Q&A

DEAR NEW FARM:
What is required for organic greenhouse production?

Beth Kennedy
North Carolina

 

DEAR BETH:
The standards for organic greenhouse production are the same as for any type of organic agriculture, that is, if you have a greenhouse that has been used to raise crops conventionally, you must undergo a three-year transition process. It’s much easier to start with a new greenhouse if you can afford one.

There are some special considerations with greenhouse production. For instance, if you are growing in the ground, treated lumber is a no-no; instead use a rot-resistant lumber such as red cedar or rough-sawn red oak.

As with any type of organic farming, document everything you do and triple check your materials, such as your potting mix, with the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) (www.omri.org). The federal Organic Rule also requires that your seed source is organic whenever possible, and your certifier will expect that you have at least three documented attempts to try to obtain organic seed before going with conventional.

NF

 

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