We are a grassroots, farmer-led movement created to distinguish soil-grown and pasture-raised products under USDA organic.
Get Certified Today.

Enid Wonnacott and Kate Duersterberg march to keep the soil in organic

Our mission is to grow people’s understanding of foundational organic values and practices; crops grown in soil and livestock raised on pasture are fundamental to organic farming.

Our first goal is to create an add-on label to USDA certified organic to provide more transparency on organic farming practices and level the playing field right on the shelf.

Today, the lobbying efforts of Big Ag have ultimately won, allowing the input-dependent confined animal operations and hydroponic industries to bend the rules for their own benefit.

Family farmers meeting the letter and spirit of organic law are suffering while consumers are once again in need of transparency in the market place.

“Real organic farming is a circle of endless renewal and it can succeed wherever there is soil.”
– Eliot Coleman


90 second read:
by Eliot Coleman

Eliot Coleman with his crops at at Four Season Farm

– Eliot Coleman, Spring 2019

1. Organic farming is based on the creation and maintenance of a biologically active fertile soil.

2. Pest-free plants and animals with active immune systems are a direct result of a biologically active fertile soil that has been shown to induce pest resistance in the crops.

3. Truly fertile soil results in food of the highest nutritional quality.

4. Investigations into the miraculous soil micro-biome are revealing the vital natural processes that support a self-renewing agriculture.

5. Real soil fertility does not require inputs from off the farm. It can be endlessly self renewed with farm-derived compost, crop rotations, green manures, cover crops, grazing livestock, and other time-honored practices that nurture the boundless energy and logic of the earth.

6. Deep rooting grass and legume pastures in the rotation can make available the almost inexhaustible nutrient supply from the lower levels of the soil.

7. Since the biologically based systems of the organic farm are powered by ecologically sound management practices, not purchased fertilizers, this food production system is freely available to farmers everywhere and can thus feed mankind with exceptional food in perpetuity.

Meet Our
Board + Staff

Real Organic Project Board Members Francis Thicke and Linley Dixon at Radiance Dairy in Fairfield Iowa


Keep the soil in organic sign at Vermont organic farming rally

Find Real
Organic Farms

Anne and Jack Lazor in the field at Butterworks Farm with a jersey cow and a corgi dog

the Latest

Real Organic Project Board Members Eliot Coleman and Dave Chapman Inspect Tomatoes

Know Your
Farmer Videos

Jean-Paul Courtens of Roxbury Farm in hos Real Organic Project Know Your Farmer video

Just Ask! Campaign

The Real Organic Project encourages consumers to “Just Ask” how their USDA organic food is grown. Remember, we control this conversation if we choose to!

Is This Produce Hydroponic?
Please join the many people who are asking stores whether the certified organic tomatoes, peppers, berries, lettuce, cucumbers, and basil they sell are hydroponic or grown in the soil.

Current hydroponic production involves fertilizing plants with unsustainably sourced liquid nutrients from off the farm. This is quite different from the nutritional density a plant receives when it thrives in a healthy soil ecosystem in soils rich in organic matter.

Is This Meat, Milk, or Eggs from a CAFO?
Ask stores if the certified meat, milk, and eggs are produced on farms that raise animals on pasture. Are the cows primarily eating grass or imported grains? In other words, are the farms they source from actually CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) hiding behind the organic label, or are they REAL organic farms?

The people in the stores mostly won’t know the answers to these questions, but if fifty customers ask them, they will surely find out. The stores will only care if their customers care.

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