Isn’t winter the time when farmers relax, drink tea and read books? Probably more accurately put it’s the time when farmers get second jobs to pay the bills so they can farm in the summer. And a few things inbetween. A few days about I was doubting if there was going to be a winter in Colorado but the last couple of days of sub-zero temps have me convinced. But still, winter is time to prepare for growing. As such we’ve been busy. Busy planning our gardens for summer 2011. All of the gardens are planned and the seeds have been ordered. In a few weeks, we’ll be hosting a seed-starting party to kick things off.
Additionally we’ve be accepted for “Certified Naturally Grown” status. Six years ago a few farmers created an alternative certification program tailored for directmarket farmers who use natural methods. Today 600 farms nationwide participate. We farm using natural methods because we care about the health of our families, workers, and customers, and we want to be good stewards of the portion of this earth that is temporarily under our care.
The National Organic Program standards serve as the basis of our own. However, Certified Naturally Grown is a private non-profit organization not affiliated with the USDA or any government agency. Certified Naturally Grown uses a streamlined application process, on-site inspections, and (unlike the Organic program) makes use of un-announced pesticide residue testing to help ensure consumer confidence.
Certified Naturally Grown is part of an international grassroots movement involving tens of thousands of small farmers around the world who have formed imilar “participatory guarantee systems”. We are supported by the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM) and the United Nations
(FAO) is helping start a sister program for farmers in India.