[Market-farming] taking the plunge

KAKerby at aol.com KAKerby at aol.com
Mon Feb 20 10:21:23 EST 2012

I guess the main question I have at this point is in terms of how much  
detail to provide with the various forms.  Some examples:
1) in the crop production paperwork, where I need to describe insect/pest  
control, we mainly have issues with slugs and birds.  We control the former  
with a combination of hiding-spot removal, beer traps, slug bait (which is  
OMRI listed) and hand-picking, and the latter by putting netting over the 
rows  they're pestering.  Is that all I need to say, or does it need to be 
more  elaborate?
2) In the livestock production paperwork where I describe that they're on  
pasture roughly six months each year and in yards the balance of the year, 
do I  need to give the exact sizes of the paddocks?  The species in the  
pasture?  The stocking rates and rotation schedule?  Or just a general  overview?
3) There's a stipulation that we must have "reliable" access to certified  
organic feeds.  We are going to put up our own hay this year on certified  
organic ground.  Do I have to show alternative sources for hay if something  
goes wrong with that harvest?  We'll be buying in feed from a long-standing  
organic feeds supplier.  Do we have to show a Plan B if that supplier  
suddenly can't provide feed anymore?  Or for both, can we simply state  that 
we've got a stockpile of feed/hay to carry us through short-term  gaps?
I could drive myself crazy with trying to hit that "Goldilocks" point of  
providing "just right" levels of detail.  Should I start with only  general 
information and let the inspector tell me if more detail is  needed?  Thanks 
Kathryn Kerby
Snohomish, WA
Ruminations - essays on the farming life at  frogchorusfarm.com/weblog.html
In a message dated 2/20/2012 5:43:22 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,  
organic87 at frontiernet.net writes:
Different state and different agency, but sure, ask away.  

The paperwork is a bear and an annoying nuisance -- but I found that it  
was also very helpful. Because I have to keep the records for certification, I 
 have to have them available for my use, also. If it weren't for that, I 
know  myself well enough to know that I'd have terrible recordkeeping.

-- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 6A now I think
Fresh-market organic produce, small scale

On Feb 19, 2012, at 11:20 PM, _KAKerby at aol.com_ (mailto:KAKerby at aol.com)  

Hey everyone, here's hoping you all have had a nice weekend.  I  just spent 
the whole day here going through a bunch of online documentation,  and 
comparing what we do to what would need to be done, to become certified  
organic.  I think <insert big inhale> we're going to submit our  paperwork and go 
for it - for both crops and livestock production.   We've been so close for 
so long, and now that we're selling meat it just  seems like "the thing to 
do" for a variety of reasons.  The  pain-in-the-butt factor is right up there 
of course, and I'm not even  entirely sure if our pricing would change a 
lot.  But after going  through yet another round of "no we're not certified but 
here's how we do  things....." conversations with potential buyers, I just 
finally decided it  was time.

So, for all those who are already certified organic, you might have  a new 
fledgling member soon amongst your ranks.  I have already put in  an email 
to our local Tilth group to see who's certified organic and would  be 
willing/able to answer some newbie questions.  But if anyone on this  list would be 
willing to do the same, even though you're in another state  and another 
certifying agency, I'd sure love to know if I'd be able to send  you 
I sort of feel like I'm warming up for a much bigger ball game, and  about 
to take my first time at batt.  Not even hoping to hit it out of  the park; 
just want a fair pitch, a clean hit and a  safe run around the bases.  Guess 
I'm looking for a first  base coach (and maybe some cheerleaders).........
Kathryn Kerby, who doesn't normally resort to sports metaphors
Snohomish, WA
Ruminations - essays on the farming life at  frogchorusfarm.com/weblog.html



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