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                                                                   Why Organic?
    Home Among the Trees

Our personal philosophy is to manage our ranch following healthy, sustainable practices.  As our family lives on the ranch amidst the trees we do not wish to use any chemicals or practices that not only could be harmful to our customers, soil, and watershed, but could be harmful to our family, employees, and neighbors.  Jimmie and Rebecca run the ranch in such a way as to provide a healthy and enduring quality of life.

Here at Sunnyslope Ranch we have chosen to use the strict guidlines of the National Organic Program (NOP) and accepted sustainable agricultural practices that will aloow us to produce healthy, high quality organic fruit and to achieve our desired quality of life.

What is Organic?

Composted Manure for FertilizerOrganic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations.  Organic meat,  poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones.  Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation.  Before a product can be labeled "organic," a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards.  Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.

The National Organic Program (NOP) regulations were developed to ensure that organically labeled products meet consistent national standards.

What agricultural operations are affected by the standards?

Any farm, wild crop harvesting, or handling operation that wants to sell an agricultural product as organically produced must adhere to the national organic standards.  Handling operations include processors and manufacturers of organic products.  These requirements include operating under an organic system plan approved by an accredited certifying agent and using materials in accordance with the National List of Allowed Synthetic and Prohibited Non-Synthetic Substances.  Operations that sell less than $5,000 per year in organic agricultural products are exempted from certification and preparing an organic system plan, but they must operate in complaince with these regulations and may label products as organic.  Retail food establishments that sell organically produced agricultural products do not need to be certified.

Jimmie Mowing
Standards apply to production process

The national organic standards address the method, practices, and substances used in producing and handling crops, livestock, and processed agricultural products.  The requirements apply to the way the product is created, not to measurable properties of the product itself.  Although specific practices and materials used by organic operations may vary, the standards require every aspect of organic production and handling to comply with the provisions of the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA).  Organically produced food cannot be produced using excluded methods, sewage sludge, or ionizing radiation.

Being certified organic verifies that irradiation, sewage sludge, synthetic fertilizers, prohibited pesticides, and genetically modified organisms were not used.

Currently, approximately 30,000 organic farms and processing facilities around the world are certified to the USDA organic standards. Their certification is managed by approximately 100 certifying agents located throughout the United States and around the world.





Apricots
Crop Standards

The organic crop production standards say that:

  • Land will have no prohibited substances applied to it for at least 3 years before the harvest of an organic crop.  The use of genetic engineering (included in excluded methods), ionizing radiation and sewage sludge is prohibited.  Soil fertility and crop nutrients will be managed through tillage and cultivation practices, crop rotations, and cover crops, supplemented with animal and crop waste materials and allowed synthetic materials.

  • Preference will be given to the use of organic seeds and other planting stock, but a farmer may use non-organic seeds and planting stock under specified conditions.  Crop pests, weeds, and diseases will be controlled primarily through management practices including physical, mechanical, and biological controls.  When these practices are not sufficient, a biological, botanical, or synthetic substance approved for use on the National List may be used.

Why Organic?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has shown that even after washing some fruits and vegetables they consistently carry much higher levels of pesticide residue than in other produce.  It was found that in conventional fruits:

  • Nectarines had the highest percentage of samples test positive for pesticides (97.3 percent), followed by pears (94.4 percent) and peaches (93.7 percent). 

  • Nectarines also had the highest likelihood of multiple pesticides on a singe sample, 85.3 percent had two or more pesticide residues, followed by peaches (79.9 percent) and cherries (75.8 percent).

  • Peaches and raspberries had the most pesticides detected on a single sample with nine pesticides on a single sample, followed by strawberries and apples, where eight pesticides were found on a single sample.

  • Peaches had the most pesticides overall with some combination of up to 45 pesticides found on the samples tested, followed by raspberries with 39 pesticides and apples and strawberries, both with 36.

For more information, visit www.foodnews.org.

Lady Bug and Bee

 

Most pesticides cannot differentiate between benefical insects and troublesome pests.  Without judicious pest management plans many beneficials - pollinating bees, ladybugs, and lacewings - will be killed.  Using benefical insects and mating disruption pheromones helps in keeping troublesome pests under control without harming our beneficial friends.

 

(Can you find our ladybug friend among the blossoms?  She is working hard to take care of pests like aphids and thrips.)

 

Address:  730 Henderson Rd   
               Wapato, WA  98951    
Email:  info@sunnysloperanch.com
Phone:  (509) 877-2773
WSDA Certified Organic
 
Tilth Producers Member
 

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