At Dwight Miller Orchards we work to offer quality, farm-fresh products to our customers and do it in a way that is sustainable for both the environment and our family farm.
For nearly all of our produce, we use only allowed organic practices and materials while growing. For a much smaller portion (roughly 15% of apples we produce) we employ a practice that provides what we call “clean fruit”.
This “clean fruit” practice applies to that small portion of apples, only – and not the rest of our produce:
- All vegetable crops
Our “clean fruit” growing practice achieves three goals:
- Provides healthy, delicious fruit to our customers.
- Allows our family farm to be resilient and self-sustaining in the face of unpredictable, and often wet, northeast springs.
- Teaches the next generation of our farm how to problem solve and employ all of the orchard practices – both organic and conventional, to carry on our family tradition.
Organic Fruit vs. Conventional Fruit vs. “Clean” Fruit
What is Organic?
Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods. OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) is the governing body which decides whether or not spray materials or fertilizers are defined as “organic”.
Most of our fruit is grown using only OMRI allowed spray materials and fertilizers, like we did for 20+ years previously, as certified organic.
What is Conventional?
Conventional is a long-used term that broadly describes a pest management program that relies on synthetic fungicides and insecticides. These methods are employed by most farms, especially orchards in the Northeast, given the wet climate and efficacy of the materials.
What is “clean fruit”?
“Clean fruit” grown at Dwight Miller Orchards concentrates on a brief, pivotal timeframe early during the fruit’s growth cycle to employ a targeted conventional spray program to best ensure the fruit gets through a short, critical period of time.
The remaining, and final 3-4+ months of the fruit’s growth period happen without any convenential spray methods, assuring that at the time of harvest, fruit tests negative for any synthetic insecticides and fungicides.