Monday, June 4, 2012

Canyon Creek Farms: we're certifiable

 3-week-old Khaki Campbell ducklings

You've suspected that all along, haven't you? Now we can confirm the truth: Canyon Creek Farms is on the verge of being certified organic.

After wading through the paperwork and waiting for the results of our application review, we are now awaiting the final inspection. There is a huge lot of record-keeping that is required, so I have been working hard on a database system to handle that part of the certification process. We will be inspected at least once per year, and we must be able to show records of basically every single thing that we did or bought or used during the year. Feed purchases. Every application of fertilizer or compost. If we vaccinate or otherwise give medical treatment to an animal, it must be documented. When we buy seeds or plants they have to be certified organic.

Sounds like a lot of work, right? So why are we doing it? Well, partly it's a matter of pride: We have been working hard on our farm for six years now, and we're producing top-quality chicken and duck eggs, as well as Tamworth pork. We have been managing all our animals and crops organically from the start, so we figured that the next logical step would be certification.

 Tamworth piglets

If you've bought our duck eggs recently at Sunny Farms or Nash's Farm Store, you probably noticed that they are labeled "organic." How can we call them organic when we aren't yet certified? The National Organic Program (NOP) rules state that if a farm sells less than $5,000 per year in organic product sales, it can label its products organic. However, we can't use the USDA Organic logo, and we are subject to inspection to ensure we are complying with the organic standards.

Now that more of our eggs are being sold at local retail stores, we anticipate that our farm product sales will soon top $5,000 per year, which would make us ineligible for this exception.

New Hampshire pullets

Up to now, we've thought of our little farm business as more of a hobby, but it's time to step it up a notch and take ourselves more seriously. We've worked hard to provide wonderful eggs and pork for the local community. It's time we honor the loyalty of our customers as well.


  1. Oh it looks idyllic. It is idyllic! Congratulations on being certifiable! hugs, candace

  2. Thanks, Candace! We definitely feel very fortunate to be here in this beautiful spot with amazing animals. Come visit when you can!