Friday, September 14, 2018

Conventional Manure on our Organic Farm.



With the addition of conventional manure on our land growing our upcoming fall veggies, we felt we needed to address it straight on, rip open that can of worms.  We’ve been so fortunate for being able to use certified organic manure for over 14 years on our land since going organic!  Our organic dairy neighbor simply needs his manure for his own land.  We will always continue to provide utmost transparency with regards to all inputs used on our land and in your food.  We know our customers, and we know that being honest is vital to our relationships with everyone whom chooses to buy and consume the veggies we produce.  We will always update our website including every single input we use on our farm.  We continue to be certified organic by Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd.  We continue to use 0 herbicides on our land, 0 fungicides, 0 synthetic fertilizers on our land and only 2 approved pesicides ‘Entrust’ and ‘Bioprotec’ on select crops when needed.

Using conventional manure on organic farms is nothing new and a lot of organic farms operate this way. There simply is a massive lack of organic manure available.  We didn’t decide overnight either and to say it was an easy decision is far from it – we actually let a large part of our farm get very deficient because we were holding back  – this is well over 2.5 years in the making.  We spoke with our certification board Pro Cert Organic Systems, they forwarded us to a soil analyst specializing in organic agriculture whom we hired.  Her recommendation was straight up animal manure to correct our deficiencies after going over our soil tests.  One thing we know well in growing veggies is we must feed the soil.  Since we do not use synthetics, we must find the most natural way to do this and manure fits the bill.  We wrangled with feelings of guilt and a fair bit of sadness to be honest, but a fellow organic farmer took some of the sting away: “...If we are going to grow this organic movement we need to be slightly practical....Don’t feel guilty. If handled well, conventional manure can be of great benefit to your soil structure and overall health of your farm.”  

Going forward my secret hope is that one of my kids may indeed want to get into animal husbandry and we can pasture raise animals here and have access to our own manure and create an awesome symbiotic system such as we once had reaching across the fence to the organic compost! We are also growing less acreage for profit – we’ve decided to skip most grain growing to be combined.  Our rotational land is cover crop, cover crop, cover crop. Put ‘er back.  We are not mass increasing acreage on the veggies and intend to stay small, humble and happy!  So, today’s quote is from Ben.  All you have to do is look in that man in the eye. Ben will never lie to you. “We may not be perfect but will always strive to do the best we can and always be transparent. If you want to know exactly how your food is grown – I will tell you.” ~Ben Sosnicki, 2018.