I received the information I had been eagerly awaiting for 4 weeks…
The hard work, the OMP (Organic Management Plan), the intensive soil test, inspection and record keeping practices that have been pursued over the years had been accepted by the board and I had completed the first official step to full certification. The real work now begins.
There where a few “Minor Non-Compliance’s” and no “Major Non-Compliance’s”.
I am trying to source certified green manuring seeds: – Millet, Dunn Peas and Oats (If anyone knows of a supplier of these… please, please let me know!)
There was a few chemicals/fertilisers in the shed from previous owner of property (Insecticides, Superphosphate, and some Glyphosate) I have since removed them.
The Certificate of Analysis for pesticides in the soil shows Nil for all tested chemicals, basically the soil is in excellent condition, with no pesticides or chemicals present. The hard work in this area is paying off.
The next 12 months will see a consolidation, a better record keeping practise and a refining of what I know about the healthy soil/healthy farm principle.
Organic certification is a confirmation of the processes and practices that have been employed on our property, and the road to certification is a long term commitment to these principles.
These principles consist of three elements, which are inextricably linked in the certification process: People, Land and Product. It is the combination of the three, linking into an organic management plan, that signifies the legal bounds of the certified operation.
In Early 2008 I started devising the Organic Management Plan and started on the road to certification, which is a three year process.
Year 1 ( 2008 ) – Pre Certification – Following an initial farm inspection, there is a pre certification period of one year, in which we will be under a contract agreement to operate according to the certifying organisation standards.
Years 2 and 3 (2009-2010) – In Conversion Certification – A subsequent inspection will be arranged towards the end of our initial 12 months under pre certification to ascertain the degree to which we have met the standards requirements. Certification as ‘in-conversion’ may be achieved at this point, following a second review and the signing of a license agreement.
The ‘in-conversion’ period generally takes two years to reach full certification. During this phase, we may be able to label our produce as organic ‘in-conversion’.
Until then I will keep learning and developing the processes which seem to be a natural extension of the living farm and helthy soil / healthy plant concept.