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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Inyoni Farms

Inyoni Farms
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is a 5 acre organic farm in Northeast Naples, FL. Inyoni is the Zulu word for bird. One of the owners spent some time in Swaziland, home to a small number of the Zulu tribe.                                                                  

In 2002, the National Organic Program (NOP) was adopted. This created a National Organic Standards Board. This is a federal advisory board that makes recommendations to the USDA about almost all matters organic. The NOP also created federal standards for organic farming. These standards include organic certification, production, handling, labeling, compliance and enforcement. A detailed description of the NOP can be found Here. The USDA Guide for Organic Crop Producers is also a good resource on organic farming.

Farming methods called and products sold as organic must be accredited by a 3rd party USDA-Accredited Certifying Agent. This is done with the intention of the certification being independent of the seller or buyer of the organic product. Certification involves submitting a detailed operations procedure. In addition, a history of substances applied to the land in the last 3 years must be documented. A detailed list of products grown, raised and processed is required. Finally an organic system plan detailing farming practices including the substances used in farming activities must be provided. This certification is reevaluated annually.

The owner briefly outlined some of his organic farming practices. For example, at certain times of the year Legumes, such as black-eyed peas are grown. These plants add nitrogen to the soil, replenishing that taken out by other crops. This obviates the need for fertilizers. Organic pest control agents such as BT, which is a microbial pest control agent and NEEM tree oil are used if necessary. Crop rotation is routinely done to decrease the incidence of insects and plant disease, and to increase soil fertility (e.g. the planting of legumes). For more organic farming standards, Florida Organic Growers is an excellent resource.

Inyoni farms is a USDA-certified organic farm, and uses 100% organically-certified products in the course of their business operations.

This time of year they were growing mixed greens
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 tomatoes
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Swiss chard
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 lettuce
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kale
southwest florida forks

 "purple dragon" carrots and cabbage among other things.

Following harvesting the produce is triple washed

and taken to market.
 

The owner's love of farming also seems to run in the family. 

His brother has a pineapple farming operation

to raise pineapple seedlings for the home gardener.

His mother is also an active gardener growing bananas

in addition to "Florida Peaches", avocados and papayas.

Inyoni farms does not have a retail space on site but sells at farmer's markets.

Wednesday they are at the Marco Island Farmer's Market in the mornings and St. Monica's Church in North Naples in the afternoon.

Saturday mornings they sell their produce at the Third St. S. Farmer's Market near downtown Naples and the Shoppes at Vanderbilt Farmer's Market.

I found it interesting learning about organic farming methods and the "hoops" the farmer must jump through to be certified as such. I hope you do too.

There you have it, another review on forks.

Inyoni Farms
Rock Road
Naples, FL 34120
(239)980-3605




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