Sustainably grown, not Organic

The Organic movement has taken off, and is becoming big business. Organic certification means that there is some guarantee that what you are buying is not contaminated with potentially harmful chemicals or excess antibiotics. Organic products are now available at all the standard Big Box stores–often produced by a small number of huge agricultural firms. The expense of organic certification is high enough that many small growers find it to be prohibitive.

We like the term ‘sustainably grown.’ We grow our vegetables without artificial chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides. We also recycle nutrients–from the garden to the pigs, chickens, and compost bin back to the garden. And, we look at the garden (and the rest of the farm) as an ecosystem where the depth of the food web is important. Sustainable growing also means ethically grown, so our chickens and pigs get fresh air and pasture, not boxes and cages. Where we can, we work with hoes and hand tools instead of gas-powered equipment to cut down on emissions of greenhouse gases.

There are also other certification programs, notably Certified Naturally Grown, that we may pursue in the future. For now, we are sticking with methods that will ensure that this land is productive for another 175 years.


  1. what’s the difference between inorganic fertilizers and organic fertilizer.Other the one release faster,what added benefit one give that the other can’t?

    • Good question; sorry for the delay in reply. You are right that both provide essential nutrients, so from that perspective there is no difference. Inorganic fertilizers, though, have 3 side effects: 1) Inorganic fertilizers can be harmful to the garden ecosystem (in terms of microorganisms, insects, and the like) and the larger landscape (in terms of runoff and pollution. 2) Inorganic fertilizers do nothing to add to the organic matter content of the soil. Looked at the other way, organic fertilizers tend to contribute to soil humus and the overall complexity of the soil food web. 3) Inorganic fertilizers tend to be produced by mega-corporations that create pollution and social injustice in other parts of the world. Increasingly, this is true of organic fertilizers, too, as the Big Ag players get into the game. We try to make our own where we can.

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