When we bought Westwind Orchard we wanted everything to be “organic.” We felt that organic was the best approach available at the time to ensuring the health of the orchard and certification helped verify our practices. So, in 2008, we applied for our first official Organic certification believing it would legitimize our practices in the eyes of our customers and provide us with a guide for caring for our land and trees. However, in recent years the certification process has become expensive and cumbersome for a small, diverse farm like ours, leading us to explore new methods of growing. The decision not to certify allows us to greatly increase our efficiency and pursue holistic remedies that ironically might not have been available to us before. Under a strict organic approach our trees have suffered because of a lack of effective treatments for certain insects and diseases. So, we’ve decided to adopt an approach we call BioIntensive.
BioIntensive is a new philosophy being used by some holistic growers in the northeast experiencing the same pressures as us. Our commitment remains to the health of the trees, soil and the customers of this farm. We live here, drink the water, breath the air and eat the food grown here, but we also need to grow our crops successfully. It allows us to accomplish these goals better than Organic certification given our size, capacity and the diversity of the crops we grow. BioIntensive holds the land and water in sincere reverence while allowing us to turn to conventional remedies when the situations arise.