Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A2R Farms is now Food Alliance certified

We have recently acquired Food Alliance certification on most of our crops. From the FA website, "Food Alliance provides comprehensive third-party certification for social and environmental responsibility in agriculture and the food industry.

Today, there are more than 320 Food Alliance Certified operations, and over six million acres managed by Food Alliance Certified producers throughout North America.

Food Alliance Certified products include meats, eggs, dairy, mushrooms, grains, legumes, a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and prepared products made with these certified ingredients.

With clear standards and criteria, Food Alliance certification is a practical, credible, and effective way for farmers, ranchers, and food companies to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability in agricultural practices and facilities management."

One benefit to us is that we will be able to more easily market our transitional crops for a premium. One of the biggest challenges we have faced during our transition to organic has been the ability to get a good price for transitional or "no-spray" crops. The three year period of transition to organic is fraught with difficulties, to say the least, and having a well-known and respected company like Food Alliance standing behind our product helps set us apart. To read more about Food Alliance and their certification criteria visit

Monday, February 14, 2011

Planting Hard Red Wheat

We have begun planting hard red wheat. This is much earlier than we were able to plant last year. We have had a long window of dry weather which allowed us to work the soil and get quite a bit done. I planted about 23 acres of red wheat last Saturday. The fields had flax on them last year. We will spray them with compost tea as soon as we have another dry spell. Hopefully that will be in a week or so.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Breaking ground...spring work has begun.

Since we are having an unusually long stretch of dry weather here in late January and early February we are about to start tearing up some ground to get ready for planting. We have lots of beans, oats, flax, and wheat to plant. The wheat will go in first, then we'll play it by ear for the other crops. I also need to get the compost tea brewer going again soon as we will be spraying lots of tea on the fields this spring. The push is to get everything in as early as possible this year. Last year was tough for a lot of crops because we couldn't get them in the ground as early as we should due to the long wet spring. Hopefully this year we will get much better yields from the spring crops.