We are often asked whether we are “organic.” The short answer is no. To claim to be organic, one must be certified after submitting to a bureaucratic paper chase that is daunting and expensive. Despite the lack of the organic label, we offer safe, healthy produce that we confidently eat ourselves and feed to loved ones, friends and customers.
In some ways, what we are growing is even better than some organic produce found in stores. Healthy produce has two major components: toxin-free and nutrient-rich. The primary focus of organic certification rules and therefore organic farmers is avoidance of toxins, such as pesticides. Nutrition comes in a distant second. Yet at Full Flavor Farm, we feel nutritious produce is vitally important.
One study that tested produce for sale in stores found huge variations in the nutrient values. For example, the iron content of spinach ranged from 1,584 parts per million to 19. No, that is not a typo – just 19 at the low end. So if you are buying spinach at the store to get the required daily minimum amount of iron in your diet, whether you succeed can be a crap shoot that depends on where and how the spinach was grown.
For produce to be nutritious, plants must be fed right. Plants that lack certain nutrients will still grow and produce fruit – but fruit with deficiencies, like the low-iron spinach found in the study. Such deficiencies have several causes: Price competition makes it uneconomic for farmers to repair decades of soil depletion. In addition, plant lines are bred for tonnage and shelf life rather than for nutrition. And cultural practices by many farmers do not focus on nutrition.
The result is produce that lacks nutrients. At Full Flavor Farm, we are building up our soil so microbes thrive and a full profile of micronutrients is available to the plant.
Healthy soil feeds the plants, and then the plants feed us. Flavor indicates the health of the produce, and at Full Flavor Farm, we deliver flavor!