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Organic versus Local

April 29, 2013

Let me start by saying that The Wild Ramp Market is NOT an organic market. Our emphasis is to provide great local food and information for consumers to understand how those foods were raised or grown so individual decisions can be made.

There are a lot of questions about organic food and I thought it was time to address some.

Feb 24 2013

February 24, 2013

We have one Certified Organic farmer, Julie Schaer of The Potager. She brings the Wild Ramp amazing vegetables and edible flowers. We helped her complete her high tunnel cover back in the fall with Community Help a Farmer Day, just a few weeks before her son was born. In the interim time she laid irrigation and planted the first crop.  Julie could be the poster child for the passion and dedication of farmers who use organic practices.

A couple of farmers use conventional farming practices. This means that they use herbicides and pesticides to control weeds and bugs that would affect their crop yield. They have told us that they only spray on leaves and not on the fruit or vegetables themselves. This is more careful practice than the factory farms that provide much of the produce at our supermarkets.

Most of the farmers who bring food into The Wild Ramp Market fall in between with their farming practices, using organic methods but not pursuing certification. The process to be certified takes several years and considerable expense.

Why does organic food seem to be more expensive than conventional produce?  I know that when I switched my family to organic produce when we can’t find what we need or want at The Wild Ramp (mainly because it is out of season here in our part of the world) I had to adjust my food purchasing budget. It was a choice we made based on health concerns.  But the issue is real and most of the time the prices are higher.

First of all, the land itself must be prepared. If the land has been used for conventional farming, it must go through a transition that takes three years before organic certification can be considered.

farmlandconversion

Next, because chemical sprays can not be used for bug or weed removal, other practices are more labor intensive. In addition, because there is no growth additives like much of conventional produce has, it takes longer to grow a product that may be actually smaller than its conventional counterpart.5.-No-Chemicals-e1348815610825

Finally, any processor or distributor also has to maintain the organic integrity of the product. This means they also need inspections and certification.

Is it worth it? Up to you to decide, but for me, knowing my farmer is enough. Understanding the practices used by each of  The Wild Ramp Producers permits me to shop for food I know is healthy for my family.KYF-logo

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 29, 2013 11:04 pm

    I pretty much favor locavor over organic whenever possible. Far better, fresher food and it helps to sustain our brave local farmers, too. A win-win.

    • April 30, 2013 10:53 am

      I agree with the suggestion that you not only purchase from local farmers but you also ask them and understand their growing practices.

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