Tag Archives: produce

Keeping it Simple

On a recent comment to farmersdotter Facebook page someone wrote:

“Food prices have gone up everywhere” and suggested to “Buy whole foods and cook them yourself.” Finally noting “There are huge savings in avoiding junk food.”

Insightful comments that we take to heart.

When you consider the nutritional bang for your buck in a box of Froot-Loops we have never understood the argument that fresh food especially fresh organic food is too expensive. And consider too we have to import this junk. What kind of impact does that have?

So given the current price of fresh produce our fear is some folks will turn more towards processed food as a solution when now more then ever we simply need to buy local and buy what is in season.

Keep it simple

Do we really need to import from California or Florida and beyond in January? Do we really need to import at all? For a number of years now we have relied upon importing massive quantities of produce.

It wasn’t that long ago when importing on such a scale was impractical. Remember when tomatoes weren’t always perfect and oranges were a luxury most of the year? Most of the year you couldn’t find a pineapple to save your life and kiwi fruit was unheard of. Produce had a season much the same way as Japanese mandarins still do. But thanks to China, hybridizing, and genetic engineering mandarins and their derivatives with origin unknown are available year round.

Makes you wonder where all this demand is coming from. Are consumers really demanding of such a wealth of variety or is it by virtue of the wealth of variety that the demand is created. Either way it is massive and ultimately unsustainable.

We are quick to overlook the tremendous infrastructure required to support the variety and choice of the perfect symmetrical specimens we have come to expect. Must it be so? In light of the severe water shortage in the produce growing regions of the USA, especially in California this situation is not going to correct itself anytime soon. Even if it did, lets say California had all our water, should we expect we can continue to rely upon importing so much food? We don’t think so. Lets keep our water and use it wisely.

If the demand were to shift we think locally grown meat and veg supplemented with grown in BC product would be more than sufficient. The produce would not be perfect. Not always. You would have to accept the occasional knobbly carrot and imperfect apple that will and should brown when cut open.

Maybe there are people in areas of the world not as fortunate as us. They may not have the where-with-all to cut the import umbilical and subsist on their own. However, there are  people in many diverse areas who can and do. As harsh as it may sound we can not be overly concerned about those in far flung places. Not right now.

Right now we are concerned for our community. Doing what we can to ensure we and our family farms are sustainable going forward. It was the way it used to be and somehow our parents, grand-parents, and elders all made it through. We will too if we keep it simple.


Leave No Doubt What You are About

Today is our annual inspection from PACS the certifying body that grants our certified organic status.

Inspector Dude

Inspector Dude

We make the distinction and say certified organic as opposed to simply organic. Organic can apply to many things but within the BC farming community saying one is certified organic will leave no doubt what you are about.

To our understanding there is limited regulation in British Columbia when it comes to applying the term organic to describe livestock or produce production. That does not mean to say a grower who is not certified organic does not embrace organic standards. Most city gardeners and small scale growers choose to subscribe to some form of organic method. They simply choose not to certify and that is fair enough. There needs be some way for these growers to describe their methodology and organic does apply.

In order to protect the consumer a strict and high standard of quality assurance must exist and the best way to describe that must also involve a reference to organic. But how does one usurp a word for an exclusive purpose? Tricky and most probably why there remains confusion over exactly what organic means when one goes to buy a fricking apple from the market.

That is why we say certified organic. Its an extra word but it leaves no doubt.

When purchasing meat and produce from a supermarket we look for approved labeling when describing compliant products. Something non certified and most definitely conventionally grown products will not have. There are probably more labels available for use in BC but the three labels listed below are marketing examples farmersdotter organics are entitled to use with prior permission from our certifying body.

Organic Labels

Organic Labels accepted in BC

If we know the grower, and the grower is not certified yet happens to be organic in practice, we will purchase their products for personal consumption. Certification is a choice for a grower. Certification is not for everybody. Know your grower and vote with your wallet.

Also, there are three types of annoying sticky labels on produce. Conventional produce have a 4-digit code number. Organic produce has the same 4-digit code only preceded by the number 9. GMO’s has the same 4-digit code only preceded by the number 8 making it oh so easy to avoid Monsanto Monster Mashed Morsels at a grocer near you.

For more information on Certified Organics please visit:

COR Government of Canada’s regulated system for organic agricultural products.

COABC The program designated by BC as the provincial program administrator.


Nip it in the Bud – Vote with your wallet

I have said it time and time again. Vote with your wallet. Be it Boycott, embargo or whatever, it works.  Money talks. We eat and drink to stay alive therefore we should eat and drink good things. Chlorpropham, or ‘Bud Nip’ is a bad thing and it should be avoided. We definitely should not be eating it and it definitely should be on your personal boycott list.

Bud Nip is virtually in all conventionally grown potatoes. It is also sprayed on kale, peaches, celery, broccoli, peppers, cucumbers, apples and God knows what else. Bud Nip is almost exclusively manufactured in mainland China so an effective personal boycott means selecting certified organic produce in place of produce sprayed with Bud Nip. Unfortunately this may have an adverse effect on conventional growers but eventually growers will adapt to market demands and products like Bud Nip will wane. This is a good thing.

I have witnessed potato crops being sprayed with Bud Nip. Believe me you do not want to be downwind. I have seen potato crops sprayed with defoliants and desiccants. Defoliants like ‘Reglone’ and ‘Redi-Pik’ are designed so a conventional grower can harvest a little earlier and not have to deal with foliage during harvest thus getting the product to market as quick as possible with little regard for quality. Purely profit driven. We are eating this stuff. Not good. Not good at all and it needs to stop. Vote with your wallet.

This brilliant young lady is a splendid example of what I mean:


%d bloggers like this: