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We’re All Tenant Farmers: Oregon Plans to Douse Azure Standard Organic Farm in Pesticide

The Organic Prepper

If you buy organic products, chances are you have heard of Azure Standard, which is sort of like a mobile co-op that delivers well-priced organic food and products in bulk to drop-off points around the country.

Now that idyllic 2000-acre organic farm, which has produced reasonably priced organic wheat, field peas, barley, Einkorn, and beef for thousands of people across the country, is about to be sprayed against their will with Roundup and other harmful pesticides, due to a ruling from their local municipality about invasive plants.  

Oregon state law requires farms to control noxious weeds. In this case, the weed in question is the Canadian Thistle. Sherman County appears to be concerned that Azure has not taken enough steps to eradicate the weed and decided they’ll do it themselves, to the detriment of Azure’s long-standing, 18-year organic certification and their livelihood as organic farmers.

Just in case you were under the misconception that we actually own our land and can decide what happens to it in this country, it appears that we’re tenant farmers with no options if the local government decides to wipe us out:

“Sherman County may be issuing a Court Order on May 22, 2017, to quarantine Azure Farms and possibly to spray the whole farm with poisonous herbicides, contaminating them with Milestone, Escort and Roundup herbicides.

This will destroy all the efforts Azure Farms has made for years to produce the very cleanest and healthiest food humanly possible. About 2,000 organic acres would be impacted; that is about 1.5 times the size of the city center of Philadelphia that is about to be sprayed with noxious, toxic, polluting herbicides.

The county would then put a lien on the farm to pay for the expense of the labor and chemicals used.” (source)

So not only will they poison the crops and kill off Azure’s livelihood, they’ll charge them for it. That’s a brazen insult on top of the injury.

Here’s how you can help Azure Standard.

There is just under a week before this would occur. Here’s what WE can all do.

If you are concerned about where your food comes from, enjoy Organic and non-GMO food grown in the United States, and support organic farmers, contact Sherman County Court before May 22, 2017 (and preferably before May 17 when the next court discussion will be held).

Contact info:

  1. Via email at lhernandez@co.sherman.or.us or…
  2. Call Lauren at 541-565-3416.

Raise your voice and speak up for you and your families and communities.

This proposed action is completely unreasonable and would destroy an organic farm and pollute a massive area. If enough voices that benefit from organic produce speak up, the county will understand that there are people that care about their food NOT containing toxic chemicals. And if the supporters of healthy food can have a louder voice than the supporters of toxic chemicals, every politician will listen. PLEASE take action today and share this message. Overwhelm the Sherman County representatives with your voice. (source)

I’ve already sent my email and will be making a call later today. Get on board and do the same. And share this article with everyone you know so that we can make our voices heard.

It’s bad enough that everything in the grocery store is already tainted. Actions like this take away our choice to avoid toxic pesticides and poisons in our food. We should have the right to buy organic, but if local governments take away the right to grow organic, we’ll have nothing left to eat than the standard fare.

If we stand by and do nothing but shake our heads sadly, we’ll soon be stuck without dietary options.

An Organic Farm Under Threat from Azure Standard on Vimeo.

The Organic Prepper

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28 Responses to We’re All Tenant Farmers: Oregon Plans to Douse Azure Standard Organic Farm in Pesticide

  1. Frank Face says:

    Shoot down the crop duster…
    This reminds me of the sewer scam happening to me with the county threatening a lean on my home.

  2. Jamal says:

    Land of the free right? America, America… God shed his grace on thee!

  3. Mindy says:

    Thanks for posting. Called and emailed Sherman County.

  4. D says:

    Eat the d@@n thistles.
    It is insane to call thistles, dandelions​ and other edibles a weed.
    Thistles make excellent pickles and good in place of noodles.

    A weed definition is that which is worthless with no plausible use.

    Sounds like politicians and Monsanto to me instead of plants, because every plant has a use.

  5. # 1 NWO Hatr says:

    “… if local governments take away the right to grow organic,…”

    They can only take it away if you let them.

    “… we’ll have nothing left to eat than the standard fare.”

    That’s why GMOs were created.

  6. Sue says:

    Did you contact Sherman County for information? My friend did and this is what she was told:I spoke with the Sherman County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Weed District, including the guy who is directly working with the County and with Azure on the problem. They have been trying to work with Azure on this since 2006. In March they asked Azure for a weed management plan (which could involve bio-agents, repeated mowing/plowing or other mechanical methods of control), and have gotten nothing. There are some mis-statements of fact in the video — the ordinance requires that they destroy, not eradicate weeds. Eradication is impossible. The seeds of the weeds are windborne. The SWCD guy said he saw them mow the weeds after they had gone to seed last summer, which is one of the worst things you could do. The Weed guy said they mowed them earlier this year but they are already higher than the grass. I am a loyal Azure customer and organic farmer myself, and hate, HATE to think of that huge organic farm being sprayed, but I also am angry that Azure has not done a better job trying to comply with the ordinance (which is no different from the state ordinance) and is presenting a lopsided piece of information.” A former employee also confirmed that they definitely need to step up to the plate when it comes to sustainability and compliance. I encourage you to talk to the county. I have since sent this information to Azure asking for their side of it.

    • dave says:

      A weed management plan?
      So you don’t think they already have enough hoops to jump through just to keep their organic status?

      How many more ordinances do we have to comply with?

      Want to manage weeds http://garden.iam4pack.com/you-can-eat-thistles/
      I manage weeds here by intentionally letting them go to seed. More to eat.

      How insane is it to try and control or eradicate something that you can walk out your door and eat?

      Sounds like the doctor in the sixties who was calling for the eradication of Phytolacca americana or poke weed.

    • Martist says:

      Sounds like compliance is important to you, as if any of their ordinances are actually based on our health, safety and nature and not destruction of nature, power, control and ultimately based on the collection of mammon and furthering gmo agendas?

      epa/fda and any other alphabet agency were NOT created for YOUR benefit, but if you believe they were, why would anyone actively choose to exercise a non-gmo/organic diet, as they would have already factored in your health?

      The county follows its orders so I don’t believe any information provided by them would be unbiased and simply following “policy”.

      • Sue says:

        You made a lot of assumptions based on your own bias. I was simply stating the other other side’s perspective – taking in all of the information which is the smart way of making decisions.

        Did you watch the video? Because if you did you would know that these are not edible or medicinal weeds. I am an herbalist and a forager and am well aware of the usefulness of “weeds.” But I am also a supporter of our native ecosystems – as much as is possible in an agricultural setting – and recognize that some invasive weeds can have huge impacts on native systems. Yellow Star Thistle and Kudzu are two examples – suffocating all other plants so that they create a mono “crop.” And yet, I have heard from people who think that kudzu is ok because it fixes nitrogen in the soil. I own rural property and when I bought it, diffused knapweed covered it – can you offer a medicinal or edible use for diffused knapweed? Even horses won’t eat it. But it had consumed my property, slowly suffocating native plants.

        So I MANAGED it – by removing it as much as I can each season by pulling it through the growing season. A weed management plan that was never registered with a govt agency but instead was the responsible behavior of a property owner.

        It sounds like Azure and the county have been battling over weed management for 10 years. There are many good practices (mowing after seed set IS NOT one of them) that can help with weed management. I have asked Azure for a response to the county’s claims, specifically to the failure of the company to comply with invasive weed control

        I am not a huge fan of govt intervention but interestingly, I value it when it meets my needs. While I was trying to manage my diffused knapweed, I realized that my county was not doing the same along county road edges, so I reported the county to its weed dept.

        I hope that you will actually watch the video from Azure, talk with the county about its perspective, ask for a response from Azure re: the county’s perspective before you pass judgement on me, the country or Azure.

        • Martist says:

          And it was yours to do so as you saw fit, and if you suffered from the neglect to do so or reaped incredible harvest because of your good judgment, it was still your choosing and I do believe you would make the choice that suited you best. I passed no judgment, made no assumptions and my only agenda is that when anyone relies on any policy or intervention from a known criminal source that will use the guise of “help” to get their foot in the door, it is only to increase their own foothold of power over their “beneficiary”. They are a genie in a bottle and the wishes are granted, but never in the manner intended by those who asked. I hope the county has kept and will continue to keep your best interest in mind as they appear to have consistently done so in the past.

        • d says:

          Morning Glory, canada thistle and white top.

          Did you watch and listen to the names? For by saying None of those listed are edible or have medicinal value you lost credibility.

          Perhaps one should research the plants as well.

          • Sean says:

            From Wikipedia on Canada Thistle:

            Like other Cirsium species, the roots are edible, though rarely used, not least because of their propensity to induce flatulence in some people. The taproot is considered the most nutritious. The leaves are also edible, though the spines make their preparation for food too tedious to be worthwhile. The stalks, however, are also edible and more easily de-spined.[36] Bruichladdich distillery on Isle of Islay lists creeping thistle as one of the 22 botanical foraged for use in their gin, The Botanist.

        • Deanna Johnston Clark says:

          Good for you…here in Georgia the kudsu (brought as a decorative plant from Japan long ago) covers miles of our state.
          I shop carefully for organic food on a small budget, I also think Azure should have cooperated more. If Monsanto is behind this somehow the door was left open.

      • Kari says:

        So you are saying your county is being run by thought-less, inhuman, puppets. That anyone with their own thoughts would even suggest taking a healthy source of nutrients this whole world has been starved of & turn it into poison & then make them pay for their own demise. Most of us are not puppets. For me no one will force me or my family to ingest in this kind of system that is destructive to my health & well being.They can’t trespass on your property to knowing & willingly cause harm to all.

        • # 1 NWO Hatr says:

          “So you are saying your county is being run by thought-less, inhuman, puppets.”

          That’s EXACTLY what he’s saying… BECAUSE IT’S ABSOLUTELY TRUE!

          “They can’t trespass on your property to knowing & willingly cause harm to all.”

          In WHAT universe???

          You live in a cave, or somethin’?

    • Meg says:

      I would be careful taking any word from Sherman County SWCD as reliable. On Sherman County’s own FB post regarding the issue, SWCD’s Financial Officer posted her opinion on the matter. I got curious about her perspective on life and found on her own FB page she shared an article by Henry I. Miller claiming organic farming is not sustainable in practice. I’ll state it again, I suspect those at SWCD are no longer a reliable source.

  7. Gerry says:

    Ever wonder why Azure Standard growers are not that concerned about the weeds. You would think that these weeds would be a problem for organic growers who use no herbicide to control them. As a grower I see a solution
    weeds can even serve as a inexpensive cover crop a source of chop for compost. A agricultural state is concerned about weeds in their crops but Azure Standard farmers seem to have a technique that keeps them under control in spite of their proximity to crops they market. I do not think this is about weeds. It may be about eliminating competition/expanding markets. Keep in mind the vast majority of organic producers also grow non organic crops they work for and with the poison corporates and are subsidized by them and have little concern for organic standards.

  8. RT Hawk says:

    Agree with examples given.
    Also know as stated give an inch, they will take a mile.

    How many young city dwellers today know the quality of Morels? I mean would one pick even one? and eat it? Luckily my kids grew up knowing and still go shroomin’! Yeah, have asked they freeze and save some for me…….waiting……lol! don’t blame them!

    Morning glory, this is just one example!
    http://www.eattheweeds.com/ipomoea-water-land-see-in-gardens/

    Canada thistle is beneficial to insects as well as, roots, leaves and stem are edible, tap root can be very beneficial.

    As far as white top, it has uses, for every negative a positive, for every positive a negative.
    http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cardaria+draba

    For more info on herbs and natural grown can check out 1 example
    http://www.wisewomanmentor.com/wise-woman-ezine
    May take you some time to look up things there, but she knows her stuff.

    While know from experience, some plants invasive. They are very strong, vines ect., could be used for other things?

  9. The “organic standard” could be raised higher still (i.e. Biodynamic). In any case the “weeds” could be indicating an imbalance in the soil and responded to at that level. Possibly more importantly is the legal status of the farm in relation to the State of Oregon. Is the farm incorporated or is there any nexus with the state? If so then I personally would dissolve the nexus. (I’d also post no trespassing signs.)

