The reason that such a smaller scale company such as Knouse has made such a large investment in their processes and quality is because they truly care about what they are doing and providing. They knew what phrases such as "green" and "ecofriendly" were before they become popular or even a small concern. These are the original farmers who WANT to recycle what they can back into the earth. They DONT WANT to use anything harful on their plants because it can affect each years growth and supply. They CARE if their product arn't the safest and most natural foods you are eating because their families are eating it too.
In saying that, listen to all the great things they have invested their research, time, and money in to help their land and the planets resources as well. In December 2010, Lucky Leaf spent 16 million to install 14 thousand solar panels across 9 acres of land that was originally a waste land that was capped off. This way they are still reusing the land on top of the new addition which provides approximately 25% energy to the surrounding areas. Knouse paid for over half of the costs to complete such an amazing project but because just under half of this was a government grant, they are hoping to have it entirely paid back within the next seven years.
Knouse Foods also recycles in so many other ways. Six million pounds of left over apples are ground up into pumace are ground up and sent to farmers for animal feed. Cherry pits can be used like rice in heat packs. Spray irrigation is used on the fields using the waste water from the cherry ice bins in order to recycle and replace. This is especially helpful since no streams come into the actual county. The have created large reservoirs throughout the orchards in the county to help provide natural water to the surrounding areas and incase of droughts.
IPM (integrated pest management) is used to reduce pesticides by introducing new pests to get rid of others or using things such as sticky tapes. Bees are also still brought in to help with pollenation. Smart sprayers are also used which use satellite to determine optimal times to spray based on things like weather. Today farmers use contact pesticides (only on the surface of the plant/edible) vs. sys-stemic pesticides (soak into the plant/edible) which is why it is recommended to wash your produce since the actual fruit/vegetable is safe throughout once the surface is cleaned. There is again even random testing for pesticides. Lucky Leaf customer service and testing center actually checks growers records of spray amounts with actual recorded amounts. Then testing is completed again by the FDA as well.