(March 25) CASTROVILLE, Calif. — Buyers who want to ensure that their artichokes are free of pesticides now have that assurance from Ocean Mist Farms.

All of Ocean Mist’s artichokes now have NutriClean certification.

Maggie Bezart, vice president of marketing and sales for Ocean Mist, said the company’s broccoli, cauliflower and sweet corn already had been certified by NutriClean.

Some of its artichokes had been, as well.

“We started on a minimal basis with our artichokes last year,” Bezart said.

“This year we wanted to apply it to all of the artichokes. We go through the fields several times, so it’s simpler to go ahead and certify everything. That way, we can offer NutriClean-certified product to our customers no matter what field we harvest.”

NutriClean is an independent, third-party certification system for pesticide sampling of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Many major national retailers use the NutriClean system to demonstrate that their produce carries no detectable pesticide residues.

The NutriClean certification program recognizes and rewards agricultural production by growers whose crops meet standards that are up to 1,000 times tougher than government standards, Bezart said. The program’s certification process includes a variety of tests on all pesticides used.