There are two fundamental reasons why we believe certified organic is not the way to go for us.One is practical, and one is legal. The practical reason we are not organic is, we want robust, long-lived blueberry bushes with consistently great fruit. Our Highbush varieties of blueberries require pretty acidic soil to thrive. Since they are not native to Southern California, it isn't a matter of planting them, fertilizing them and watering them. We pump a calibrated amount of agricultural acid into the soil under the berms at regulated intervals. Organic blueberry farmers in Southern California typically use coffee grounds- an organic acidifier- or something similar to it to keep the soil right. The great challenge with using organic acidifiers is that they are harder to calibrate with very much precision, and the acidity level of the soil will move up and down in shorter intervals. It is like binge eating for the plants, which is not healthy. Binge eating blueberry bushes will not produce consistently good fruit.
We respect the organic farmers a great deal, it really is a hard way to go with any non-native variety of plant. Native fruits and veggies are lot easier to grow organically than non-native varieties.
As far as the legal aspects to organic certification go, you can probably guess our position: The government is just too much! We certainly understand why the certification process needs to be there to protect consumers, but our governing agencies need to catch a clue. Small local farmers in particular need less overhead, not more, and if the organic certification process were less onerous, organic foods would be less costly and more available to everyone.
See you at the ranch!