Farmivore is passionate about land stewardship, and providing access to clean food. We view Organic as a philosophy and movement, not simply a label. We strive to move beyond the label and carry the spirit of the organic movement forward. I mean, this is why we chose to be farmers ourselves! As a team, we geek out over things like compost, minimal tillage and bio-intensive practices. This is something we passionately live out on our own farms, and look for in the farms we partner with.
The majority of produce sold through Farmivore comes from farms that have chosen to adopt organic certification. Over 80% of our produce comes from certified organic farms each week. Some of our staple certified farms include John Givens, McGrath Family of Farmers, Baby Root Farm, Alex Frecker, Steel Acres, and Ken Lee.
But we don't just buy from anyone, even if they are certified. Our goal is to know our farmers! When we see a certified organic label, we don't like to stop there. We love asking further questions, and highlighting individual practices that go over and above the letter of the law in order to qualify for certification.
Take John Givens for example. He's not required to have his own on-farm composting operation, but he does. In John's words, if you are not laying down organic matter on a regular basis, you are simply mining the soil for nutrients. It's not enough to import "organic fertilizers" from off-site. John is going the extra mile and converting their farm scraps into fertile soil. That's the kind of commitment to stewardship that makes us excited about working with a farmer.
Ironically, we've encountered plenty of farms that have opted out of organic certification, but subscribe 100% to the philosophy and methodology. The truth is, soil life and farming are so intricate and diverse, you can never fully capture the organic philosophy in a "set of standards." Setting national standards can have the unintended consequence of creating a mindset of "minimum requirement" and "compliance" rather than fully embracing the vocation to be a serious land steward.
When we see small farmers walking the walk, but eschewing the organic label, we don't have a problem with that. Small Farmers have a lot to contend with on a daily basis, and certification adds cost, extra paperwork, and some find it insulting that customers care more about a label than they do about getting to know them and their farm, and asking questions.
We gladly support small and family farms that exhibit overall sustainable and ecological methods on their farms, and we are happy to answer questions about their methods, or pass the questions on directly to them. After all, since we know our farmers, we can do that!
For our part, we can look you straight in the eye, and tell you that we wouldn't sell you anything we wouldn't eat, or feed our kids. We're not buying from guys that lace their crops with synthetic chemicals. We're in this to change the world, and it's only going to happen when we see past the labels and rebuild the broken network of relationships between growers and eaters that used to characterize American agriculture.