I would like to get my farm certified and am interested in
the process. I am also starting a greenhouse, and it will
also be organic. I have gardened here for 14 years using organic
methods (1acre garden, 1 acre sweet corn).
Thank you for any help you can give.
I'll try to give you a quick set of steps to get you started,
but keep in mind it is difficult to address all the issues
in one short email.
To get started I suggest you contact PCO (Pennsylvania Certified
Organic) or one of any of the other 53 certifying agencies
operating across the nation to get information (see New
Farm Certifiers Directory. Anyone of them will send you
an information packet (generally there is a fee for this).
This information will include, among other things, their fee
structure, individual forms for certification, a list of any
educational opportunities they may sponsor, etc.
The second step I suggest is to get the name or names of
any certified farmers in your area and talk to them about
their experience of the process. That information combined
with a review of the USDA's
Organic Rule should get you on your way.
While the process may seem daunting at first glance, once
you get started on the paperwork, you'll find it flows smoothly
and the information you need to gather will help you think
through your operation in a very logical way.
Our greenhouse operation has been organic for the past 60
years. Our recently built units have always been run organically.
If you need any help along the way with getting that part
of your operation up and running, I'll try to help out as
best I can.