Each grower receives a certificate from their County Agriculture Department called a Certified Producers’ Certificate listing the varieties and quantity of fruits or vegetables, nursery plants, number of beehives for honey, etc. An officer from Agriculture Department has inspected each farm and ranch. During the market, this certificate is posted near the produce or product so that the consumer, market manager, or Agriculture Department representative may confirm that the produce or product is authentically a product of that grower/producer. An examination of the certificates of the markets of the EDCCFMA shows that there are hundreds of varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh honey and flowers and other California agricultural products like olive oil and cheese, meats and fish. All of these are available throughout the season.
Organic fruit and vegetables are those that are grown following the California Organic guidelines. "Certified Organic" means the produce and the land on which it is grown has been tested and certified for authentic organic practices. This link is to the California Certified Organic Farming (C.C.O.F.) guidelines and could be helpful to the consumer as well as the farmers. Certification requires significant time and money from the farmer. Growers can be "registered organic" which means they are in the process of being certified organic or that their income from their products does not warrant the expense of certification. There are several certification organizations yet the guidelines are uniform. Many growers in the markets have displayed a sign saying "pesticide free" or a similar phrase. EDCCFMA markets no longer permits those signs because the practices of the farmer can not be verified. It is best to inform the consumer that "pesticide free" does not mean organic!
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