MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The summer is winding down and that means harvesting season is upon us. Local farmers are busy collecting their crops and preparing them for supermarkets and farmers markets.
As we head into September, this is prime time for U.P. farmers harvesting their crops.
The warmer August and recent rainfall greatly helped many farmer's vegetation. Their fresh produce goes to places like the Marquette Food Co-Op. They sell upwards of 2/3 to 3/4 of local produce during peak growing season. Most all of the local produce they sell from the farmers is Certified Naturally Grown.
"All natural doesn't technically mean anything. But when we offer something that's Certified Naturally Grown, there are certain stipulations attached to that. They are essentially the same things as USDA Organic. If you trust organic then you can trust CNG," says Sam Henke, Events Media Coordinator of CNG VS Organic Marquette.
CNG produce has a more local, grassroots organization where their crops are checked by other regional farmers.
Gregg Wixtrom, a local farmer states, "CNG people are selling to farmers markets whereas certified organic farmers are usually selling truckloads involving a bigger farmer."
The sole difference between organic and Certified Naturally Grown lies in less paperwork for the farmers. Both of them however, signify no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. If anything is allowed in organic products, then it's also allowed in CNG. Both reduce chemicals from running off when farmers spray their fields.
Virgin Earth Farm brings food to stores on a weekly basis. This is one of twenty food suppliers which delivers food to the co-op.
Now through October is the best season for local produce before the Co-Op switches to more organic products during the winter.