Since there are tight regulations with this organic certification, we want to get a jump-start on the process because once you put anything on that land...you might have to wait three years to get certification as you follow their guidelines to essentially "de-contaminate" the land. However, since our land is sitting in its raw state, for years, this process will be easier to go through, if we start right now.
We have been reading mountains of material and printing another small mountain of reference paperwork and forms related to organic certification. The "National Organic Program" (NOP) is run by the USDA and their website is sometimes a bit of a jumble to navigate. But, that is where we began our research a couple of years ago...
It's not a task that is easily approached, but at this phase in our lives, it is not as daunting.
I found even better details with printable forms for organic certifications at the state site...the Texas Department of Agriculture:
The state site was very organized, clear, easy to navigate; all forms were available and categorized into the area of certification in which you are interested (livestock, crops, etc.).
Since we are getting much closer to the day we will be moving to our acreage full-time, we need to get on the ball with our certification process. Deputy Dave is awesome; he is on board and doing all he can to move forward into this challenging territory. Organic gardening is not unknown to us since all personal gardening in our backyard is done through organic means. My indoor potted plants are treated the normal way, with regular potting soil, but the edible gardens are all organic. And this includes NO pesticides or fertilizers.
|My herb garden always does fantastic in all kinds|
of weather, after all, herbs are weeds.
Part of the problem is that our society is SO afraid of bugs. But, guess what? If you quit using the pesticides, then you just might get some bad bugs, but you also might get a lot of good bugs and things have a way of equalizing. Also, you get WORMS back! The soil is allowed to be soil again!
Even today, I am still learning and I know I've got a LONG way to go, but I'm always eager to learn new things. Staying stale in life is not an option for me. Since I'm an avid reader, I'll do all I can to give Deputy Dave the boost he needs so this chain-reaction can get moving!
Speaking of "organic" products, I remember being amazed that even MANURE has to be "organic." Heck, I thought all poop was "organic," but it turns out that I was wrong. The old adage of "You are what you eat," seems to be true for manure. I guess...whatever goes in, must come out and if inorganic foods are going in, then inorganic matter will be left behind. ....Talk about the cycle of life...
The bottom line is that going organic means you must exert great control over your livestock and crops because one little blip can ruin the organic status. And yes, it is more expensive to start doing things the organic way and it's not as easy to maintain because you cannot just run down to the local store and buy everyday products off the shelf during a half-price sale, but if you are committed, then you find a way to make it work.