Sunscape Farms is on the forefront of safe growing practices. Please read our FAQ below for details.
We are committed to growing safe, nutritious products. None of our products are GMO (Genetically Modified) and none of them have dangerous spray residual.
We are not certified Organic. Our Sustainable growing practices consist largely of Organic growing practices, like natural pest and disease control and non-GMO products.
We are huge supporters of food safety and environmental responsibility; therefore we follow many of the Organic growing practices regarding natural disease and pest control. However, we believe that some of the Organic certification requirements are actually less safe than our current growing practices in the growing conditions of Rochester, New York. So we’re not certified Organic.
One reason is that we refuse to use manure and compost as our fertilizer. Manure and compost, which are used by Organic growers, can be often contaminated with or made from animal by-products that can contain salmonella and other dangerous superbacteria. This practice can easily lead to contamination of produce if it is not handled correctly or even through a simple mistake. Instead, we use earth-mined minerals.
The other main difference is our food-grade fungicide. Here in Rochester, New York, dangerous bacteria and mildew pressure ramps up as we near the end of the tomato season, and blight devastates many crops in the Rochester area. To save our crops, we occasionally use a non-Organic food-grade fungicide (our primary fungicide is Organic) that leaves no toxic residue and does not impact the environment negatively. In doing so, we offer you a safe product free of rot and mold.
We are on the frontlines of the battle to keep our environment, soil, and produce healthy and happy (see growing practices for details). Sunscape Farms Owner and Operator Nate Savage attends classes and research groups during the winter to keep on the cutting edge of the best natural growing practices.
We often set aside some of our land to trial the latest Organic practices developed by Cornell University. For example, years ago we planted some rows of eggplant specifically so we could test a new natural method of insect control. This method involved biological controls, which consists of harmless insects feeding on harmful insects, eliminating the need for pesticides. Beneficial insects are now our primary means of pest control.
We do not cut corners when it comes to cost. We use the more expensive, natural growing methods. Our Sustainable growing practices have transformed our farm’s soil; before we began farming it, our soil was rejected by other farmers as being of marginal quality (leeched of nutrients and barely able to grow anything) but under our care it has become a flourishing soil that grows the beautiful produce you see at our stand. Now that is sustainable agriculture!
We fully support non-GMO seeds, organic fungicides, natural pest control, and promoting soil health, and we put those ideals into practice on our farm (see our growing practices). We are delighted that you have taken the time to make sure that you and your family are eating safe, healthy food produced in a sustainable approach that is healthy for our planet.
We would like to challenge you: don’t be satisfied with a label that says “Organic.” Ask your local grocery store employee exactly where the produce was grown or check the label yourself! Note that the distributor of the product is not the same as the grower of the product. You will be surprised at how much Organic produce in your local grocery store is grown in Mexico, Canada, and other areas outside the United States where laws and standards are different and may even be ignored!
“I would rather buy conventionally-grown local produce than
Organic produce grown out of our country.”
Don’t be satisfied with an “Organic” label at your local farmer’s markets, either.
Bottom Line: Get to know your local farmers and grocers. Talk with them. If they don’t care enough to talk to you, probably they don’t care enough to grow responsibly when no one is looking. If your farmer is knowledgeable, open about his growing practices, and friendly, chances are that you’re buying produce from the right place.
Sunscape Farms Penfield
1416 Creek St
Rochester, NY 14625
Sunscape Farms Greece
1530 Maiden Ln
Rochester, NY 14625
Both Penfield and Greece Farm Markets OPEN DAILY!
Weekdays 9am - 7pm
Weekends 9am - 6pm
Fairport Farmer's Market:
OPEN Saturdays, 7am - noon!