Hi Farm Friends,
If you have ever visited the farm or spoken with us at the Matthews Farmers Market, you may know we've been in the process of getting certified organic for some time now. I am excited to announce that after three years of diligent record keeping and farming with organic practices, the vegetables and flowers grown on our farm are officially USDA Certified Organic!
We spent the winter compiling records required to submit our application, and a few weeks ago had a visit from our Clemson certifying inspector for our final audit. Our inspector's car broke down, and after a day spent stuck on the farm with us, he did not find any conflicts in our application. We weren't surprised to find out last week that we officially passed our application!!
Here's a snapshot of what it takes to get certified:
No prohibited substances (i.e., synthetic fertilizers and pesticides) applied for three years prior to harvest
Submission of all crop input materials used for soil fertility, crop nutrients, weed, pest, and disease control, and post-harvest handling
Seed record to ensure use of organic seeds
A 23 pg detailed organic system plan
Field history form
$750 (there is an organic cost-sharing grant to cover these fees)
Needless to say, not all farmers who use organic practices to grow vegetables go through all these steps to get certified - it is both time consuming and expensive. But, since we are growing organically already and have big plans to scale our production (both increasing the number of farm shares we supply and our wholesale accounts), we felt the certification was important in communicating our practices.
Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions on our certification or the application process!
All the best,