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Organic Produce

 

What is Organic?

Organic refers to methods of growing and processing foods that rely on the earth's natural resources. Pests and weeds are managed using earth-friendly means such as beneficial insects and mechanical controls. Organic farmers work to build natural nutrients in soil which help fertilize plants without reliance on synthetic fertilizers.


Organic Production 

Offers food produced within nature's own balanced and fertile system. Helps keep our air, soil, and water free of toxic chemicals.  Ensures that animals are humanely raised, without synthetic hormones or antibiotics, and only fed organic feed. As of October 2002 all SC Farms that sell "Organic Produce" must be certified by the Organic Certification Program at Clemson University.  Farms that are certified have met the strict regulations of the new National Organic Program (NOP)>

The certification includes on-farm inspection by trained inspectors, soil testing, and committee review.  The growers must comply with all NOP standards for organic production and not have used any materials prohibited by the NOP during the last three years.

Farms with a gross income of less than $5000, may use the term "Organic" without being certified as long as the strict NOP Guidelines for production are followed.


What is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farm?

Generally, all CSA farms operate in the following manner. "Shares" in the farm are purchased that entitle you to weekly deliveries of produce throughout the growing season (varies somewhat with each farm). Your weekly share is generally available on-farm for pickup and there are usually other sites as well to make it more convenient for you. You benefit from this arrangement by having access to the freshest and highest quality produce available, and the farmers benefit by having a guaranteed and reliable market for their diverse selection of produce. The growers will also receive the income up-front to match the time of their greatest expenditures.

This in turns encourages ecologically responsible farming practices that contribute to the improvement of the soil, the preservation of natural resources, and the production of healthy, nutritious food.


What does "certified organic" mean? 

Farms that are certified organic have met the strict requirements of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA), which encourages ecologically responsible farming practices that contribute to the improvement of the soil, the preservation of natural resources, and the production of healthy, nutritious food. The certification includes on-farm inspection by trained inspectors, soil testing, and committee review. The growers must comply with all CFSA standards for organic production and not have used any materials prohibited by the CFSA during the last three years.

 At this time, there are no "Certified Organic" Farmers associated with the Foothills Direct Market Association
 

 

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For more information, contact Joey Williamson, Horticulture Specialist, Clemson Extension Service


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Last Update: 03/23/2005