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Organic, but not certified: Laurelwood Farm

Not all organic farmers are certified organic. As organic sales have grown so have those growers who have chosen to refrain from joining the organized movement, either on idealogical reasons (a reaction to Big Organic and the dilution of the original organic principles) or for economic ones.

Going organic can be expensive for a small farmer. A 1999 study found that average first year costs to become certified were “$579, $1,414, $3,623, and $33,276 for farms with incomes of $30,000, $200,000, $800,000, and $10,000,000, respectively”.

Cloverdale, California farmer Zack Tinnin farms organically on his land and sells his produce on a very small scale at the local farmers market and to a few restaurants. He hasn’t tried to get organic certification because it’s expensive and it doesn’t fit within his personal philosophy.

“I’m a non-joiner. I don’t like to join things. I don’t like to do things by the book. I’d much rather talk to you, assure you that I’m organic and that’s the end of it.”

In this video, we talk to Zack about his 3-year-old business, Laurelwood Farms, from his booth at the Cloverdale Farmers Market.