The Sustainability Center produces, promotes and sells local sustainably farmed food, and fosters a sustainable local economy by supporting local farmers, home gardeners and providing education to consumers.
We are committed to local food and education on gardening, preserving and cooking. We provide gardening supplies, including appropriate seeds for our climate, seedlings produced locally, and compost. We offer classes on gardening, raising chickens, cooking and composting, in cooperation with the Sawtooh Botanical Garden (see the link on the right to navigate to the Vegetable Garden Series of classes).
We are a distribution point for Idaho’s Bounty online food market.
The Center features a meeting space, a commercial kitchen and library stocked with inspiring books and DVDs on everything from whole-hog cooking to home composting.
The Wood River Sustainability Center stocks “beyond organic” (see our definition below) grass-finished lamb and beef, Berkshire pork, pastured chicken and eggs, wild-caught fish, local produce, garden supplies, and organic starts from the Wood River Valley. We also sell shares of beef, chicken, pork, and lamb and State Certified raw goat’s milk from Buhl.
For us being “beyond organic” means selling and producing Certified Naturally Grown products. A national program, CNG gives farmers an alternative to federal or state organic certification. While certified organic programs offer consumers some measure of confidence when buying from third parties, they are often cumbersome and costly for small, diversified farms. Learn more at CNG’s website: www.naturallygrown.org
Our practices and farming methods are more demanding and environmentally sound than “organic” or “free-range” labels. Our chickens, for example, are on pastured at least 8 hours a day. An organic or free-range chicken might have limited or no access to pasture at all. Our lambs are finished on grass. Some organic lambs spend their lives on feedlots. Our pigs are all pasture raised heritage breeds. It’s possible for organic certified pork to come from pigs that have never been outdoors.
Everything we sell meets our high standards!
1. We manage our livestock, pastures, and crops without using synthetic herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, or fertilizers.
2. When raising feed or over-seeding pasture we use locally or regionally produced organic seed. The seed has not been chemically treated or genetically engineered.
3. We treat livestock humanely. All animals are raised on pasture. Our feed is organic and raised locally. We don’t implant or feed antibiotics, hormones, and steroids.
4. We seek to enhance biodiversity on our farms, and improve our land stewardship with conservation practices.
5. We raise heritage breeds of livestock.
6. We care for our soil, water and air quality with sustainable management practices including rotational grazing, planting cover crops, and utilizing composts and mulches.
7. We buy and sell locally as much as possible. We encourage eating locally produced food in season.
8. We actively assist and encourage other local farmers to use sustainable practices and to become better land stewards.
9. We strive to pass on the land and surrounding environment in an even better condition than it was passed on to us.
10. We are owner-operators. We encourage you to call or email us with questions or to schedule a visit.