Saturday, March 30, 2013

TSP Certification-Organic


In doing research for additional information on Organic gardening a friend of my told me about a TSP (Technical Service Provider) training course offered through the UDSA-NRCS.  I did my research and found out that Technical Service Providers (TSP’s)
“are individuals or businesses that have technical expertise in conservation planning and design for a variety of conservation activities. TSPs are hired by farmers, ranchers, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, or public agencies to provide these services on behalf of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  Each certified TSP is listed on the NRCS TSP online registry, TechReg.  The TSP registration and approval process involves required training and verification of essential education, knowledge, skills and abilities.”

So I signed up to learn more.

To reinforce my training/learning I am writing a series of Blog’s that will pertain to essential information required for TSP Certification.  My training will be concentrated on CAP(138) the transition to organic plan by the NRCS. CAP standing for Conservation Activity Plan and 138 being the Organic transition plan.  Most of this training involves identification of factors that concern Farms/ranches that want to transition into becoming Organically Certified.  Signing up for this plan by the Farmer/Rancher does not mean they are committed BY LAW to become Certified Organic but rather they are committing to become acquainted with the tools necessary to become certified and to make an evaluation on the timing, financial resources effort and money and other factors on becoming Organically certified.  The transition is completely up to the individual.  An owner can make the necessary adjustments in one year or five years or 10 years or ??.  Each person applies the requirements at their own pace, with the machinery at hand or financially able to purchase or ??  As each farm/ranch is unique with its’ own special requirement One-Size-Fits-All does NOT apply.

Becoming Organically Certified or running your “growing” space using organic methods is a considered by the US Government to be a CONSERVATION issue.  Whether you are planting in your small back yard garden, trying to create a vegetable garden to support yourself, your family and make enough to pay all your bills; the concepts are that same just applied at larger or smaller scales.  Weather I receive my certification or not I have learned more in the initial training than I had expected and all this information can be applied to my own little garden and YOURs too!

I garden on an approximately 2 acre area.  Small in comparison to the 100 to 1000 acre farms but it can be just as organic and just as productive.  In fact people with 10 acres farms are making enough money to support them selves by using Organic farming methods.  A few chickens, a couple of pigs, cows, goats, sheep or horses thrown into the mix make it even better.  I live in town so farm animals are not in my mix, I have to find other ways of providing organic material other than animal manure.  A good example of some innovative methods are used by Beach Grove Farm in Pennslyvania (  This farm shows how different methods can be used to reach the same goals.  Picture of greenhouse heated by wood stove.

BY Anu Rangarajan, Cornell University.
Take a minute and look at the video on the front page.  In another article ( on the same Farm it details some of the methods they use to make their animal manure into compost for their garden.
“Who would have thought that a regenerative, in some ways old-fashioned agricultural system could meet the needs of a modern market? The Nordells’ Beech Grove Farm is proof that it’s possible. Rather than reap short-term profits through industrial efficiencies, they’ve sought to invest in long-term sustainability through ecological efficiencies. The farm's horses, complex rotations, and reduced tillage methods are not industrial technologies, but rather ecological technologies, truly sustainable and technologically appropriate. It's hard not to come away with an impression of Beech Grove Farm as a model of what sustainable farming could be.” Said Kyle Holzhueter.  Kyle Holzhueter has studied natural approaches to agriculture in Japan and environmental design in Australia. He hopes to develop a demonstration homestead and further the eco-village movement throughout North America after his current apprenticeship at the Camphill Village Kimberton Hills in Kimberton, PA.

During the next several Blogs we are going to investigate the factors that it takes to become more Organic.

Addition website of interest:

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