Certified Organic Production
The KPU Farm at the Garden City Lands is certified organic
Our farm is certified organic by the BC Association of Regenerative Agriculture (BCARA). Our products can carry the BC Certified Organic checkmark logo.
The farm completed a three-year organic transition in April of 2021. No prohibited substances, such as synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, have been used on the organic land since the beginning of the transition in 2018.
An organic farm plan was developed and approved for the site. Our farm is inspected annually by a third-party verification officer who ensures that we follow the plan.
The farm plan conforms with organic standards designed around four principles articulated by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements:
Principle of Health
Organic agriculture should sustain and enhance the health of soil, plant, animal, human and planet as one and indivisible.
Principle of Ecology
Organic agriculture should be based on living ecological systems and cycles, work with them, emulate them and help sustain them.
Principle of Fairness
Organic agriculture should build on relationships that ensure fairness with regard to the common environment and life opportunities.
Principle of Care
Organic agriculture should be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well-being of current and future generations and the environment.
Putting these principles into practice means:
- We practice soil-based production and emphasize soil building with cover crops, composts, organic fertilizers, and carefully-designed crop rotations. We never apply synthetic nitrogen fertilizer or quicklime. We monitor and celebrate soil health.
- We culture a diverse agro-ecosystem to promote ecological balance between pest and beneficial organisms. Our farm includes habitat and food sources for beneficial beetles, bees, wasps, lacewings, swallows, and other creatures that keep our pests in check. We mix annual and perennial crop production systems.
- Our ecologically-based pest management program prioritizes cultural controls (e.g. crop rotation), physical controls (e.g. row covers), and biological controls (e.g. beneficial bacteria). Any pesticide used as a last resort must be approved for use on organic farms in Canada and also be approved by our certifier. Such approved pesticides include things like soap, mineral oil, clay, baking powder, and plant extracts.
- We control weeds without herbicides using mulches, shallow cultivation, hoes, hand-pulling, mowing, flaming, and careful soil preparation.
- We look for opportunities to sequester carbon and to reduce carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels or depleting soil organic matter.
- We try to foster a healthy work environment, where people are respected, have time to rest, and are paid a living wage. We seek a fair price for the food we grow, sufficient to pay production costs. We donate food to those in need.