FAQs

Does Stahlbush Island Farms have an organic certification?

Yes, one third of our farm is certified organic and our entire farm is certified sustainable by the Food Alliance.

How does Stahlbush define Sustainability?

Sustainability is meeting the needs of the of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Why did you choose to be certified sustainable?

The sustainable certification fit perfectly with our philosophy: mainly that farming practices should leave the soil, air, water, plant life, animals, and people healthier.  Here’s a glimpse of what sustainability on the farm is like:
• A thriving blue heron rookery and deep buffer zones along rivers and creeks.
• Healthy populations of beneficial insects
• Conservation tillage and irrigation
• Significant reduction or elimination of dangerous pesticides
• Convert fruit and veggie waste into green electricity to power the farm
• Crop rotation and cover cropping
• A workplace that helps improve the lives of people year after year

How is sustainable different from organic?

While organic and sustainable certifications go hand in hand, organic practices are site-specific, dealing mainly with strict regulations governing the use of chemicals.  A sustainable certification applies a holistic approach to farming where the entire farm is certified as an environmentally friendly and socially responsible system.

Why isn’t the whole farm organic?

At Stahlbush 100% of our fields are certified sustainable, and 1500 acres are certified organic. Certified Sustainable is actually a broader certification, as it is a whole farm audit. This 3rd party audit reviews input practices; labor practices; soil and water conservation systems; wildlife habitat improvements; cover crop & crop rotation;  and reviews our “holistic” farming system.  Certified organic primarily looks at our past three years of inputs.  We think both certifications are amazing, which is why we offer both.

At Stahlbush our goal is to continuously improve and move toward a carbon negative footprint.   We do not use any genetically modified products.  We think of our farming practice as a closed loop cycle, wherein we see waste as an under-utilized resource.

What is a closed loop cycle?

A closed-loop cycle means that we see use everything and have very little waste.
• We farm using environmentally friendly practices and embrace technology.
• Produce is harvested and brought to our on-farm processor where it is individually quick frozen within hours and ready to be placed into the 100% biodegradable bag.
• All of the fruit and veggie waste that we cannot use, like corn silage and cobs, is taken to our on-farm biogas plant and broken down to create methane for green electricity and heat.
• The fertilizer leftover from the process is then spread back into the fields.  It keeps our plants and soil happy and healthy.

Who enforces the sustainable certification?

The Food Alliance certified Stahlbush Island Farms as a sustainable farm in 1997.  Stahlbush was the very first farm to be certified.  Every three years, the certification must be renewed.

Why are your products frozen and not fresh?

As the farmer and processor, we can:
• Leave our products on the vine until the last possible moment, ensuring the highest possible nutrients and farm-fresh taste.
• Freeze produce within hours of harvest, locking in the just-picked flavor.
• Reduce or eliminate waste from food spoiling in stores, en route, or in your refrigerator.

What is Stahlbush’s policy on using pesticides?

Our policy is that healthy plants and healthy soil are our best defense against pests. In terms of pesticides, our preference is to spray nothing and allow nature to fight back against the insect, weed, fungus or other pest. If we find that a substance is needed, our first choice is to go to the The National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. As a last resort, and if none of these methods are adequate, only then will we spray a pesticide. Our policy is to only use the lowest effective amount of the most benign substance in the most targeted manner.

Do Stahlbush fruits and vegetables contain gluten?

No, none of our products contain gluten. We occasionally process our wheat berries in a dedicated area of our processing plant, and our equipment is thoroughly cleaned between products. We swab equipment to test for gluten contamination to be sure that there is no cross contamination taking place.

What about other allergens, such as eggs, dairy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, and soy?

At Stahlbush, we understand the seriousness of food allergies – they can be life threatening. We are pleased to be able to provide the marketplace with products that are completely clean and true to their label – 100% pure and natural. Our strict processing procedures have given us honors as “Food Processor of the Year” in the State of Oregon. Simply put: no allergen contamination here.

Do any of your products have additives?

We are a family farm.  As parents, we believe in CLEAN LABELS.  We want our fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes to speak for themselves.  Simply put, we never add salt, sugar, preservatives or anything else to any Stahlbush product.

Are any of your products Genetically Modified?

Stahlbush is staunchly opposed to producing anything with genetically modified seed. We ban the use of GMOs.

I’d like to carry your products in my retail store, how do I go about doing this?

Please e-mail us at sif@stahlbush.com with the subject line “Retail Inquiry.”

I’d like to buy your products as bulk ingredients for my food manufacturing company, how do I go about doing this?

Please e-mail us at sif@stahlbush.com with the subject line “Ingredients Inquiry.”