How do Oklahoma farmers and producers decide to make the jump to organics in their businesses? For some, the decision was made decades ago; others simply wanted to help make this world a little better for everyone.
“You can’t be organic without being certified,” said Susan Graff of Crestview Farms, located near Edmond, who grows a variety of organic fruits and vegetables to sell at the OSU-OKC Farmers Market and through her community-supported agriculture (CSA).
In Graff’s case, her family decided to go organic when it incorporated Crestview Farms in 1998.
“So we have not used any chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. If you ever come out here, you’ll see the weeds are rampant.” The farm officially became certified organic in 2003.
“Your soil has to be free from all residues. You have to be chemical free for three years,” Graff explained.
For an operation such as John’s Farm and Cattle Tracks in Fairview, where owners John and Kris Gosney grow organic wheat, raise organic livestock and sell organic meat from the livestock, the operation needed three separate certifications from organic inspector and certifying agent Bryan Buchwald with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
“We certify the land for the feed that goes to the cattle, the livestock and the processing facility they use in Kansas to process the beef,” Buchwald said.
The Gosneys sell big amounts of their organic wheat to mills in Kansas, Texas and as far away as North Dakota and North Carolina, and at the OSU-OKC Downtown Farmers Market and through the Oklahoma Food Cooperative. The beef is available at the farmers market and two additional stores - one in Fairview and one in Oklahoma City. The family business has been operating on organic principles for 10 years; the beef has been certified organic since 2003.
“I believe you just can’t improve on what God made,” John Gosney explained recently. “Man has tried, and he’s messed it up. ..
“I had to learn it all myself, and I liked what I saw,” he said about going completely organic. He and his wife were raised in the community where they now live.
“I encourage people to buy local, even if it’s not organic. It’s important to support the local farmers,” John Gosney said.
Homegrown organic food has been served in Charles Horn’s farmhouse near Cordell since 1969.