Farm Stand and Farmer’s Market Produce – Organic?

We can be reasonably assured when buying organically labeled produce at the grocery store that it really is organic.  But what about when shopping from farm stands or farmer’s markets?  There is no oversight or regulations when it comes to individuals selling their products.  You’re relying on the information they give you.  But is that information truthful?

If proprietors advertise or claim their produce is organic (or “natural”) you can better determine if their claims are authentic by asking some questions:

  1. How long has your operation been organic?
  2. What do you use for pest control, disease control, fertilizing?
  3. What kind of soil or soil amendments do you use in your garden beds?
  4. Do you use animal manure?  What animals?  Where does the manure come from?  What are the animals fed?  Are the animals given antibiotics or other medication?

If the proprietor cannot readily answer the above questions, buyer beware!  Organic farmers love to talk about their organic practices and educate the public on the importance of growing organically.  Ask us questions!  We are eager to share our experience, knowledge, and growing practices with you!  If you encounter anyone claiming to be organic or “natural” but they hesitate or cannot readily answer the above questions then I would doubt that their claims are true.

organic farming sign

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