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The True Meaning of Organic
There are a lot of businesses who freely throw around the word "organic" but what does it really mean. According to the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) organic means the following:
Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations.
This means that if you are purchasing organic meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products they have no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is also produced without using conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic incredients or sewage sludge; bioenegineering; or ionizing radiation.
In fact, before a food product is labeled as "organic" a government approved certifier has to inspect the farm where the food is grown. This ensures that the farmer is following the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. This also applies to companies who process or handle organic food before it reaches your local supermarket or restaurant.
What's the difference between 100% Organic & Organic
If a food product is 100% organic that means it is made with 100% organic ingredients. If it's just labeled "Organic" that means it's made with at least 95% organic ingredients.
What does a USDA Organic Seal Mean?
The USDA Organic seal assures consumers of the quality and integrity of organic products. Organic-certified operations must have an organic system plan and records that verify compliance with that plan.
To learn more about USDA Organic Standards click here.
Homegrown, wholesome, organic, pure, all natural; these are words that are used to describe good food. Food grown with a respect for the earth and respect for the consumer. At Agri-Artisans, we seek to find the very finest in rich, decadent cheeses, golden breads, bold coffees and comforting teas. We want to introduce you to families and businesses who make it their life’s work to bring the freshest, purest food to you and your family. Agri-Artisans seeks to help promote these businesses that make your food their business. Check out some of the delicious products offered, “From the land, to our hands, to you.”
Fall is a great time for planting the hardiest herbs that grow in areas of mild winters. And, one of the best things about creating your own herb garden is that when you grow your own, you know what went into producing it. And since you're in control there's no surprise chemicals.
The best herbs to grow in the fall include parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, chives, lavendar, cilantro and mint.
Getting started is easy, whether you chose to plant herbs in a garden or pots. Herbs grow with little sunshine, some watering, a bit of compost and soil that drains well. It's important that you check the location where you've placed them to ensure they are getting 4-hours a day.
When planting herbs, make sure you have approximately 1 to 4 feet in diameter for each plant. Here are some general guidelines to follow for plant sizes:
3-4 feet - Rosemary, Sage, Mints, Oregano, Marjoram
2 feet - Basils, Thyme, Tarragon, Savory
1 foot - Cilantro, Chives, Dill, Parsley
When you prepare your soil make sure it drains easily so it's important that it's losened up. This is also a great reason to add compost.
It's imporant to make sure you're herbs don't dry out so make sure you keep them moist but don't over water. Generally, you need about one inch of water per week, if not supplied by natural rainfall.
After you harvest your herbs, be sure to save your own seed, harvest the entire seed head after it has dried on the plant. The seeds should then be allowed to dry in a protected location that is cool and dry. After the seeds are thoroughly dry, thresh the seed from the seed heads and discard the trash. Store in labeled jars in a dark, cool, dry location.
Creating A Fall Herb Garden