Organic Farming. I'm Greg Martin with today's Line On Agriculture.
I used to have this tunnel vision when it came to thinking about organic farming as do a lot of people still and that was that it was only health nuts or hippies that cared about organics. Boy has that idea ever changed. Today organic farming is big business and according to Debbie Abrahamson, with Northwest Organic Farms in Oregon it was a very conscious decision.
ABRAHAMSON: We have been farming for about 7 years and at the beginning of that time we looked into a lot of different things and we wanted to actually do more of a nursery business and we were looking at all the sprays that are generally used. We were aware of things that were affected in our culture just as far as the pesticide use and that really opened up our eyes to see how that would affect our family and just the farm life that we would have.
Well the business of organics has really taken off in the last few years.
ABRAHAMSON: Yeah it's a really good market for organic and fortunately people are starting to see more of the benefits of why they should be eating organic and just having organic practices around them. It's amazing how in the 1940's the pesticide use has grown ten-fold but the crop loss has actually doubled. So I think with just more exposure out there of what pesticide use really does do I think people – their eyes are being opened to seeing more of really how it does affect them.
Their operation called NW Organic Farms received a boost from a local certification.
ABRAHAMSON: We're certified through Oregon Tilth and that's actually a great label to have on your products because that really gives us an open door. Every door we've knocked on pretty much has wanted our products just based on knowing that we're certified through Oregon Tilth and that's been a real benefit to us.
The Abrahamson's operation provides organic plant starts.
ABRAHAMSON: We mainly work with staple vegetables and so we do a lot of tomato starts, pepper starts and a lot of different vegetable starts and then the last 2 years we've done a lot more field planting where we've done a lot of producing vegetables for our community and farmer's markets but the main part of our business are the plant starts. We provide them to local stores and also at farmer's markets and then we've sold produce from our farm.
Another big aspect of what NW Organic Farms does is give back to the community and on Monday we will talk about that with Debbie Abrahamson.
That's today's Line On Agriculture. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.