  10. flee says:

    What’s the difference between organic food and non- organic food…?
    About $1.50
    Hell if I could grow shitty food and put a bar code on it. .. approved by the FDA. .and make millions …
    I’m gonna fk u the first chance I get.
    Heyeahhh…
    All my food is organic….
    In fact I’m paying people to print organic labels.
    If you don’t grow your own food..
    It’s not organic…
    That’s my tin foil hat perspective.

  11. Char Milliman says:

    Roundup should be the subject of this conversation, not Azure Standard. Go out and research it. Independent researchers have found links to cancer, ADHD, Alzheimers and a host of other disorders. There are lawsuits pending that claim Roundup caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in workers in the US. In South America and India where they are using Roundup heavily, there is a marked increase in serious kidney issues including kidney failure, cancer and birth defects.

    Forcing Azure Standard to be sprayed with Roundup is a smokescreen to have us determine that the weeds are worse than the poison pill they are trying to force people to use on their lands.

    It should be Monsanto and Roundup — and not Azure Standard & organic farming –who should be facing elimination. Do we really want another repeat of DDT: with 40 years of birth defects, damage to wildlife and our water supplies before we use our own Common Sense? Do we have to wait for the FDA and EPA to be forced through lawsuits and deaths to face the truth?

    I support Azure Standard. For the health and the freedom of our land and people, I hope you will, too.

  12. Adam says:

    My family and I are a small testament, today, to those around us in life, of “healthy” by choice; to do the switch-over to all organically derived and non-gmo foods for our intake. Before we did this, we were sick alot and felt like we could never get to the bottom root as to why, so we could get ourselves to better health and feel better and much more energized all around. About 7 years ago, my wife and I had come to a decision to make hard choices in the purchasing of higher-priced foods/beverages, etc., for the betterment of our long term health and from concerns that lead us to this decision. The concerns consisted of the use of chems in the growing practices in farming, which kept us constantly sick and of ill health variances from one person to another in our family, and of the gmo stricken food varieties, which really isnt food anymore, after alteration for maxing production and pocketbooks. The body isnt designed by the Creator to ingest altered foods of these derivitives, and also on top of it, being laced with the sprays so toxic that they are an exponentially hazzardous assualt, upon exposure and /or consumption by people and animals/wildlife, and any areas of the environment they are exposed to; by air, on any land, and down thru the waterways and ultimately collecting in mass at larger bodies of water. Organic farming produces what I have come to call “Original food”; -the way it used to get produced, before man’s greed and complete carelessness has altered the farming practices producing it thru laws governing the methods. I also give the same “original foods” label refference to non-gmo “foods”, while in discussions to spread good healthy eating knowlege with my peers in life, and unaware co-workers at Azure. My family and I have experienced a complete 180 deg. in our overall health since our changed eating habbits, and are reaping great benefits to our choice of better eating. The all organic/non gmo foods prices are more expensive to obtain, but the doctors stay away instead of billing us when we go to see them, and the health benefits ALL outweigh any “savings” we’d have on purchasing the CHEAP, NON ORGANIC/GMO “foods”. -Hence the word “cheap” -I said!! -And thats exactly it!! CHEAP on every level!! We hated the sick and zombied feeling/lifestyle from ingesting spray-laced, GMO “foods”. I am happy to be a part of something so awesome as that of Azure, to be one who can help spread “healthy” to many, in what I do at work and outside of it in life, and in speaking about foods and diff’s in how its made or grown, to help people understand just what they may not understand about their food choices… Those of us at Azure who understand these things about “food” choices and of how they truely make all the difference to how we can live as a DIRECT RESULT, have a common goal; that is to get this message of better living thru “original food” intake out to all who will listen. Not all will, but many are, and they too are finding much better healthy lifestyles from making these crucial changes. My family and I have become “allergic” to non organic “food” for say; in that we can definately tell the difference if we find ourselves eating something non organic, because it will have an actuall difference in texture and taint taste like its been exposed to a toxic spray. We soon start to feel ill from it too. So, GARBAGE IN-GARBAGE OUT; or HEALTH IN-HEALTH OUT. We are what we eat; and my family and I depend on the healthy original food choices, to survive. There are ways to deal with the “noxious” “weeds”; maybe harvest them for their apperent health bennies too… But to spray toxic on the crops is tantamount to a slow poisoning of people who will develop many illnesses as a result, whether knowing of the source for the attacks to the body, or not. The county will have this on their concience to deal with, by imposing such atrocities upon the populous. The county isnt doing this for the surrounding locally based farmers, as much as they would be doing it for the greater agenda to gain ground in the battle of how food is grown and produced. Azure stands up in this adverse foods battle, as the standard of how foods were made or grown “ORIGINALLY”. The corrupted “foods” industry would be the beneficiarys to this new imposing of organic farms to spray toxic on crops to “eradicate”. So, maybe we should harvest the “weeds”, dry them, and package them for sale to those who would like to partake of the health benefits they have available; then the “weeds” wont go to seed and spread to neighboring farms to impose the problems non organic farmers seem to have, because of not recognising what organic farming really is and why… Agent Orange is no good for anyone, and DNA altered GMO “foods” arent right for consumption. Theres a reason why there exists this battle for how farming is done; -its to save our very lives from diseases and early death…

