing methods.
Although the hydroponic produce was certified organic, it was not the same aesthetic quality the CSA members were used to receiving the previous year. There is education that can be done, but in the end whether it's right or wrong that organic produce is still competing with the produce at Publix, Winn Dixie, and Kroger, etc.
It is my observation that for vending at farmer's markets, the organic vendors do sell more product, but it doesn't seem to make much difference in the CSAs because a relationship is built. Most people like the idea of walking through the field and seeing their food still on the vine. They appreciate the opportunity to ask how their food is grown, how much, and which pesticides were used.
I would rather operate a CSA than do direct vending at farmers markets. Vending is a lot of work with more overhead. The refrigerated trailer to transport the produce to the farmer's markets cost about $12,000 to build new. A used one was purchased for $6,000, but it was mostly worn out already. Then you need someone to man the booth. If you are paying that person, you need a lot of revenue to offset the expense.
I have also noticed that having refrigeration on the farm at point of sale is a necessary requirement if you have more than a handful of CSA members. One of the farms uses a walk in cooler with a plain old window type air conditioner unit. The other uses an insulated cargo trailer with overhead A/C unit powered by a Honda generator. With 220+ members it takes several hours to harvest and to hold the veggies at high quality. These two farms cannot live without refrigeration. They tried it for one year with poor results.