Organic. Oh, organic. Once the government regulated the term “organic” it got very expensive. From every end – grower, seller, buyer. Everyone pays a lot because it costs to certify yourself “organic”. So, no, I will not pay several thousand dollars to some organization every 3 years to come out and certify me. My eggs are barely paying off the chicken feed they eat, the hay/straw they get, the cartons I bought, among other poultry necessities, not to mention the cost of building the coop and acquiring the chickens in the first place. No extra for that trip to Vietnam I’ve been dying to go on (or Bali or India).
As to my poultry raising practices, yup, all organic. The feed’s organic, the bugs they eat are organic, the veggies from my garden that they get are organic, the grass they range on organic, and I recently switched their miticide care to silicate powder & pyrethrum (both accepted as organic). Moreover they are let out in the morning and they put themselves away at night. They are shut in due to predators (we lost our Virginia Chicken to a coyote). But they are not kept in any longer than they would normally keep themselves in (when it’s dark they roost).
They are out and about all day – whether they choose to sit in a bush, roll in dust, hang out in their run, graze on grass, look for bugs, sleep in the sun. That’s why anyone is more than welcome to come and visit them and see how they live. See the conditions in which your food is being raised. But please make sure that I’ll be home first – I do work, have a horse to care for, grocery shop, go to dog park. So there is a good likelihood that if you just pop by you’ll miss us. And you can’t just pop in the back yard for a peek as our Doberman wouldn’t like that very much.
Back to the organic conundrum, personally, I am much more interested in local, sustainable and then organic (in that order). Dole, Del Monte, Sunkist, etc all have organic sections and while I appreciate the change in thinking and the effort involved, I would rather have greens if not from my garden then Chino Farms, oranges from Hazy Meadow Ranch, apples from Julian, honey from Helix Honey made by Barry’s Bees. The shorter it travels the fresher it is, and more nutrients & flavor are retained.