January and February find us busily preparing for taxes, cleaning up the greenhouse, daydreaming of the moment we can get into the garden and doing paperwork to prepare for organic certification. A visit to Next Generation Organics took the worry out of some of the paperwork as they were in our shoes last year. It is always nice to have friends share the road with you.
We knew that the process of organic certification was going to be a time consuming but (hopefully) worthwhile experience. Over the past four years we have operated using organic principles trying to decide if certification and the accompanying work and expenses were worth it for the size of our garden. One acre seems so small compared to operations like Rice Family Farms or Peaceful Belly Farms but we made the decision that if we were going to "talk the talk" we needed to "walk the walk". We feel that it is important for our customers to know that we are willing to go the extra mile to provide the best product available with the certification to back that up. So we will take a deep breath, work through the mountains of paperwork, dig into our pockets for the fees and hopefully the ISDA will send us that coveted piece of paper after our summer inspection that states that Lazy Dog Gardens is certified organic!
Wintertime gives us time to reflect on the reasons we do what we do. We are already looking forward to our days at the market talking to our regular customers and meeting new ones. It is this kinship that reminds us that all the hard work and effort are worth it. Occasionally we hear negatives regarding prices which can be discouraging (would these folks like to have their work compared to Walmart?) but we know that we are constantly working to bring to market our best produce at a reasonable price. Healthy, excellent quality food is important to a good life.