There is a lot of terminology around food and farming these days. Here is some information about some these terms that may help you better appreciate the variety of ways farmers grow your food:
- Biodynamic Farming – Biodynamic farmers strive to create a diversified, balanced farm ecosystem that generates health and fertility as much as possible from within the farm itself. Homeopathic preparations made from manure, minerals and herbs are used to help restore and harmonize the vital life forces of the farm. Biodynamic practitioners also recognize and strive to work in cooperation with the subtle influences of the wider cosmos on soil, plant and animal health.
- Canadian Organic Standards – These are federally approved criteria for the certification of organically produced food. Any food which is organic certified under the Canadian Organic Standards can carry the logo below.
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM) – an environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.
- Local Food Plus – This group offers a “Certified Local Sustainable” certification to farmers and processors who work to employ sustainable production systems that reduce or eliminate synthetic pesticides and fertilizers; avoid the use of hormones, antibiotics and genetic engineering; conserve soil and water, provide safe and fair working conditions for farm labour, provide healthy and humane care for livestock; protect and enhance wildlife habitat and biodiversity on working farm landscapes, and reduce on-farm energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
- Locally Produced – This refers to the production of food from a source generally agreed to be within a two- to three-hour drive of the end consumer of the food.
- My Pick – The MyPick program certifies that approved farmers are the producers of the food they are selling and aren’t resellers.
- No Till – This is a system for planting crops without plowing and without using herbicides to control weeds, resulting in reduced soil erosion and the preservation of soil nutrients.
- Organic – Organic farming relies on the natural relationship between soil, plants and animals (animals nourish the soil, which nourish plants), and prohibits the use of man-made chemicals.