Organic Certification Application

ARRRGH!!!   How am I to be a farmer and write down everything that’s in my head about it too?   I have been spending my late nights filling out the PA Certified Oraganic application, which is very thorough, indeed.

Save my seed packets for three years…really?   Well, I hope receipts will do, for now, and I need to clear a space for the packets in years to come….Later in question105 I am  asked how long I keep my records, followed by their own answer “minimum five years.”   So should I still answer it?

How do I measure the carbon to nitrogen ratio in my compost?   And is that before it decomposes or after?

Does it really make a difference how I dispose of my garden hoses?  (I usually just keep patching them until they become tree ties!)

My goodness!

I am serious about the certification, serious enough to purchase the application for $75.00 and serious enough to send another $700.00 after I’ve filled it out.   The point is, it is 66 pages, not counting the attachments I am to add which may run into hundreds of pages.   I can see why people aren’t jumping in line to go through with it.

I am confident enough in our farm’s management practices to go through with it.   We have been working hard to do the right things concerning stewardship of the land.   It is a lot harder to manage land without the use of “prohibited materials.”   And we have been working hard to stay within the confines of restricted materials too, manure included.   Since we have been doing the right things, I believe we have earned the title organic.   The process is daunting and expensive, though.   And I’m not sure if I’m willing to spend the additional $660.00 for my five dairy goats and another yet additional $660.00 for our four pigs and 130 chickens, oh and those figures are annual contributions.   That just doesn’t make sense, so again the small family farm can be outnumbered literally.   I’m not even sure I can get certified without spending all of the application fees for each “division” of the farm.   I’m still going to try.   It’s going to be another long night.

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10 thoughts on “Organic Certification Application

  1. It is really sad to see what all you have to go thru. I hope you have the strength to go on. The amount of money for the animals, how often do you have to pay it?

    • Annually. $660.00 for the first year and $605.00 each subsequent year, providing the fee isn’t raised. That is seperate for veggies, dairy, meat and eggs. Three fees for three certifications, one farm.

  2. Holy Crap, thats a lot of BS. What purpose does 66 pages serve? Killing a lot of trees? I deal with insurance companies a lot. However, it is dumb to beat people down with paperwork and unecessary requests that serve little purpose other than to force others to do dumb stuff that does not help improve the quality of the food grown.

    • I understand that protecting the integrity of the “Organic” label is important. I understand some reasoning behind some of the questions and proof required. However, it is government, and the broad amount of bureaucracy and money flows in abundance in these situations. I have only ever comes to terms with, it isn’t mine anyway, I’m just a shuffling point.

  3. The farmer that I work with decided not to do this paperwork and I’m okay with it. I know how she farms and have been out to visit. I’m sticking with her because she is local and has sustainable practices. Good luck! We’re cheering for you in the blogosphere.

    • Tammy,
      Thank you so much! The cheers from across the country are being felt and contributing to the momentum of the cause. Progress is being made, slowly but steadily.

  4. Sounds a bit soul-crushing, but good for you for persisting and pushing ahead with the process. Maybe some day common sense will become more pervasive.

    • I would hope someday common sense prevails. I would love to see more people be able to do what is right for the land without the intimidation of heavy fees and piles of papers.

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