Why are we called
Treasured Haven Farm
is a Proud Member of
|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
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.
Treasured Haven Farm
is a farm member of