Why Shop Organic?
All produce marked with the “USDA Organic” label has been raised in accordance with US National Organic Program requirements on farms that are inspected annually by independent third-party certifiers. At Shenandoah Growers, we are proud to display this label on many of our products, but to us, “organic” means more than just passing inspections and meeting national requirements. The term “organic” represents the best in innovative technology and sustainable agricultural practice coming together to achieve the simple goal of providing our retailers with the freshest, cleanest, and most nutritious produce available.
Started in 1989, the Shenandoah Growers’ herb farm is undergoing constant renovation as we incorporate the most innovative organic and sustainable growing technologies into our farming practice. With two computerized greenhouses, an onsite packaging center, and temperature-controlled shipping, we are providing an organic product that meets consumer expectations now and an organic growing process that will help keep plants, people, and the environment healthy well into the future.
The first thing one notices on a tour of Shenandoah Growers greenhouses is how good they smell. With the fresh aromas of mint, basil, and oregano mingling in the air, it’s easy to miss the perfectly balanced temperatures, carefully monitored airflow, and tightly balanced sunlight, but they’re all part of Shenandoah Growers’ master plan. Pipes carrying warm water weave through the rows of plants, simulating a never-ending spring day; vents in the vaulted glass ceilings open and close without a human touch, so that seedlings don’t feel stifled; giant curtains drop down around the outside of the greenhouses and raise up again automatically so that plants are protected from ever having too much or too little sunlight, too much or too little insulation; electric lights blink off and on to make up for the occasional cloudy day and the winter’s long nights. With the most up-to-date computer system making sure that the climate is just right for the young herbs, the plants grow strong and healthy without any need for unapproved fertilizers to enhance the soils.
The plants don’t need prohibited pesticides either because Shenandoah Growers has a number of organic and biological ways of staving off plant predators. First and foremost, the dedicated growers at the greenhouses are extra careful to make sure that plant leaves stay dry so that they are less prone to parasites and infection. Additionally, our growers use the controlled release of ladybugs to help keep plant parasites at bay.
When the seedlings have become full grown herb plants, their small, recyclable pots are inserted into protective plastic sleeves and shipped to the market to be sold as “living organic” herb plants. Living organic herb plants allow buyers to have fresh herbs longer. As opposed to fresh cut herbs which have a shelf-life of about a week, living organics can stay fresh and beautiful for two to three weeks with a bit of light maintenance, allowing our customers to have healthy and flavorful meals on a more consistent and economical basis. All Shenandoah Growers herbs, whether fresh cut or living organic, are shipped in temperature-controlled vehicles that make sure that even delicate herbs like basil, which is sensitive to too much cold, stay at the optimal temperature.
Working hard to create a healthy greenhouse, Shenandoah Growers wants to help build a healthy, green planet as well. That’s why all our packaging is recyclable. Additionally, we are dedicated to supplementing our annual harvest with produce from other local, organic growers. A proud member of the Local Growers Program in Virginia, we partner with small family farms in and around the Shenandoah Valley, contributing equipment, education, and training to these farmers so that they can grow produce that meets Shenandoah Growers high quality standards.