We grow our food with a distinct focus on building and preserving the health of our soil and water supply. We recognize that our production output is only as bountiful as our soil is healthy. We avoid using harmful chemicals that have the potential to enter the food chain, or leach back into our soil or water supply. We use scientifically sound practices in our Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program to build the quality of our soil such as cover cropping, crop rotation, rain water collection, composting, companion planting, and using beneficial plants and insects.
The use of Genetically Modified (GMO) seed in today’s agriculture industry is very controversial. There are actually very few genetically engineered fruit and vegetable crops that are approved for production in the United States. Despite this, we do not use any GMO seed on our farm at any time, nor do we sell any food grown using genetically engineered seed at The Farmstand. We as farmers take responsibility in doing our part to educate the general public on these issues.
In 2015 we began to transition our growing plots to eventually receive USDA Certified Organic status. This process takes 3 years to receive certification. Although the transition began less than two years ago, prior to that date we had always used organic practices in producing our food whenever practical. We do not use any spray applications in these plots that are not approved by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI). The process of receiving USDA Certified Organic approval is very time consuming, expensive and tedious, as it requires strict and lengthy record keeping. Food with the Certified Organic label often costs much more than conventionally grown food, as the practices require much more labor intensity, which already makes up for the highest amount of expense in fruit and vegetable growing. Despite these challenges, we are determined to receive this certification as it is what many of our customers value.
Peckham Farms is verified by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development as part of the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) for Greenhouse and Cropping Systems.