Produce & Flowers

Living Hope Farm

Owner: Sherri McGonigle

461 Indian Creek Road
PO Box 409
Harleysville, PA 19438
Montgomery County

Mailing Address:
PO Box 409
Harleysville, PA 19438

daytime phone: (215) 256-4400
Web site:

Application Date: 2013-04-05

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
We love the idea of being peer inspected and being able to advertise with a national symbol of our practices that represent who we are. We have been growing according to the OMRI standards for three years now but have chosen NOT to become organically certified; but instead take this path. We support many of your partner organizations like Bakers Creek Heirlooms, OMRI, and Local Harvest. We would like to further let people know through our marketing why growing sustainably is important.
Are you currently third party Certified for your produce operation by any other organization (Organic, Biodynamic, etc)? *
Have you ever been certified in the past? *
Have you ever been denied certification? *
How did you hear about Certified Naturally Grown? *
A neighboring CSA that went out of business is assisting Living Hope Farm and suggested this is another route besides seeking Organic Certification.
How did you learn to farm, and for how long have you been farming for market? What has prepared you to farm successfully according to CNG standards? *

General Farm Information

Farm Acreage you want listed as Certified Naturally GrownTM:
Total Farm Acreage you actually GROW on: *
Number of above acreage that you own: *
Number of above acreage that you lease: *
Do you have other acreage in "Conventional" Agricultural Systems? *
If yes, how many acres are in conventional agriculture? *
If yes, please list what you are growing conventionally: *
This is adjacent land that is used primarily for silage storage for the neighboring farm. A portion of that land is spread with (what I call sludge) from his cow manure in the barn and then he grows corn on it for his cows. Eventually when we are a larger operation we hope to reclaim that land and create above ground crops for market.
General Listed Acreage Breakdown
Veg Crops:
Fruit Crops:
Other Acreage:
Please check all items you grow and will market as Certified Naturally GrownTM *

Please Specify Any Other Items:
Please check all markets you grow for (this will be displayed on your farm profile to help potential buyers find you). *

Please Specify Other Markets:

Farmland Management and Practices

Primary Tillage System: *
Do you use Cover Crops? *
If yes, please list: *
often will cover early spring pea crops with common buckwheat, till under and use that area for fall brassicas overwinter a mix of rye, oats, and crimson clover have been our standard...but I would like to try sorgham to see what effect it could have on nemotodes. Our lower area of the farm had field peas, white clover and soybeans (deer attractant for fall hunting season)
Do you use Compost? *
If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
on farm. We have had leaf drops and wood chips from our local borough to add to our compost. We also had the fortunate (though unfortunate) use of our neighbors straw storage from a barn fire. He chose to dump it all on his fields and we requested a large amount to add to our compost as it overwintered. Additionally it has been the manure and plant material from on farm.
Please list application rates. Give a specific amount or range (for example: one to two tons per acre, ten wheelbarrow loads per 1,000 square feet, or 1-2 inches deep). Do not answer "varies". *
6-7 front end loads per 2,000 square feet
Do you use Manure? *
Please list any other brought in fertility sources that you use (specific rock powders, lime, soybean / alfalfa meal, specific purchased pre-mixes, etc)and how often it's used. If you indicate a name brand product, please also specify the ingredient/s. *
we limed our fields in the fall of 2009 prior to planting in 2010...but since then we have not had to add any except 40-50 lb of lime within the 2 high tunnels. No lime added since 2-2011
Have any chemical fertilizers been applied to the fields you are seeking Certification for in the last three years (36 months)? *
Have any non-acceptable pesticides and/or herbicides been applied to these fields in the last 3 years? *
Do you use Professional Soil Testing services? *
Describe your primary weed problems AND methods of control. Do not answer "none". You MUST indicate either actual weed challenges and/or LIKELY challenges, and you must ALSO indicate how you manage (or would manage) them. If you indicate a product, also specify how often it's used. *
chickweed is fairly dominate as well as rye grass that has gone to seed from our early cover crop. We use only hand weeding and cultivation prior to planting for the additives or herbicides. Any ideas are welcomed. Our second weed is unknown by name. It is a terrible thorny plant that is painful to touch. We treat it the same way to erradicate by tilling, hand weeding, and maybe this year - flaming.
Describe your primary insect challenges AND methods of control. Do not answer "none". You MUST indicate either actual pest challenges and/or LIKELY challenges, and you must ALSO indicate how you manage (or would manage) them. If you indicate a product, also specify how often it's used. *
Primary insect challenges are the squash bugs, cucumber beetles, flea beetles, and harlequin bugs and cabbage and hornworms primarily We have rotated through applications of Pyganic, Surround WP, garlic oil, and diatomacious earth, and as a preventative treatment for our worst bugs we would use Neem oil though sparingly..often for those crops under remay before flying insects awake and are too active. Pyganic, 1 1/2 oz. /6 gallons water Dipel DF: 1 tsp/gallon of water for cutworms, hornworms, cabbage worms, fruitworms, sprayed in early am, days with lower temp. and no wind *would spray Dipel DF in rotation with Pyganic as needed only Diatomaceous Earth -- used as a light dust or around base of plant for flea beetles and slugs on kohlrabi when needed, also on leaves of eggplant Garlic Oil: Surround WP : primarily for heat stress reduction and cuc beetle deterrent -- when spraying cucumbers - 3c./gallon of water; on summer squash at same rate for deterring squash bugs and cuc beetle, also used as a plant douse before planting squash & eggplant Neem Oil: 2 tbsp. and 1 1/2 tsp. dish soap per gallon of water. To reduce a build up of populations it is important to make treatments to crops targeting insects in an early stage of their life cycle.
Describe your primary disease challenges AND methods of control. Do not answer "none". You MUST indicate either actual disease challenges and/or LIKELY challenges, and you must ALSO indicate how you manage (or would manage) them. If you indicate a product, also specify how often it's used. *
1st we choose organic, hybrid, and open pollinated varieties that are resistant to each of these diseases Bacterial Wilt - starting early with row covers and yellow sticky cup traps, and foliar application of kaolin clay (Surround WP) Late Blight - we consider site selection, air circulation, certified potato seed, ventilate greenhouse, and drip irrigate to reduce leaf wetness, we do not stake or prune when wet. To treat using OMRI standards we used Champ (copper fungicide), Oxidate (fungicide/bactericide -- 1/2 - 1 oz /4 gallons, and Actinovate Powdery Mildew - remove infected leaves and dispose of in waste container, maintain enough air circulation, use drip irrigation to reduce splashing, and to control if it becomes a problem, we use Neem oil by Mixing 2 tbsp. and 1 1/2 tsp. dish soap per gallon of water. Spray all plant surfaces, including the undersides of leaves, until wet.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
two wells on site: one deep water well at 260 feet and the second at an unknown depth.
Are there any known contaminants in the irrigation water? *
Are you a maple producer who seeks to certify your sugarbush? *

