Real Organic Podcast

Steve Ela: Diversifying Crops, Sales Channels, And Research Dollars

September 28, 2023 Real Organic Project Episode 135
Real Organic Podcast
Steve Ela: Diversifying Crops, Sales Channels, And Research Dollars
Show Notes

#135: Organic farmer and former NOSB member Steve Ela talks about managing his fruit-focused operation with diverse market strategies, crop rotations, and biological controls for orchard pests. He also speaks about the difficult mission of achieving carbon neutrality on the farm,

Steve Ela is a longtime farmer in Western Colorado, where his family grows 55 varieties of organic fruit trees and participates in on-farm organic research trials. Steve holds degrees in biology and environmental geology and has an M.S. in Soil Science.

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The Real Organic Podcast is hosted by Dave Chapman and Linley Dixon, engineered by Brandon StCyr, and edited and produced by Jenny Prince.

The Real Organic Project is a farmer-led movement working towards certifying 1,000 farms across the United States this year. Our add-on food label distinguishes soil-grown fruits and vegetables from hydroponically-raised produce, and pasture-raised meat, milk, and eggs from products harvested from animals in horrific confinement (CAFOs - confined animal feeding operations).

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We believe that the organic standards, with their focus on soil health, biodiversity, and animal welfare were written as they should be, but that the current lack of enforcement of those standards is jeopardizing the ability for small farms who adhere to the law to stay in business. The lack of enforcement is also jeopardizing the overall health of the customers who support the organic movement; customers who are not getting what they pay for at market but still paying a premium price. And the lack of enforcement is jeopardizing the very cycles (water, air, nutrients) that Earth relies upon to provide us all with a place to live, by pushing extractive, chemical agriculture to the forefront.

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