Lakeside Organic Gardens is committed to growing 100% organic produce because we believe it’s the right thing to do. Organic produce is better for our health and our environment. We don’t use conventional agricultural chemicals but instead we rely on natural fertilizers, compost, beneficial insects, beneficial companion plants, and strategic crop rotations.
What is Organic Farming?
An organic production system is managed in accordance with the Organic Foods Production Act and the National Organic Program to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Source: USDA – National Organic Program 2001
Transition to Organic Farming Lakeside Organic Field
Lakeside Organic Gardens Lettuce Field | Watsonville, CA In the past, Dick had questioned the feasibility of farming without the fertilizers and pesticides he was accustomed to. However, in 1996 that all changed for Dick. He began recognizing the benefits of farming organically. He saw the potential to better preserve the land, the potential to provide his family, friends, and community with a more wholesome and pure food, and he saw the potential to shift his business into a new direction, one not many farmers were willing to explore. He eagerly took the challenge and dove head first into learning new ways to farm without conventional tools. Dick’s brother, Bill, played an integral part in this new venture. Together, he and Dick converted their first pieces of land to organic and successfully produced high quality organic produce for the first time.
100 Percent”Certified organic” means that a nonprofit, state or private certification organization, accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), has verified that products labeled as “organic” meet strictly defined organic standards.
We grow without the use of synthetic fertilizers, man-made pesticides, herbicides, growth regulators, antibiotics, or synthetic hormones on the ground, on the seed, on the plants or in the water.
QAI Lakeside Organic Gardens, LLC is certified by Quality Assurance International (QAI). QAI assures organic integrity from seed to shelf. The QAI Certification Program is designed to certify every step of the organic chain: from the land on which the product is grown; to the producers growing the product; to the post-harvest facilities preparing the product; to the processing and handling facilities transforming the product.
At Lakeside Organic Gardens, we are required to keep accurate, detailed records of everything applied to the soil, the seeds we use and what we apply to the crops after planting. Once a year we undergo an extensive audit spanning several days where the auditor performs a physical inspection of each of our individual farm locations and a detailed audit of all of our organic records. The auditor looks for documentation of materials that have been applied, and confirms that all materials are Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) approved. They also verify that all seeds and seedlings planted are certified organic.