When we bought Westwind Orchard, everything here was organic. In 2008, we applied for our first official organic certification believing that this would codify our intentions and legitimize the orchard’s organic status. It did, of course, but over time the certification process has become more complex and expensive leading us to the decision to give up our certification. For a small farm, this has huge implications for our efficiency and allows us to pursue holistic remedies that ironically might not be allowed under the National Organic Practices standards. But there is another side to this. 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.
What’s BioIntensive? BioIntensive is an approach that utilizes primarily holistic practices, but also recognizes that conventional treatments may actually be better for the overall health of the farm in certain situations. This is akin to a person needing prescribed antibiotics for a bad infection. Our commitment is that we will always approach how we farm holistically and only use conventional treatments as needed. We live here, drink the water, breathe the air, and eat the food grown here, but we also need to grow our crops successfully. BioIntensive addresses the needs of the crops, land, and farmers with a sincere holistic reverence.