Growing Method Definitions

Farmers have self-identified their growing practices in the TasteBuds Local Food Guide. We encourage consumers to engage the farmers directly if they have specific questions about farm practices, products, or growing philosophy. Farmer growing practices and claims are not certified or endorsed by the TasteBuds Local Food Guide or the Local Food Program.

Certified Biodynamic
A national certification by Demeter USA for farms that meet the highest agricultural and environmental standards by treating the farm as a living organism.
Certified Naturally Grown
An international certification for farms that is based on the USDA National Organic Standard Program- in some cases, such as with livestock, the regulations are more stringent. Certification is based on the "Participatory Guarantee System" model, which is a peer-review type certification program.
Certified Organic
A national certification by the USDA for farming organically, with regulations such as the avoidance of most synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides and genetically modified organisms.
Non-certified Organic
Organically-grown food that has not been certified by the USDA, these farms claim to meet or exceed the USDA organic standards.
Sustainable farming methods are self-defined and may indicate such farm practices as the avoidance of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides and utilizing humane livestock practices. The term “sustainable” is often used interchangeably with "non-certified organic".
Conventional Agriculture
Utilizes modern technologies such as synthetic fertilizers and pesticides to grow food in a production-based model.
Industrial Agriculture
A term that refers to large-scale conventional agriculture operations that commonly utilize technologies such as genetically-modified organisms and growth hormones to produce food for a national or global market.

Other Food Related Definitions

Community Garden
A community garden can be any parcel of land gardened by a group of people. Community gardens give people the ability to grow their own food, as well as contribute to the preservation & beautification of open spaces.
Community Supported Agriculture programs enable community members to partner with a farm to “buy shares” of farm produce over a growing year, helping to ensure that the farm can remain operational. In a CSA program, the members receive a share of the farm’s produce weekly.
A business (anything from a buying group to a grocery store) that is owned, operated, and supported by its workers or customers. Members of the food cooperative have control over what is purchased and sold, usually favoring locally-grown and produced foods. A benefit of this model is that costs of such high-quality goods can be kept low because of its combined buying power.
Food Artisan
Food Artisans produce superior quality, hand-crafted food products with great skill, using local ingredients whenever possible. Examples are cheese, bread and wine.
The interconnected network of food producers, distributors, and markets who provide food to a specific area.
Food Security
Food security exists “when all people have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life” (according to the World Health Organization). Food security is a broad term that refers to both physical and economic access to food. Increasing local food production and consumption increases food security.
In the words of Chattanooga's storyteller Jim Pfitzer "People who make conscious efforts to eat as locally, as minimally processed, and as natural and preservative- free as possible."
A system on some farms whereby people are allowed to harvest food from the farm, usually fruits such as berries. Search “Pick Your Own” to find a farm where you can harvest your own food.