Johnson City farm first in area for organic certification – Johnson City Press (subscription)

johnson-city-farm-first-in-area-for-organic-certification-–-johnson-city-press-(subscription)

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A small family-run farm in Johnson City is the first in the Tri-Cities to be certified organic by a national organization.On Tuesday, a Different Chick Farm and Orchard announced Tuesday its U.S. Department of Agriculture organic certification by the California Certified Organic Farmers.To be certified, the farm proved its processes and products adhered to strict standards of quality, including soil composition, how its animals are raised, how it controls pests and weeds and what materials are used in its final products.Tiffany Stanley, who with husband, Steven, and their children own and operate the 6-acre farm on Antioch Road, said the family has been practicing organic methods since 2012, but received a grant last year to help pay for the certification process.“USDA Organic Certification is more than just using products that are listed organic or for organic gardening, it involves keeping up with seed suppliers, when seeds are planted or started, what is used on them the entire process, when they are planted, what the weed and insect pressure is and how you deal with it,” Tiffany said. “We found out through the process that many products that say, ‘for organic gardening’ are not actually safe for organic production due the manufacturers refusal to disclose the ingredients.“USDA Organic certification is a lot of work and it very expensive but we have already seen an interest not only in our own city, but nationwide for the many items we sell.”This year, A Different Chick plans to sell organic produce, organic fruits, organic transplants, organic nursery items, organic herbs and organic flowers.The Stanleys also offer subscription boxes for many of the items they produce through community supported agriculture shares available on the farm’s website, www.adifferentchickfarm.com.For many farms, organic certification can be a three-year process, but A Different Chick, which has been a certified naturally grown farm since 2018, completed the process in four months.Few farms in Northeast Tennessee are certified organic by the CCOF, and A Different Chick is the first in Washington County.“We are still learning every day and still have so much to learn but we are so grateful for this opportunity,” Tiffany said.

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