Photo credit: Ka'ohua Lucas
Growing food is one of the hardest, and most important, jobs in the world. At Roots, we understand that farmers have a lot to consider as they try to grow a thriving business. We also believe that the best growing practices are the ones that will keep the land and its people healthy for years to come. Here are some resources for our farmer friends who are working to put that belief into practice at their own farms.
For farmers who are interested in transitioning to sustainable/organic farming practices, here are a few resources from UH CTAHR Cooperative Extension to help you get started:
· “Toward Sustainable Agriculture: A Guide for Hawai‘i’s Farmers” (https://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/sustainag/NewFarmer/downloads/TSA_guide.pdf)
· Sustainable and Organic Production Topics - Helpful links and information on a myriad of sustainable ag topics (https://cms.ctahr.hawaii.edu/soap/Resources/SustainableandOrganicTopics.aspx)
· General list of resources (https://cms.ctahr.hawaii.edu/soap/Resources.aspx)
This list from the Kohala Center includes a wide variety of topics including organic pest management, composting, seed saving, sustainable soil management, and much more. (The list is titled "Resources for Beginning Farmers," but can also be very useful for farmers looking to transition to organic).
Here are some resources about getting organic certification, including programs/tax credits that will help you pay for production and/or certification costs:
· National Organic Program - The how-to's of getting organic certification (https://www.ams.usda.gov/about-ams/programs-offices/national-organic-program)
· USDA Organic Certification Cost Share Programs (https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/occsp)
· Farm Service Agency - list of cost assistance programs for organic farming and transitioning to organic (https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/outreach-and-education/help-for-organic-farming/index)
· Hawai`i State’s new tax credit for organic food production and certification (http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/4359/hawaii-state-legislature-provides-landmark-state-funded-tax-credit-supporting-organic-farmers#)