After decades of practicing environment-friendly agriculture, Morning Glory Farm has finally begun the process of seeking organic certification.
“We’re starting our record-keeping process right now,” said the farm’s post-harvest and distribution manager, Casey Mazer-Kelly, who is charged with shepherding Morning Glory through the many steps required to become a certified organic producer.
It takes three years of careful documentation to meet the certification standards, Casey said. Every aspect of farm operations is covered.
“It starts in the greenhouse, with the seeds we buy, the amendments we use and even the materials we use in the greenhouses, all the way to the pest traps we use to keep the critters away,” she said. Harvesting methods are also regulated.
Much work was required before the process could begin. “We had to do a lot of farm maps, provide information about soil and compost, provide certification from the horse farms that drop off manure … ”
The list is long, Casey said, but in many cases the farm already has been following the best practices required for organic growing: no chemicals on nearly all our crops, hedgerows between fields and not planting on hillsides, for instance.
Now that the preliminary work is completed, Casey can focus on the ongoing documentation for Baystate Organic Certifiers of Dighton, the U.S. Department of Agriculture-approved certifying agency for our area.
“The next year should be a lot easier for the certification process,” she said