Produce & Flowers

Spruill Farm Conservation Project

Owner: Jack Spruill

767 Spruill Loop Road
NC State Road 1318
Roper, NC 27970
Washington County

Mailing Address:
1836 Corcus Ferry Road
Hampstead, NC 28443

daytime phone: (910) 599-5640
Web site:

Application Date: 2013-08-14

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
The farm has 23 highly productive fig bushes. They have been on the farm since at least 1914. They receive no herbicides, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, lime or human watering. They obviously like the soil type and natural food elements in it. Currently I give the figs to anyone who will pick them. Even so many go to waste each August and September. I am seeking persons who will accept my donated figs, pick and market them to food stores or at farmers' markets. I think having this Certified Naturally Grown certification should help in that marketing. Further, I hope that many of the 75 acres of land rented to a row crop farmer will be taken over by produce farmers who will seek Certified Naturally Grown designation for those acres. I am sure that having this Certified Naturally Grown designation for these fig bushes will encourage that process.
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? *
On Facebook.
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: *
The farm has a total of 110 acres. The 75 acres in traditional row crop farming are rented on a year-to-year basis to a conventional farmer. In 2013 he has the full acreage in corn. For the prior two years he grew cotton and a double crop of wheat followed by soybeans. In prior years peanuts were grown on some of the 75 acres.
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:
As stated above, my hope is that the figs will be marketed to some combination of the above marketing outlets.

Farmland Management and Practices

Primary Tillage System: *
The is no tillage. Competing vegetation (AKA weeds!) are controlled by mowing and hand removal.
Do you use Cover Crops? *
Do you use Compost? *
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. *
none used
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. *
Grass around the bushes is controlled by mowing. Within the bushes there are some challenges from honeysuckle, trumpet vine,and smilex species of vines. Since the fig bushes are so dense, most of the potential competing vegetation / weeds are shaded out. We do not use any herbicides of any type within or around the bushes. Most of the vine cutting is done in the winter when one can see clearly any vines that are seeking to be get established.
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. *
The figs are targets of wasps and other sweet eating insects. They mostly attack overripe figs or figs that have spoiled or split open because of rain. The only thing we do to decrease this activity is to knock some of the overripe, spoiled or split figs off the bushes. We do not use any pesticides. Fig roots are major hosts for nematodes. However, we do nothing to fight back. Some of the weaker bushes may show some stress from drought in dry summers because the nematodes are damaging the feeder roots.
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. *
The foliage of the bushes seem to be vulnerable to a rust late in the summer. It is not a major issue. Anyway, by the time the rust begins to appear, the fig fruit crop is mostly over. We do not apply anything to fight the rust.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
We use no irrigation. Simply rely on rain.
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? *
I purchased the Texas Everbearing Fig bush from Farmers Supply Company in Wilmington, NC. They told me the bush was propagated by Wilson's Farm Nursery in North Carolina. I do not know that nursery.
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). *
I do know whether the Texas Everbearing Bush was rooted, etc. according to CNG standards, but it is perennial.
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.) *
There is the potential for drift from the conventional row crop farming on the 75 acres I rent to the north, west and south of the bushes. My goal for the farm is to eliminate all such chemical application on all acreage.
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. *
To the west and north of the bushes, there is approximately a 20 foot separation between the edge of the bushes and the farmed land. The land is flat; I would not say that the field land slopes to or away from the bushes. To the east and south there is approximately a 150 foot separation from additional fields consisting of mowed yard and trees and bushes. I have asked the farmer to take measures to minimize any drift. All spray is tractor-mounted and as low to the ground as possible; I do not allow aerial spraying.


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:
There a photos of the fig bushes on the web site and the Facebook page.