Where Can You Find Organic Herb Suppliers?
Homemakers and cooks have relied on herbs for centuries because of their flavor, scent and healing qualities. Adding herbs turns simple food into a gourmet meal. Medicinal herbs bring comfort and healing for a number of ailments. Herbs are often added to candles, soaps, used to scent linens, and for many other purposes. If you use a lot of herbs, you probably need to find a good organic herb supplier.
USDA Organic Certification
If you are looking for an organic herb supplier, you should be familiar with the USDA organic certification process. In order for an organic herb supplier to use the term "organic," he or she must grow the herbs in accordance with USDA standards, must keep extensive records, be inspected regularly and pay a certification fee. If your organic herb supplier displays the USDA Organic symbol, he or she has gone through this process, and you can be assured that the herbs really are organic.
Many organic herb suppliers choose not to go through the lengthy USDA certification process. They may have some other certification such as "Certified Naturally Grown" or they may not have any certification at all. Some organic herb suppliers say their supplies are "natural." They can't call them "organic" without the certification, but the herbs may still be organic.
How do you know? You talk to the organic herb supplier and/or the grower. Ask about the farming practices they use. You might even want to visit the farm and check it out for yourself. If you take the time, you will find out which "natural" herb growers are actually uncertified organic herb suppliers.
An excellent way to find an organic herb supplier is to check out your local Farmer's Market. A Farmer's Market allows the farmer to sell produce directly to the public. Purchasing food directly from the farmer eliminates middle-men and costs you less, while giving the farmer a better price for his products.
Going to the Farmer's Market allows you to interact directly with organic herb suppliers. You can ask questions about how they grow the herbs. They usually have a wealth of knowledge about how to use the herbs they sell, too. You could learn how to make a medicinal lavender tea to soothe your nerves, or how to make thyme jelly to serve with an organic pork roast.
Another way to find an organic herb supplier is to check out local CSA's. A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a local farm, usually a small farm that sells "shares" of its produce. You usually buy a "share" and pick up whatever vegetables, herbs and other products the farm produces at specific intervals. A CSA share usually provides enough vegetables for a family of four.
If you are looking for an organic herb supplier, check out the CSA's in your area carefully. Visit the farms; ask what kinds of produce you can expect to receive and how much they usually supply. If you are specifically interested in the CSA as an organic herb supplier, check out their herb garden and ask what kinds of herbs they grow.
Although you can find an organic herb supplier that ships dried herbs over long distances, going to the Farmer's Market or buying a CSA share helps support the farmers in your area.