I’m often asked about organic. There is organic and there is Organic, that is to say Big ‘O’ government certified versus the life long practices that existed prior to our beloved leaders imposing regulations designed to serve Big Industry.
I’ve been raising food following organic methods for over 50 years, learning as a young child at my father’s knee. This is the small ‘o’ organic that we live and practice.
No synthetic fertilizers in our fields
No pesticides or herbicides on our crops
No routine antibiotic use
No commercial hog feeds
No added hormones
There are good people who are in the USDA Certified Organic program who faithfully follow the organic standards set by the government. There are also good people who faithfully follow the original philosophy of organic but are not in the USDA’s certification program. We are in this second group – we do not participate in the USDA Organic Certification – We were organic decades before there was USDA Organic Certification.
I don’t do the USDA Organic certification program because, among other reasons, it allows the claim of government sanctioned Organic Certification even in Confinement Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO a.k.a. Factory Farms) where animals are locked up in small spaces and never experience pasture, fresh air, sunshine and natural behaviors. This is completely unnatural. Consumers get confused by the term Organic being used by confinement operations thinking that this means the chickens or pigs were out on pasture when they were merely being feed organic feed. Big Ag and the USDA have stolen the term Organic with a capital ‘O’ and made it into something that is not what people think of when they think of organic. The result is consumers end up buying Big ‘O’ Organic certified meat that is ‘Organic’ because it was fed Big ‘O’ Organic commercial processed grain feeds but that is not true organic in the original sense of the word nor is it happy chickens or pigs out on pasture which is what people envision. In reality, on those ‘Organic’ CAFOs the animals are kept in cages, in crates, in confinement housing, in pens and feedlots where they don’t get real pasture, they don’t see the sun and they can’t socialize normally and behave naturally. This has diluted, even perverted, the meaning of organic. I personally know big producers who are abusing the term Organic like this which makes me hesitant to participate in the program. Since nobody has ever not bought our pork due to a lack of certification I have decided not to participate in the Big ‘O’ organic certification process at this time.
We are beyond Organic
Our animals are truly outdoors on our mountain pasture in the fresh air where they can socialize with others of their species and with other species, where they can feel the sun warm their backs and the cool winds ruffle their fur and feathers, where they can drink fresh water from clear mountain springs, swim in the ponds and laze in the brush, where they can graze green pastures and play on the winter snows. We do not ring our pig’s noses nor do we castrate, cut tails or teeth. We don’t use gestation crates or farrowing crates. Our animals are free to move around. They forage in our fields in the warm months which is replaced with hay in their winter season paddocks once snow sets in.
We raise food to higher standards because this is what we feed our children and ourselves. We care what goes into our bodies and only want the best. We care about the conditions and lives of our animals. To get the best meat means treating the animals humanely and giving them happy, healthy lives on pasture.
locally produced using
organic methods and
raised outdoors in
fresh air and sunshine
on our Vermont farm’s
It’s that simple. We share the bounty of our land and our labors with you.
from our family farm
to your family’s table.
Here on our blog you will find over two thousands articles and many of thousands of photographs that detail how we live and farm. If you have any questions, just ask. Leave comments anywhere on the blog to get answers or if you prefer, drop us a line. We’re just an email away.
Vermont Fresh Network,
Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT)
The Vermont Grass Farmers’ Association,
and a NoWeirdStuff.org farm.
Vermont Dept of Ag Wholesale & Retail Licenses
USDA Inspected slaughter