We are often asked by consumers about our growing practices and if we “spray” our produce. At Patterson Farm, we take food safety, the health of our customers, and the environment very seriously. We supply grocery stores and restaurants with produce as well as the public with fresh produce. In this role we take on the huge responsibility of making sure our food is safe and traceable. We don’t take this role lightly but instead have volunteered in many instances to be the test farm for many audit programs designed for this industry. We go above and beyond when providing certification for grocery stores and restaurants.
The term “spray” is a very broad term. Both farmers using organic or best farming practices (which we refer to as “sustainable agriculture”) sometimes have to “spray”. Pesticides, fumigants and chemicals are very expensive. Our farm uses technology and growing practices that help us minimize the use of these products as much as possible. These practices include growing our berries and other crops on raised beds. However, due to our climate and weather conditions we sometimes do have to use methods to control pests, fungus and diseases.
If we do have to use pesticides, we follow all guidelines set forth by the government regulators that set the safety standards. Typically, we apply our pesticides before the fruit is developed and before we begin harvesting on a regular basis to ensure a healthy plant. Once harvesting begins we spray only as needed and with the lowest amount recommended.
Our farm also uses GAPS which stands for Good Agriculture Practice Standards. All employees are required each year to complete GAPS training which covers the importance of good handwashing while handling produce. This is why we ask all customers as well to wash their hands while picking their produce. Another aspect of GAPS is to make sure to wash all produce before consumption to element risks that are beyond a farmer’s control.
Another question often asked is about GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms). The produce we grow is non-GMO as most fruits and vegetables are.
We understand that you want the safest products for yourself, your children and your family. At Patterson Farm, we would not provide food for your family that we wouldn’t serve on our own table.