Author Archives: georg

Siembra Farm – Our Path to Organic Certification

Walk through the journey of the organic certification for Cody Galligan of Siembra Farm in Gainesville, FL. Inspired to simplify communication at the farmers market and to be part of the bigger organic movement, Cody takes us through each step as he prepares his recordkeeping strategy and experiences his first inspection. If you want to see the process from beginning to end for a farmer who’s already using organic practices and wants to get certified, this video is for you.

What is an Organic Systems Plan?

Meagan Collins, an organic inspector, provides a detailed overview of the USDA standards for organic crop production. Do you want a thorough overview of the entire requirements, including buffer zones, farming practices, manure application, seed/planting stock, disease/pest management, fertilizer, etc? This video is for you.

What Does Organic Certification Cost?

Since certification costs vary depending on the type of operation and the certifying agent, it’s important to understand the fee structure variables before you take the dive. Seasoned organic farmer, Eva Worden, Ph.D., of Worden Farm in Punta Gorda, FL and Meagan Collins of QCS break it all down for us and offers a synopsis of the Organic Certification Cost-Share Program.

What Does Organic Mean?

Seasoned organic farmer, Eva Worden, Ph.D., of Worden Farm in Punta Gorda, FL, offers the precise regulatory definition of “organic” according to the USDA and gives a summary of the backdrop of how this word became defined and regulated. Curious about the details of what types of operations are exempt or what the fines are for violations or fraud? This video is for you.

LNB Grove:  The Continuing Transition of a Split Operation

Tropical fruit grower, Marc Ellenby, in Homestead, FL has conventional and organic groves. He maintains separate properties, separate records and separate packing facilities. After 35 years of production, two of his children are now working with him and he’s looking to diversify his marketing and slowly transition crops to organic production. His unique position and perspective should not be missed!

The Roles of Certifiers & Consultants: How to Choose Them

Meagan Collins, an organic inspector, delineates the differences in what types of information a certification agency can provide versus a consultant. Eva Worden, Ph.D. of Worden Farm explains what variables you should consider when choosing a certification agency. Organic farmers also share their perspectives on what’s most important to consider when seeking a certification agency.

Island Grove Ag Products:  A Parallel Conventional/Organic Operation

Nestled in Lochloosa, FL, Ken Patterson owns 197 acres of blueberries, most of which is certified organic. Originally motivated by the economic benefits of the organic market, he transitioned land in phases. Their harvest, flagging and recordkeeping systems prevent commingling and their cleaning protocols allow for equipment to be utilized in both growing systems.

Gibson Farms

For Leland Gibson, going back to his family farm and obtaining organic certification has allowed him to develop a strong business in the high-demand Greenville, SC market. He often takes pictures and videos on the farm and uses his social media posts as part of his recordkeeping methods.

Paradise Farms (English)

According to Gabrielle Marewski, good organization and solid recordkeeping allow farmers’ creative side to flourish. Paradise Farms has been certified organic for nearly two decades and she has developed model binders for farm businesses to maintain good records. She sold the farm in 2017 and now consults.

Snow’s Bend Farm

On a bend of the Black Warrior River outside  Tuscaloosa, AL, Margaret Ann & David Snow grow an array of vegetables and fruit for direct markets.  They’ve integrated simple, pragmatic steps into their everyday processes to make recordkeeping less of a headache. Their records help them learn how different crops perform each year in the varied topography of their land.