Why are we called
Naturally Grown?

Produce
Availability Dates
in Minnesota
Provided by Minnesota Grown

Treasured Haven Farm
is a Proud Member of
MINNESOTA GROWN
used at Treasured Haven Farm?

    Many words used in describing produce, farming, or growing methods often have
    more to do with government regulations than growing practices. There is much
    confusion for the consumer and I will try to briefly touch on the topic and urge you
    to do your research.

    We, the Johnson's, have been using natural and alternative practices in our
    farming since the mid 1980's. Half of Treasured Haven Farm is the farm where
    Peter was born and raised, the rest, that is all adjacent to the original farm, we
    have owned for a minimum of 15 years, so we know this land and its history well.
    We are very conscious to employ the most natural and safe practices in all our
    farming operations and have no hesitation to eat a fresh picked salad while
    walking through the garden. We do follow organic principles and practices, and in
    many cases go well Beyond Organic and are part of an increasing farmer
    movement who believe that organics have been compromised to allow large scale
    production farms and we hold ourselves voluntarily, ethically, and morally to a
    higher standard.  

    We use NO chemicals or conventional petroleum based fertilizers so we can grow
    as healthy crops as we can. Any soil amendments, if needed, are totally safe and
    natural such as composted plant materials, composted manure from only our
    naturally raised livestock, green manure from grass and other ground cover
    crops, and natural minerals such as a calcium from natural rock compound.  We
    work to be sustainable and environmentally responsible as we are caretakers of
    this small portion of God's Creation known as Treasured Haven Farm.

    Here is some background and examples of the terminology. We use the phrase
    "Naturally Grown" because by law that is all we can say. We can use the phrase
    "organic farming practices" but cannot say our produce is "Organic" because we
    sell over a threshold of $5,000 of produce per year. Since we have over 400
    acres and for us to certify our garden acres, we have been told we must certify all
    our land at a prohibitive cost. Farmers and producers must pay to use the
    Organic label. In actuality, our gardens are safer and cleaner than many certified
    farms because our gardens are protected by a large buffer zone of our grass
    pastures and hayfields so there is NOT contamination from any fields of toxic,
    genetically modified, chemical laden, conventionally grown crops only feet away
    right on the other side of the fence! If we owned only five acres, for example, we
    could afford to be certified but our gardens could easily be compromised by a
    neighbor spraying chemicals just feet away from your tomatoes! We are so
    blessed to have this large acreage and are fortunate to have many neighbors
    who are also conservation and health conscious as well.

    The lengthy and expensive organic certification process has in many ways been
    altered in recent years to allow large corporate farms the ability to enter the
    organic market while in essence pushing the smaller farmers aside. This
    certification is operated by other entities, such as private businesses,
    organizations, and state agencies. Do you want to just trust a label or actually
    know your farm where your produce is grown? More about this is below.

    We do disagree with some practices allowed for certified organic and are
    frustrated with what we, and others, see as the compromised integrity of the
    Organic label. For example, we believe that commercially produced turkey
    manure laden with its antibiotics, medications, and hormones should NOT be
    allowed on organic fields and would never think of using such on our own land.
    There is no restriction on the source where the manure comes from that is
    allowed, just that fresh manure be either composted or there be 90-120 days
    before crops. We have also read that exemptions allowed in organics to use of
    pesticides under "controlled application" if pests become unmanageable... this
    sounds like something added for the mega farms who wanted to be able to use
    the "Organic" label for profits, not in practice. There also can be use of non
    organic components if organic is not "commercially available" leaving a wide
    opening for interpretation.

    There are different levels of "Organic":  1) Foods containing 100 percent organic
    can carry the "USDA Organic" label and say "100% Organic", (2) food which
    contains at least 95% organic can also use the "USDA Organic" seal, (3) food
    that is at least 70% organic can list the organic ingredients on the front of the
    package, and (4) if a product is less than 70% organic, the organic ingredients
    may be listed on the side of the package but cannot say "organic" on the front. So
    all "organic" is not created equal and you unknowingly can be buying something
    you think is ALL Organic, simply because of only one ingredient.  Organic
    substances can be used to create synthetic products that are included in
    processed organic foods, and there are lists of food colorings and other
    substances allowed in organic foods... yes, you heard me right... processed foods
    that are organic? I have heard the joke many times that we will soon see an
    "Organic" Twinkie! So buyer beware as the organic label does not always mean
    what you think!       

    Do your own internet search of "Organic Certification" to learn more about this
    topic and the food you are eating.
       
Check our Books and DVDs page for some more great background info as well.
Buy Locally!!!
Treasured Haven Farm
is a farm member of
LOCAL HARVEST