  13. Char Milliman says:

    Here’s a link to a Harvard University report that Roundup has stimulated the mutation of weeds that are resistant to Roundup. According to Harvard, there are 14 such species that have been identified in the U.S. alone.

    It rather defeats the whole idea of destroying Azure’s organic fields using Roundup: a product that has not only been deemed carcinogenic by the World Health Organization and California’s environmental agency; but it has created its own demise via Roundup resistant weeds. It is becoming less and less effective for the very job it was engineered for.

    http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2015/roundup-ready-crops/

  14. GrinNBarrett says:

    attempting to change email address

  15. Sue says:

    I have no arguments with the comments and concerns on this topic. But here is the bottom line: Azure chooses to farm 2000+ acres of land. They chose organic methods which I agree is the preferred way but with that comes responsibility.
    If you have invasive and/or noxious weeds on your rural property, then you should take care of them – whether it be foraging for edible or medicinal uses, using spray-free methods and bio agents or spraying with toxic chemicals. I don’t know what Azure’s weed management plan is because they have offered no evidence (despite several emails) of having a plan.

    Using videos to plead their case has been every effective but I resent being used by them to plead a case that appears to be potentially handled internally. I may be wrong in my assumptions but at this point Azure has not responded to inquiries about their responsibility to maintain their land.

  16. Kermit says:

    This is an outrage! Chemical farmers pollute organics and the environment with GMO DNA all the time, while big brother is worried about a few weeds that are hurting no one. Spraying the premises of Azure is chemical trespass and is a violation of their constitutional rights. Invasives have been around for a long time and solving the problem with more of the same that caused it will not help. One mans weed is another mans herb. I smell a class action lawsuit against Sherman County by organic consumers as well as a lawsuit by Azura. This whole thing could be politically motivated given the size of Azure farm and the timing, and warrants further investigation

  17. Brent Gruesbeck says:

    Azure Standard is a for profit company. So why are the weeds a larger issue to the county than Azure if the weeds are so bad for farming? Aren’t they really choosing one business model over another? Forcing Azure Standard to use or pay for the use of herbicide manufacturers products is unfair business practice.

  18. Dana says:

    Certainly a lot of well-founded concerns. Maybe there is a middle ground here that satisfies both perspectives.

    Organic must stay that way, we all agree on that. There is a bigger picture here as well that no farm is an island, but inhabits an larger ecosystem than just itself. I am a resident of Oregon, live rurally, and know the state makes attempts to stop invasive species for the benefit of natives. Scotch-broom and non-native blackberries are examples of invasive’s out of control.

    The farm should not be sprayed and destroy the livelihood of Azure, but Azure should not be non-responsive to the community in which it lives.There is no need for chemicals and loss of livelihood, just communication and cooperation.

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