But I thought you might be interested to know that certified organic acreage farmed in Washington state increased by an estimated 27 percent between 2006 and 2007. Since 2004 the amount of certified acreage being farmed in the state has increased by 86 percent.
WSU sustainable agriculture specialist David Granatstein says the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources has been conservative with its analysis, so the annual report actually represents a low-end estimate of organically farmed land in the state.
The estimate of certified organic land statewide is 81,472 acres, up from 64,325 acres in 2006, a 27 percent increase. During 2007, 629 organic crop and livestock farms and 71 transitional farms in the state were certified.
Organic forage production showed the most growth again with an annual increase of 51 percent, now accounting for 35 percent of the state’s total organic acreage, which kind of surprised me. But considering the recent spike in demand for organic dairy, it makes sense that feed demands would be up.
Certified veggie acreage increased by 4,500 acres in both 2006 and 2007. Certified vegetable acreage now totals more than 20,000 acres with sweet corn, peas, potatoes, green beans and onions being the major crops grown. Washington is likely the leading U.S. producer of organic sweet corn and peas.
Always apple country, Washington leads the nation in organic apple, pear and cherry production. Apples are the state’s predominant organic tree fruit crop with apple orchards comprising 73 percent of the certified tree fruit acreage.
And, just for fun, the above photo is a peak at my fledgling organic square foot gardens, complete with heavy duty trellises made from electrical conduit and trellis netting. I call them my “industrial food chains.”