Produce & Flowers

Savage Mountain Farm

Owner: Ben Yoder

469 Albright Rd
Meyersdale, PA 15552
Somerset County

daytime phone: (828) 582-9407
evening phone: (828) 582-9407
Web site:

Application Date: 2015-03-04

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
We are applying to stay competitive at the farmers market among all the "natural", "organic" or "sustainable" farmers there. We feel more philosophically aligned with your program than the USDA organic certification.
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? *
Tables at conferences, seeing other farms certified.
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? *
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:
Mushrooms, if possible
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: *
Moldboard plow, PTO rototiller
Do you use Cover Crops? *
If yes, please list: *
Buckwheat, Winter Rye, Hairy Vetch, Oats, Winter Austrian Peas, Forage Radishes, Dutch White Clover as a living mulch
Do you use Compost? *
Do you use Manure? *
If yes, please note general sources (local dairy, horse farm, etc.): *
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". *
Around 1 ton per acre
What time of year do you apply the manure? *
Spring through Fall
Do you apply any non-composted Manure within 120 days of veg-crop harvesting? *
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. *
Dolomitic lime every great once in a while. i.e. every 4 years or so
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. *
Our worst weeds are definitely ragweed, pigweed, and some grasses. Our method of control is a living mulch of dutch white clover interplanted in our crops, as well as hand cultivation.
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. *
Flea beetles are our main insect problems, but bean beetles and cabbage worms are close behind. We utilize crysanthemum applications based on IPM thresholds. We also take time to go through and hand pick certain varities of pests. We also use physical barriers like remay, as well as pheromone traps for Japanese beetles. We also suffer slug damage on our shiitake mushrooms, but we have not utilized any methods of control, though we are considering trying diatamaceous earth this year or running ducks nearby in the woods.
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. *
We usually have tomato blight, which we control by undersowing dutch white clover, and sucker the tomatoes to increase airflow. We try not to use copper sulfate, but did use it on our tomatoes, basically out of fear of losing our tomatoes, for two seasons. We have since discovered living mulches and hope to utilize that method from now on. In addition we practice crop rotation to avoid disease and prevent copper build up in the soil. We have also used foliar applications of Basic H and compost tea for downy mildew and powdery mildew in our cucerbits.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
An artesian well.
Are there any known contaminants in the irrigation water? *
Are you a maple producer who seeks to certify your sugarbush? *
Maple sap is considered a wild crop. CNG's Wild Crop Harvesting Standard states that wild crop must be harvested in a manner that ensures that such harvesting or gathering will not be destructive to the environment and will sustain the growth and production of the wild crop. Please briefly describe any steps you take to protect and ensure the sustainability of your sugarbush. *
We take good care to tap the tree according to its circumference, and we also do not drill our taps any deeper than 1 1/2". We also wait until the appropriate time to tap, so as to not scar. We also do not drive tractors and tanks through our woods during the sensitive wet season. We tap only trees that we can easily drive to without making ruts.
Do you use an organic de-foamer? *
In rural areas, woods have unfortunately been used as dumping grounds for all manner of garbage, including toxic waste. These dumps can contaminate the sap, and your syrup, if too close to your sugarbush. Will you refrain from tapping any trees that stand within 50 feet of old dumps (or recent ones!) in or near your sugar bush? *
Over-tapping trees can stunt their growth. Do you (or will you) adhere to the Cornell Sugar Maple Research & Extension Program guidelines which state "trees 10-17 inches in diameter (31-53 inch circumference) should have no more than one tap. A tree 18-24 inches in diameter (57-75 inch circumference) should have no more than two taps. A tree larger than 25 inches in diameter (79-inch circumference) should have no more than three taps." *
To maximize tree health and sap production, CNG supports Cornell's recommendation that all taps are 5/16" in diameter or smaller. Is this your practice, and if not, would you be willing to transition to 5/16" (or smaller) taps within the next three years? Please elaborate. *
I think our taps are actually 3/8", and we were not aware of Cornell's recommendation. We would be willing to replace these with 5/16 over the next three years.
Use this space if there's anything else you'd like to share about your maple operation. *
We boil sap using wood, not diesel or propane.

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? *
Chemical/Spray Drift and Buffers:
Is there any likelihood of Chemical/Spray drift contamination of your fields? *
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. *
We are bordered by forest on the east side, our pasture is on the north border of our vegetables, on which we naturally raise livestock. To our south are our hayfields that we do not spray. The biggest risk of contamination lay on the western edge of our fields, where a dead end road goes by. In the winter, trucks come by plowing and spreading salt and gravel, but traffic is minimal and there is a hedgerow of small trees, bushes and forbes between our fields and the road.


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: