Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

One of the hollyhocks I started from seed last year
Just a few brief and thoughts today:

The Good

This site has ideas for using free materials to garden, showing that it doesn't need to be expensive to raise your own food.

The Bad

When I opened the latest edition of The Organic & Non-GMO Report, a free publication we receive on the farm, I saw something that made me shake my head. Seems the USDA is now getting into non-GMO certification. While for some, this might sound good, but it's not for small farms. Why?...

The Ugly

Whenever the USDA gets involved in something like non-GMO certification, it means it will become expensive and very difficult for small farmers to receive that certification. We've already seen it with "certified organic." With certified organic, the big dogs ("Big Ag") have taken over. Seems they've come to realize that if you can't beat them, join beat them. Beat them by creating so many hoops to jump through that they eliminate the competition. With what we call the "o" word, we can't even say we use the same methods - even if we specifically point out that we're NOT certified organic. A farmer friend almost got slapped with over $30,000 in fines for saying he used those methods. Big Ag can afford to fill out the paperwork, pay the fees, etc. Small farms can't. I much prefer the independent, voluntary certifications such as Certified Naturally Grown and Non-GMO Project. Plus, if you buy your food locally, you can actually talk to the farmers in your area to learn their philosophy and growing methods. While corporations can fake it, individuals can't.


David said...

Cherie, government always means complicated certification and piles of paperwork with government inspectors involved. It's so true that small time businesses can't keep up with all the requirements that have to be set in place. Nor can they afford the the some times required equipment that must be used to be certified. It's sad that the way our ancestors grew food for at least a century or two is becoming illegal. Well, at least for sale, any way. I can't even imagine what the politicians would hatch for non-GMO certification.

Have a great chemical free growing day. I pray that the deer would suddenly lose the taste for fresh garden vegetables.

ain't for city gals said...

I do think us small buyers of the farmers market are also aware of this makes no difference to me if the farmers I buy from are certified organic or non-gmo...I know how they grow the food...I know they use no pesticides. In fact, I trust them far more than the "certified" organic in the grocery stores...Our farmers market is so small (5 vendors) that they would let us come and pick our own if wanted. And to think I didn't even know these people 3 years ago is amazing to me...