New USDA label on store products?

 What a wild, full Friday it has been…see below. Still time to pre-order for tomorrow’s markets & area wide drop-offs. Don’t miss the blurb about labels below and why it is so important to get to know your farmer.
Feed delivery….another shipment of feed that is tested & guaranteed to be GMO free, pesticide free, herbicide free, & medication free –
most organic feed cannot make that claim – yet another important reason for asking questions & getting to know your farmer – thank you to all those who have asked us questions & so helped us learn the differences in feed that is offered.
What an education we’ve received!
Good Moooooorning….in line for morning milking
Laying the ground work for a barn addition
On the way back with drain pipe for the barn project
Options, options, & did I hear ‘more options?’
Sifting through food labels….
We all know what it is like when walking through the grocery store. So many labels pop out across the food landscape….Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, CNG, All Natural, Grass Fed, Cage Free, Free Range, 100% Grass fed, 100% Grass fed & finished, Chemical Free, Humanely Raised, etc, etc, etc.

Well, just when you thought you had seen all the labels…..

USDA issued a new one….Certified Transitional
This is a certification given to farms who have been following conventional practices but are switching over to organic (a 3 year process). This certification informs consumers that while they have not had 3 years of organic farming completed, they are on the way.

The info may prove helpful if you’re shopping, but what it is really about is providing transitioning farmers a piece of the ever growing $43+ billion (2015) a year organic industry. Conventional farms are trying to get in and they have the ear of some lawmakers in DC. Slowly then, we’re seeing the standards being lowered for organic farming and the list of synthetic and non-organic materials growing.

Chemical free, and that may be put an appearance we’re discovering, has become more about the money rather than a commitment to farming the way God intended.

The myriad of certifications, labels, and methods are changing, diversifying, and growing. What most of us want is simply quality food grown without junk. Large scale, conventional farms – whether organic, certified transitional, non-gmo project verified, etc are NOT sustainable.

America used to be made of thousands of small farms providing local communities fresh, local food. Small farming, even if the farm is not commitment to organic practices, does not need the level of chemicals large scale organic operations need.

We vote with our dollars – by shopping local and fresh at the markets & farms around us we can avoid the every growing quagmire label conglomeration of grocery store food.

Get to know your farmer. Ask questions. Visit their farms. We can’t be too busy to not care about the investment we’re making in to the health of our bodies.

As the sun breaks across the morning sky, the cows head to the barn for morning milking
Getting a puppy ready for pickup by their new owners
This week on the farm
What a day….

Friday started bright and early with the first of the team awaking just before 4am for the market baking – muffins, cookies, bread, pop-tarts, bars, & more! Chores began about 7am….milking, feeding the pigs & chickens, water cows, & moving hay bales. 8:00 the cement installers pulled in with their equipment for our barn addition project. 9:30 the feed truck arrived. By 10am, most of the rest of the team congregated with visiting friends for a recording project.

Meanwhile, the team on the ground made 4 trips to the hardware store for plumbing pieces, screws, and such to keep the crews working. Mulch was spread around fruit trees, the feed wagons were covered, a carpentry repair made behind the shed, and a shipment from another farm arrived. The mechanic informed us just about 2pm that the green van needs a new power steering pump :-(. A drafter stopped in with completed plans for another pending building project about 3pm and then our hay farmer down the road delivered a load of round bales for the cows about 4pm. 4:45 a pipe burst on the north side of the barn while a cow also escaped the fence. Thankfully the shut-off was discovered and the cow is safely back where she belongs.

You know, one never knows what a day will bring forth. 🙂 The forecast is calling for a wintry mix tomorrow but amidst it all, we’re gearing up for another great day at market tomorrow! We look forward to seeing you then.

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