With humble beginnings we are happy to say that our local KZN based PGS group (Participatory Guarantee System) has been approved!
Farm visits have been conducted and all the organic check boxes have been ticked. There were insect hunts, talk of ems, heirloom seedling varieties, and water and soil inspections. It was a learning experience for all and wonderful to see healthy insect activity and prospects of Spring produce!
Rest assured we will be growing more and more produce to keep up with increasing demands and have plans to expand our PGS in the very near future. We are hoping to introduce vertical growing systems for the home market, and bona fida organic fruit, which as you are aware, are difficult to find locally.
“Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved.”
The IFOAM-Organics International definition
Greenheart Organics PGS (Participatory Guarantee System) Basic Production Principles:
1. Sustainable agricultural practices including soil, plant & eco-system management such as permaculture methods, crop rotation, eco-system conservation, intercropping, use of cover crops, green manure & organic compost.
2. Compost used must be purchased from approved organic suppliers or produced by farm. Soil may be tested before addition of minerals/ mineral salts. No synthetic fertilizers are to be used.
3. All seeds & seedlings used must be Heirloom/ Non-GMO
4. Natural pest control methods must be used eg pest control borders/ companion planting, natural sprays. No chemical pesticides and herbicides must be used.
5. Water conservation methods must be used eg harvesting & recycling. Water should be contaminant free.
6. Plans to reduce contamination/ neighbouring spray drift should be in place eg buffer zones & plants on farm perimeter and separation of contaminated items
7. Packaging should be minimal and recyclable where possible
8. Cleaning detergents should be environmentally friendly & food handling conditions kept sanitary
9. Local community should be involved as much as possible and where employed, be in line within the SA Labour legislation
10. Administration must be kept up to date by each and every producer including maps indicating production areas, records of purchases or donations around farming practice, planting, harvesting and sales records.