Why choose Organic?
There are plenty of reasons for choosing Organic when it comes to obtaining fresh or frozen berries, or jams and preserves which are all made onsite on the farm. Reasons such as flavour, quality, variety, discovery, and for farm gate visitors, a wonderful garden setting. We aim to provide all these, and it also happens that we do it all organically. We were doing things that way before organic certification became available, and took it up early in 1988 to enable retailers and their customers to be assured of our commitment.
A good decision whichever way you look at it.
For you, there will be a combination of desires - to avoid chemical residues, and artificial ingredients; to lessen the impact of your food production on the environment, including sourcing direct from the producer; and to get better nutritionally balanced foods, with varieties that are flavourful rather than pretenders, varieties that may not be readily found in mass markets. You may want to avoid GMO foods, and hopefully you will want to support the Organic farming ethic, of protection of soils and the biodiversity of our food-chain, rather than short-term exploitation and degradation. The next best thing to growing your own is to harvest your own, or to do that some of the time. With our farm gate open to visitors during berry season, we can help you in your quest to harvest your own.
We approach all these things both as consumers, and as stewards of our piece of land. We live amongst our crops and eat our produce. Selfishly, I don't want to risk my own health by unnecessary use of agricultural chemicals. I have applied to our production the philosophy, 'If you don't need to, you ought not to'. So we try not to use 'stuff'. There are precious few others who know what over 30 years horticulture farming without any use of herbicides really means.
If the locusts stay away, I can continue to also manage to produce fruit without insecticides of any kind. Just think Joni Mitchell's 'Big Yellow Taxi'. When it comes to fertiliser, we rate Carbon as numero uno. We mulch, we compost, we mow, we recycle - the fancy buzzword is carbon sequestration. Half of our farm is regenerated forest, with a substantial wildlife presence. Only an economist would call it unproductive land. In fact the shelter it provides is the reason the berries are here! We have never aimed to move on to fresh land, seeing sustainability at the soil, farm and business level to be reinforced by applying it to one site.
When we make jams, we do so with minimal manipulation in small batches, employing the necessary care and attention that ensures the highest quality and freshest flavour. We grow some varieties just because they make the best jams. Especially in the hands of a great cook!
Why is certification important?
Certification provides a mechanism for assurance that we are following internationally agreed and recognised, Australian-accredited Organic production and processing Standards.
We have been certified Organic by NASAA since 1988. NASAA is an independently accredited certification body, one of several in Australia, which through annual inspection and auditing provide the strongest possible basis for maintaining organic quality from farm to plate.
(For details of certification, download the below pdf file - NASAA Organic certification program assurance, or visit the website www.nasaa.com.au)
Sunny Creek Organic Berry Farm