This week we welcome back York Town Organics after a week off to facilitate a regular visit from NASAA – no, not the space agency, but one of Australia’s key organic certification bodies. For produce in Australia to be called “organic”, growers need to achieve certification from one of two certification bodies. This involves regular audits to ensure that growers are adhering to a strict set of rules on what inputs and practices they’re using to grow their produce – these can be both planned and surprise visits, and are paid for by the grower. The user-pays system pushes up the price of organic produce slightly, but the higher prices often also reflect lower yields or higher levels of unusable produce as there are less available options for growers to eliminate pests, control disease, ensure plant nutrition and reduce the risk of spoilage. Organic produce often has a shorter growing season, and particular types of produce with a tendency to higher pest or disease issues are often hard to find as “organic” – brassica like broccoli and Brussels sprouts in particular are pretty rare. York Town Organics have again received the highest possible rating from NASAA after last week’s visit, but even more important is how delicious their baby greens are! If you’re looking to buy organic produce, make sure that any claims are backed up with a organic certificate, as there are plenty of people making unsubstantiated claims out there, and growing true organic produce is a hard and noble job.