GOING BEYOND ORGANIC STANDARDS
Back in the mid-1980’s, we started All Around Gardening. All Around Gardening was a landscape maintenance and installation company. Having sold the business to my brother in the early 90’s, we moved the family out of the city to the country.
That’s when I really started to learn about soil and began to use organic fertilizers. Then came Mad Cow Disease and the organic fertilizer company whose fertilizer we were using could not get blood meal to make their products. After researching this, I found out that most of the organic fertilizer inputs were coming from conventional farms. So, I made a personal commitment to learn more about inputs and what the USDA NOP and OMRI certifications allow in an organic program. Below are a couple of emails I received on the subject:
From: Kelsey McKee - OMRI
Subject: OMRI Compost Requirements
Thanks for calling with your questions about using litter from conventionally raised chickens to produce compost intended for use in organic production. Under the USDA National Organic Program standards, there is no requirement for whether the chickens are managed organically or conventionally.
Review Program and Quality Director
Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI)
From: Pattillo, Devon - AMS USDA NOP
Subject: Manure for organic production
The organic regulations allow manure as an input for organic crop production. The regulations do not specify that the manure be sourced from organic operations. If manure is applied raw, there is a required time interval between application and harvest. Composted manure does not have a required time interval between application and harvest.
If you have further questions, please let me know.
Materials Specialist, Standards Division
National Organic Program
So, while one is purchasing a fertilizer, you need to ask for the data showing that what you're purchasing does not have any of the 12 nasty antibiotic’s, growth hormones or GMO‘s. (If your fertilizer is animal waste based - regardless if it's organic or not - more than likely it contains antibiotic's, growth hormones and/or GMO's.) Antibiotic’s and GMO’s play havoc on the soil biology and could get in the food you're growing. Making your body build a resistance to those antibiotics so when you really do need them they won't work in your system. We test our products to ensure they have no antibiotics, no pesticides, no growth hormones, no glyphosate, no biosolids, no animal wastes, and no odors. And, we use certified non-GMO soybeans, ensuring our products have no GMO's either.
We do not add soil biology into our fertilizer. We add the foods that will increase and feed the indigenous microbial population for your climate and help build good soil structure.
The State of Oregon Department of Agriculture started testing fertilizer products advertising live microbial content and found nearly all the samples evaluated failed to meet their label guarantees. Here's their findings:
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about what we have learned and are able to offer to our customers.