It’s all about a healthy ecosystem, because if we can improve the diversity, the health of our soils, diversity of the biology, the diversity of the plants above ground, then we’re going to provide the nutrient needs for our livestock. We don’t give- Our livestock receive zero vaccinations, zero pour-ons, zero de-wormers, anthelmintics, anything, and they’re extremely healthy. Do we occasionally have to treat one? Rarely, but once in a while we do, but it’s very, very, very seldom, and we’re running a lot of livestock. It’s a non-issue.Healthy soil makes healthy plants, healthy animals, healthy people. That’s what it’s about.
Have you looked at organic?
Why would I want to? I’m selling my products for higher than organic prices. To me, could we be certified organic? No, not on the cropping system. We occasionally use a herbicide. I could be on the livestock system because we don’t … That would be easy to be. I have a real problem, and I’m not in any way bashing organics, but why should I have to pay somebody to come certify what I already know? To me, marketing is trust between me and my customers. We direct-market, we have over a thousand customers now in six cities that we market to, and we have an open-door policy on our ranch. Anybody can come and tour our ranch at any time so we have nothing to hide. I have yet to lose a sale because we’re not certified organic. Anybody that comes and takes a look at our operation, they’re gonna buy. Plain and simple. I’ll never say never, but there’s just nothing in it for me. I can’t see a reason why I’d be certified organic.
It was an unexpected answer to my question but nevertheless a valid one for Gabe who has established his market for his produce. Would you agree that becoming a certified grower helps sales? I know if we don’t know the grower we are always looking for the approval from a recognised certification body.for 3 main reasons: supporting the farmer. supporting a healthy environment and helping ensure our food is chemically and GM free. For us it is the future for regenerative farming
This guy is obviously an American and in comparison to the abysmal support we farmers receive from our Australian government, the Americans are in a far more favourable position. Fair enough to market your own produce if you have the time and money but very few farmers in this country would be in that position and this is where organic certification works for us and commands a far higher and more stable income – plus the integrity of the farmer won’t come into question once certified as many consumers are aware that the road to certification is rigorous and after certification well monitored. As a farmer who is now certified, I would have to say that many farmers who believe themselves to be virtually organic or bio-dynamic may genuinely consider themselves to be this way but have no idea. I have had a farmer say he could easily be organic but uses a large quantity of urea annually and another who another who calls himself organic but was shocked to know that if he was to follow through and certify he could no longer use glyphosphates!
Thanks for posting, Liz and for doing the work that you are doing for all us consumers. We always buy certified foods where we can as well as growing our own. Judging from your comments, there is obviously a lot of work to be done to fill in the gaps for farmers to truly understand how a healthy soil functions.
Yes, we are still lacking knowledge of what it takes to build a healthy, living soil. ORICoop is a new organisation whose vision is to provide maore farmers with support to market their goods. This is a start in the right direction.
Total honesty and transparency are premium generating principals. Will Organically grown food on unhealthy undernourished soil guarantee quality intake even though certified? If only we could turn words into numbers of what ‘quality’ or ‘healthy’ food is and techniques of preparation that left enzymes in tact we would have a healthier nutrition that aided our immune system. But on the other hand reassurance gives us peace of mind that keeps anxiety at bay. So much for the clarity of intention as to whether we eat to live or live to eat. Ultimate the choice is yours.
Would you agree that we need a new standard that ensures food produced is nutrient dense? Arden Andersen several years ago was promoting this under the name Beyond Organix
Our wish is for an easy way to determine nutrient density. Right now we can use a refractometer – and we do – to check our food. The results are sometimes surprising whilst disappointing.
Healthy soil is organic. Organic doesn’t need certification. It can exist without certification. People grow organic all the time, and don’t have to pay. I think the presenter is side-stepping the question, he’s not organic (uses synthetic herbicide). He could be organic (and not certified) but apparently he’s not.
There’s plenty of need to be organic, he explains it well at the very beginning of the video. But the herbicide has to go.
Yes, no herbicides preferably, we agree
I think that Gabe has got to that point now. Thanks for your comments as many successful farmers have reached that point of no herbicides as they are aware of how to regenerate their soils without their use.