Verne Gingerich is the current Gingerich in charge of the day-to-day operations at the farm. This is his area to talk about . . . Well, whatever he wants to. Enjoy!
Any of you who might have visited this area in the past has probably noticed that the last thing talked about was our planting of our first organic blueberry fields. Due to unfortunate delay's, it has been a long time since our website has received the attention that it needs.
In that time, those same blueberry plants went through their 3 year waiting period, receiving only organic approved applications and practices and this past summer, we received our first Field Organic Certification for those same first 12 acres of blueberries.
Our packing operations have been Organic Certified for several years prior, but this was the first time for our farm to receive Organic Certification for one of our growing fields. We were quite happy with it.
We have another 12 acres only a year behind the first field and it passed it's "in transition" inspection and should be certified next summer. Our certification was done through OR-TILTH (Oregon Tilth), one of the regional NOP (National Organic Program) certifying bodies.
Also this last summer, the farm received its first ever GlobalGAP & Primus certifications. GlobalGAP is a farm certifying body that originated in the European Union (EU). It was originally known as EuroGAP. Although their inspection covered a wide varity of areas on the farm and fields, it seemed to focus on overall good land stewardship and ecologically sound farming practices, aiming at where, with-what and how we were farming and growing our crop.
Primus is a well known and respected food safety certifying body. Prior to this we have been certified through the USDA Federal/State GAP/GHP program, and we still are certified through them, but some retailers demand specific inspection programs before they will accept your product. As with the Organic Certification for our organic field, being GlobalGAP and Primus certification were both high-points for the farm.
General FYI - Currently we are inspected and certified through USDA Federal/State program for blueberry fields, general farm and pack shed, Organic for one blueberry field and pack shed, GlobalGAP for blueberry fields & general farm, Primus and Kosher for our pack shed. We also receive food safety inspections from the FDA and USDA aimed at specific food safety issues, depending on the specific inspection.