The purpose of the blog is to help others who are interested in starting a small farm or in living a very rural lifestyle and to have some fun along the way.
I have just finished filling out the paperwork to become USDA/WSDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture/Washington State Department of Agriculture) Certified organic. The paperwork took me about 6 weeks to finish, partly due to procrastination, partly to intimidation and partly because it involved some real thought and research on my part. Although my gardens and garlic have always been organic, I now have to keep much better records and clear the bureaucratic hurdles. I will continue documenting the certification process here as it moves along, but for now I just need to get to town*, get a cashiers check for $470 and put the package in the mail to Olympia (the state capital).
I have learned a lot in the last few months about the legal definition of "organic" and how I, as a farmer can use the term and the accompanying seals in marketing my garlic and produce. For instance, I cannot use the term "certified organic" until I actually have certification from the USDA, although I can say my garlic is "organic" as long as my sales in a given year aren't over $5,000. In a few months, after I've worked through the rest of the process, including an onsite inspection and soil tests, I'll be able to add those coveted USDA and WSDA seals to this site, my business cards and packaging.
I hope to update here often. See you then!
*Just a note on "getting to town" - Our little town has a post office, a small grocery store, a convenience store, one ATM machine, one bar, one restaurant and a few other little businesses. Going to the bank, the big grocery store or the feed store involves an 80 mile drive, round trip, on currently snow covered roads. I'll wait to get the cashier's check until the roads are better and I have more errands to run.