The inspector for the certifier Demeter (Biodynamic®) and Stellar Certification Services (organic) arrived Friday to inspect our ranch and records. This is a time we always pull everything together: the scraps of paper that have notes that have not yet been incorporated into the records, the work area for the lavender processing straightened and cleaned. It is the push we need post lavender harvest to put things back in order!
One year a rattlesnake arrived at the door at the same time as the organic inspector, a shocking experience! It was a large snake, thick as your wrist and 3-4 feet long, climbing up the glass of our French door to get into the cool of our home (it was a very hot day). Never had we had such an experience! Rattlesnakes are supposed to be shy. They had never come up to our house. In fact, we had never seen a rattlesnake on our property until that year. But that spring a previously virgin piece of meadow on the mountain behind and above us was plowed for vineyard, probably disturbing an ancient den, and for the first time ever, we were visited by half a dozen very large rattlers.
Although certification is time consuming, and, yes, expensive, we deem it important. You, the consumer, know what you are getting. When something says it is certified by Demeter and by Stellar Certification Services, or other US organic certifiers, it means those farmers and processors have submitted to rigorous disciplines. It also means that product was grown in ways that are not further contaminating our earth with chemicals and, in the case of Biodynamic, may also mitigate some of the damage we have done. In buying Biodynamic or organic, not only are you getting a safe and nutritious product, you are also engaging in an environmental act.