We are so grateful to have reached this point, after our three year transitioning processes. Thank you to the Lakewinds Co-op Field Fund, for a grant to help defray the initial certification costs, as well as our numerous farmer friends and mentors that have been there for us when we have questions.
What does this mean?
This means that you know food produced at Alternative Roots Farm was grown in a manner that protects the soil and environment, with absolutely no synthetic, nasty chemicals, and no GMOs or treated seeds of any kind. We are dedicated and conscious about how we plan, plant, produce, harvest and maintain our vegetables and fruits.
What else was involved?
The last couple of steps, which happened over the last month, included a third-party inspection and a final review by our certifying agency, Midwest Organic Services Association (MOSA). After we submitted our Organic System Plan to MOSA they have the inspector come out and look at the farm, and orchard, go through the plan, verifying that what we have in the plan matches what is being done. The inspector then sent their report to MOSA, for final review.
The Organic System Plan details information on: soil fertility and conservation management (fertility inputs, natural resources conservation); seed and crop management (organic seed sourcing, crop rotation, weed/pest/disease management); maintenance of organic integrity (buffer, equipment, harvest practices); marketing & labeling.
Over the last three years we have been maintaining the necessary records, some of which includes: where we looked for, and bought, seeds; all "inputs" that are applied to the field (fertilizer, pest control, etc); crop rotation and field maps. I can show you seed packets and catalogs for the last three years too!
That is the simplified explanation of the whole process, but it gives you a basic idea.
All the record-keeping, time and energy, fees and miscellaneous work is well worth the integrity of the organic label. It's a guarantee to our customers, it's honoring the land and it's a movement that we are so glad to be a part of.