How Harvest Haven Standards Exceed Organic Certification
When we bought the farm in the fall of 1995, we knew that we wanted to change it to an organic operation which it hadn’t been. As we investigated the requirements for organic certification, we realized that our own standards were higher than what the certification body was requiring. Why should we pay someone to certify what we do when we were exceeding what was required? We didn’t need to be controlled or policed to do the right thing because we were farming organically by conviction, both for ourselves and others. Also we were selling to a local market, so the customers could see what we were doing and be assured that they were getting high quality local organic products.
Strawberry planting using a soil-friendly spader from Europe
The following are some of the ways we go beyond the requirements for certified organic.
• There is absolutely no use of feedlot compost or manure.
• All components of compost, including vegetable scraps from our table, are organic.
• An intensive soil remineralisation program with the use of Atlantic organic certified kelp is in place.
• Re-establishment of microbial life in the soil.
• Priority is placed on tillage practices - alternative tillage practices are used including a rare European imported spader to lessen soil compaction and the impact on microbial cycling in the soil.
• Incoming irrigation water is treated with Grander Living Water, a world-renowned water treatment system from Austria.
• Value and priority is placed on the establishment of farm shelter belts and bird habitat due to its role in pest management.
• On farm bee hives kept according to organic standards provide pollination for our crops.
• There is absolutely no peripheral use of pesticides, such as on lawns. The entire farm is chemical-free.
• Prohibition of DEET-based mosquito repellents by customers in production areas is enforced to protect our crops from contamination.