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Getting registered organic is more than an economic benefit; it is a statement of revolution against the current food chain. If you are prepared; your revolution may not cost as much as ours did. This article will hit some of the high points of organic registration preparation.


Depending on what kind of organic certification you decide to get, there will be slightly different rules for them all. You may already be using organic practices; however, a minor infringement in the rules can set you back on getting your certification. For example we had a hay field that we we thought was organic and later found out that the lime we used was not approved so we had to wait three years in transition on that field. As soon as you decide to take the plunge to getting registered you should start trying to get a hold of the regulations for your certification. The rules will be long and complicated to anyone who is not a lawyer so you will also need to begin to cultivate a relationship with your local organic-program specialist; that person can typically be found by asking your local FSA or extension office. The more questions you ask initially the less mistakes you will make later.

Find other local organic farmers if there any to be found. The rules for organic certification change yearly; however, someone who has already been through the process will have valuable advice about what products are available that you are allowed to use and techniques that work in your area.


I had never heard this word used for gardening and farming before we began our certification process. Inputs are anything you use on the land that is not a seed or plant; for example, fertilizer and pest control spray. A very large part of the organic process is using the correct inputs. There is a revised list every year and keeping up with that will keep you from using an input that can keep you from getting certified or make you lose your certification. If a product says it is safe for “organic” practices that does not necessarily mean it is approved. Inputs that have the Organic Materials Review Institute or OMRI label on them tend to be safe to use.  

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