Are We Organic?
It’s a question we hear a lot. Due to our moist hot climate in West Virginia, it’s very difficult to grow tree fruits organically. At our farm we use a practice called “Integrated Pest Management” or IPM. It’s a way for farmers to use many methods to reduce pests, while spraying less and working with nature’s natural beneficial insects. Some parts of Integrated Pest Management that we employ at our farm are:
- Use of Pheromone traps to monitor insect levels in our orchards. These orange traps are hanging in our trees and scientist stop in weekly to study our numbers. When they reach a threshold where they pose a risk to our crops, we spray then. That way we can only spray as needed.
- Assisting the federal government with studies of invasive species so we can prevent infestations of harmful insects that overpopulate our country. They are often from other countries and then come to the U. S. and take over our native insects and become destructive. One example of these harmful pests is the “Stink Bug”.
- Choosing our Products Wisely! We use sprays that don’t harm beneficial insects. More than half of pesticides used here at our farm are labeled for “organic” use.
- Taking regular soil samples to guide our fertilizer use, which prevents over-fertilizing or polluting ground waters.
Preserving and Protecting Our Legacy
As farmers we spend more time in the midst of nature than most people. We consider ourselves very lucky to be able to breathe fresh air and work outdoors as often as we do. This farm has been in our family for three generations, and we all work many many hours to care for the land. Each day we are working to care for our trees, harvest the crops, mow the grass, pick up litter, and work with mother nature in all her glory. We are thankful for the blessings we’ve been given.
Education is a big part of what we do here. We are constantly re-educating ourselves, our employees, and our customers on how we can work with mother nature and make the most of the harvest. Whether it’s attending conferences, meeting with expert scientists, or reading articles in the latest professional journals, we are striving to create a sustainable farm for our future. The next generation of our family depends on us to make Orr’s Orchards and Berkeley County a place that will be beautiful for years to come.
Do We Grow GMO Crops?
All crops grown for our customers at Orr’s Farm Market are Non-GMO. If we source things for our market from other farms, we cannot promise they are Non-GMO. So, if it’s grown at Orr’s, it’s Non-GMO.