Seeds, Transplants and Buffers

How do you select your seeds? CNG standards call for growers to make a good faith effort to locate organically grown seeds by contacting at least 3 major suppliers. *
Do you purchase or grow using any Genetically Modified seeds? *
Do you use any chemically treated seeds in your operation? *
Do you grow your own transplants? *
Do you purchase potting soil, or do you mix your own on the farm? *
What ingredients does your potting mix contain? If you purchase a mix, please also indicate which product. *
Are all of your transplants grown according to CNG standards, without synthetic fertilizers or wetting agents? *
If any transplants are not grown according to CNG standards, please list them here. (If they all are, put "N/A".) This produce may not be marketed as Certified Naturally Grown. *
Do you purchase any transplants from outside sources? *
From which sources do you buy transplants? *
some garlic seed for our next season crop...most of it we save from year to year.
How have you confirmed with your supplier that the transplants are grown without synthetic fertilizers or wetting agents? *
Please list any bought-in transplants not grown according to CNG standards. This produce may not be sold as Certified Naturally Grown (except, in the case of perennials, after twelve months of CNG cultivation). *
Chemical/Spray Drift and Buffers:
Is there any likelihood of Chemical/Spray drift contamination of your fields? *
If yes, please state the source (conventional farm field, golf course, etc.)and any details you can provide (type of pesticide, fertilizer, herbicide used, and/or what used for.) *
unsure about neighbor with his corn crop...we have not seen this at all...he may treat his soil at the time of planting ?!
Do you have an adequate buffer to protect yourself from potential contamination? *
Please describe your buffer. Be as specific as possible. On all sides, how far is it from your crops to the next closest use (road, conventional crop, residential yard)? Be sure to specify what is grown on neighboring land that is in agricultural use. For example: To the north and east, a wooded area of at least 100 yards separates us from the neighbor's corn fields, to the south is a fallow field at least 100 yards deep separating us from the road, and to the west about 60 feet separates our crops from a field where conventional corn and soybeans are grown. *
our buffer is easily 300 feet wide to the East of us, we are uphill of him and we have very tall trees, and brush between us. Our crops below have house, barn and 300 yards and a brushy patch along the creek 15 -20 feet wide.


Please indicate your agreement with the following statements by checking the boxes.
I will not label, or in any way lead consumers to believe that produce not raised in accord with CNG standards is Certified Naturally GrownTM. *
I understand that I have to complete at least one (and hopefully more) Certification Inspection(s) of another farm in my area each year, and that the inspection will NOT be of the same farmer that inspected me. *
I have reviewed the Certified Naturally Grown certification standards, I understand them, and I will abide by them. I understand that if I have any questions I may contact CNG for clarification. *
You may use this space to tell us anything else you think we should know about your farm: