Please comment on the Food Safety Act by Nov 15th!


The comment period for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is open until November 15th. We should have let everyone know about this a couple weeks ago because time is running out and we need your help in protecting America’s small highly diversified farms. So PLEASE RESPOND to voice your opinion. You will find procedures in how to comment at CFSA’s website, and just so you know, CFSA was the organization who “Certified” us organic before the National Organic Program (NOP). The FSMA is mostly concerned about “Safe” food therefore not putting a lot of emphasis on “Healthy” food. Healthy food to us means so many different things with a few of those being; food grown without conventional herbicides and pesticides, food grown sustainably in protecting our soil and water supply, food grown locally thus increasing the nutritional value all the while reducing our carbon footprint.
According to those spearheading the FSMA rules and regulations, “Safe” food, is eliminating any chance of food borne illness entering the food supply. Would you believe those folks making the rules think that we shouldn’t have deer running through the fields, working dogs on rodent control for mice/voles/groundhogs, birds flying over the fields or livestock animals on the farm.
We all need to find a balance in keeping food both Safe and Healthy. Perhaps we all should have a little “risk” in our life and expect that a bird just might drop a turd on your kale (Good thing there is no kale this week!) We think that the consumer should be able to choose who to buy their food from. If you decide to buy your food from a farm with biodiversity and want to risk a bird turd or dog urine, than so be it, you should be able to make that choice. Biodiversity is key for a sustainable operation, and to us, a highly diversified farm is the most environmental friendly.
One of the biggest issues we have wtih the FSMA proposed rules is that we would be required to test our water every 7 days. That is because we irrigate from Meadow Fork Creek, which by the way, is high quality water, and I can’t every imagine that it would make us sick. We swim in this creek after all. It is not feasible for a small operation like ours to test water so frequently so we highly recommend that the FSMA exempt small farms earning under $2,000,000 from regulation.
Another big issue with our farm in regards to FSMA is the time proposed between spreading manure and growing crops. We at MHO raise pastured poultry, just so the chickens can poop on the ground where your food is grown adding good wholesome fertilizer, but the proposed standards would require nine months after we run chickens across the land before we could grow food on that land. The practice of growing food with manure is an ancient technique and one that should be preserved. We should recommend that the FSMA adopt the National Organic Program standards which require 120 days between spreading manure and growing crops.
Sylvestre walking the cows back to the barn after they spent a day grazing in their pasture. Part of this farms biodiversity is cows, for milk and manure, and we want to remain a highly diversified farm. Sylvestre has been instrumental in making sure the cows have fresh green grass each week, keeping their barn clean, taking on the milking duties and making cheese.  Thanks Sylvest!

Sylvestre walking the cows back to the barn after they spent a day grazing in their pasture. Part of this farms biodiversity is cows, for milk and manure, and we want to remain a highly diversified farm. Sylvestre has been instrumental in making sure the cows have fresh green grass each week, keeping their barn clean, taking on the milking duties and making cheese. Thanks Sylvest!

The morning of the Killing Frost the pigs weren't too sure they wanted to leave the comfort of their shelter for breakfast!  Yes, we raise pigs on this highly diversified farm because the pigs eat the vegetables that we can't sell, drink the whey which is a by-product from cheesemaking, root up the ground eating grubs.  The FDA would prefer they be away from all vegetables.

The morning of the Killing Frost the pigs weren't too sure they wanted to leave the comfort of their shelter for breakfast! Yes, we raise pigs on this highly diversified farm because the pigs eat the vegetables that we can't sell, drink the whey which is a by-product from cheesemaking, root up the ground eating grubs. The FDA would prefer they be away from all vegetables.

Kaiser sleeping in a sunny spot on top of our black landscape fabric!  Thankfully He has taken out a lot of groundhogs this season or we would have more crop loss to ground.  We already loose a good bit.  The FDA would rather us use rodenticides  than animals such as Kaiser and our kitties.

Kaiser sleeping in a sunny spot on top of our black landscape fabric! Thankfully He has taken out a lot of groundhogs this season or we would have more crop loss to groundhogs. We already loose a good bit to those sneaky enough to hide from Kaiser. The FDA would rather us use rodenticides than animals such as Kaiser and our kitties.

Our first Killing Frost this season was October 26th early in the AM!  We are thankful for the frost that kills the crops so that we can have a rest from growing and harvesting warm loving vegetables!

Our first Killing Frost this season was October 26th early in the AM! We are thankful for the frost that kills the crops so that we can have a rest from growing and harvesting warm loving vegetables!

YEA!  A killing frost killed the greenhouse tomatoes, peppers and eggplant!  We are seeding cover crops in these greenhouses to give back to the soil what the soil provided in supplying us with these wonderful veggies!

YEA! A killing frost killed the greenhouse tomatoes, peppers and eggplant! We are seeding cover crops in these greenhouses to give back to the soil what the soil provided in supplying us with these wonderful veggies!

A snapping turtle.  What would the FDA say about a snapping turtle within 50 feet of our packing/processing shed?  We think these critters are important.  In fact, there is a reason for all critters being here so we should be able to grow food with the risk of these critters.

A snapping turtle. What would the FDA say about a snapping turtle within 50 feet of our packing/processing shed? We think these critters are important. In fact, there is a reason for all critters being here so we should be able to grow food with the risk of these critters.


About Farmer

About Us:
We are mostly market gardeners and sell our offerings at local markets; however, in addition to preserving our harvest for winter, we raise egg laying chickens, chickens for meat and dairy goats. We can’t claim to do all these things alone – we normally have a farm apprentice living on the far – who helps us with all the farm chores. .

Leave a comment