Produce Application

Blueberry Meadows

Owner: Kelsey Austin

Address:
1414 Rowe Ave
Weston Mills, NY 14788
Cattaraugus County

daytime phone: (716) 790-9477
evening phone: (716) 790-9477
Web site: http://www.facebook.com/Blueberry-Meadows-183364480531/

Application Date: 2017-12-09

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
Blueberry Meadows is a U-Pick blueberry farm in Western New York that has grown huge, all natural blueberries since 1986. We are family owned and operated. Our blueberry bushes are spread out over 4.5 acres. The bushes are pruned every year depending on growth. That is literally the only thing we do to them. They don't require anything else from us. People come every summer to pick at their leisure. We think it is important for our customers to KNOW we do things naturally. The fact is, our farm has always been totally natural, never using pesticides or fertilizer, so we thought, "Why not make it official?" People are looking for the purest form of produce. Luckily for them, we have always had that. If we can show our produce is "Certified Naturally Grown" we believe it will add appeal and perhaps attract more customers. This past year we invested in hardneck garlic. Our first crop was achieved with just four things, seed garlic, soil, sunlight, and water. We are learning that it takes time and experience to get things right. We planted a second crop this fall (ΒΌ acre) and used some new things like organic chicken manure, black plastic mulch and an Amish Hiller implement to speed up the planting process. We truly appreciate what you have accomplished with your grass roots organization. We have found it is far too costly in both time and money to even apply for "Certified Organic". Our farm is small, with just one part-time employee outside the family. If it weren't for you, there would be no other reasonable outlet for folks like us to show that we too, grow natural produce. It seems the initiative you have taken with CNG is changing the game for those of us who cannot spend thousands on other various certifications. Thank you for your time and consideration, Kelsey Austin Blueberry Meadows (Farm Manager) Cell: 716-307-6884 blueberrymeadowsfarm@gmail.com
Are you currently third party Certified for your produce operation by any other organization (Organic, Biodynamic, etc)? *
no
Have you ever been certified in the past? *
no
Have you ever been denied certification? *
no
How did you hear about Certified Naturally Grown? *
Purchased seed garlic from Six Circles Farm in New York.

General Farm Information

Farm Acreage you want listed as Certified Naturally GrownTM:
Total Farm Acreage you actually GROW on: *
5.5 Acres
Number of above acreage that you own: *
5.5 Acres
Number of above acreage that you lease: *
0
Do you have other acreage in "Conventional" Agricultural Systems? *
yes
If yes, how many acres are in conventional agriculture? *
25 Acres
If yes, please list what you are growing conventionally: *
We freely "lease" 25 acres at the very rear of the property to a local farmer. He grew corn last year, and soy beans this year.
General Listed Acreage Breakdown
Veg Crops:
Fruit Crops:
4.5
Hay:
N/A
Grains/Beans:
N/A
Sugarbush:
N/A
Other Acreage:
1
Please check all items you grow and will market as Certified Naturally GrownTM *











Please Specify Any Other Items:
Hardneck Garlic
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: *
New Holland Tractor with pull behind tiller.
Do you use Cover Crops? *
yes
If yes, please list: *
Buckwheat
Do you use Compost? *
no
Do you use Manure? *
yes
If yes, please note general sources (local dairy, horse farm, etc.): *
local Amish organic chicken 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". *
4 wheel barrels per 1/4 acre
What time of year do you apply the manure? *
Fall Planting and Spring
Do you apply any non-composted Manure within 120 days of veg-crop harvesting? *
no
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. *
Agricultural Lime (one ton per 1/4 acre) applied a few weeks before fall planting.
Have any chemical fertilizers been applied to the fields you are seeking Certification for in the last three years (36 months)? *
no
Have any non-acceptable pesticides and/or herbicides been applied to these fields in the last 3 years? *
no
Do you use Professional Soil Testing services? *
yes
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. *
Black Plastic Mulch is used to cover the garlic rows. There is a circular hole made in plastic for each garlic bulb. Any stray weeds can be pulled by hand. Blueberry bush rows are maintained with a walk behind string strimmer. Weeds are trimmed about 3 times per summer season.
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. *
Prevention is key, good sanitation, removing garlic refuse( stems, leaves, broken bulbs) from the soil at the end of harvest to eliminate potential food sources. Garlic has very few pests, but if we were to encounter any insect damage, (example: bulb mites, black aphids, nematodes) we would pull the bulb and any within its vicinity. We then would burn the effected bulbs. Crop rotation would then be employed to isolate infected soil. In the case of black aphids, an organic oil-based spray (either diluted neem or essential oils like thyme, rosemary, cloves, and peppermint) can be used to eliminate them. The oil will clog their spiracle and suffocate them. Blueberry bushes are unfortunately fed upon by Japanese Beetles some summers, to varying degrees. We do not currently employ any methods of control. We almost always have more than enough berries to meet demands. If the problem were bad enough we might resort to spraying borders with neem or essential oil spray, to keep beetles from even entering the property. Beetle bags are not a solution, they only end up attracting more beetles.
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. *
I am aware of nine diseases known to infect garlic. Garlic Rust(fungal disease), Downy Mildew, Mosaic Virus, Leaf Blight, Garlic Rot, Garlic Decay, Purple Blotch, and Basal/White Rot. All of which I would find and eliminate infected plants as well as those in its general vicinity. Bad plants would be isolated and burned. Infected area of soil would be left for years before planting in again.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
The sky. We do not irrigate, nor do we ever plan to.
Are there any known contaminants in the irrigation water? *
no
Are you a maple producer who seeks to certify your sugarbush? *
no

Seeds, Transplants and Buffers

Do you purchase or grow using any Genetically Modified seeds? *
no
Do you use any chemically treated seeds in your operation? *
no
Do you grow your own transplants? *
yes
Are they grown using Naturally Grown/Organic methods? *
yes
If they're not grown according to CNG methods, please list them here. This produce may not be sold as Certified Naturally Grown. (If they are, put "N/A") *
N/A
Do you purchase any transplants from outside sources? *
yes
From which sources do you buy transplants? *
Six Circles Farm, in the Finger Lakes of Western New York
How have you confirmed with your supplier that the transplants are grown without synthetic fertilizers or wetting agents? *
Bought from them because they are Certified Naturally Grown, corresponded several times through emails.
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). *
N/A
Chemical/Spray Drift and Buffers:
Is there any likelihood of Chemical/Spray drift contamination of your fields? *
yes
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.) *
Conventional farming is used by another farmer which we let grow on the rear 25 acres of our property. He grows corn and soy. I believe he uses some type of fertilizer, but I do not know for sure.
Do you have an adequate buffer to protect yourself from potential contamination? *
yes
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. *
There is a buffer of at least 40 feet between the southwestern-most corner of the conventional cornfield that we lease out and the northeastern-most corner of one section of blueberry bushes. This is the only questionable potential source of contamination on the entire property. The entire property is surrounded by a minimum of 100 yards of woods on all sides. The property is higher in elevation than most of the surrounding properties.

Agreements

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:
I thank you for the opportunity. I've taken alot of time to do this application and answered everything as best I know how. We are a very small farm, we don't make much money at all. We hope to hear from you soon. Thank you for your consideration, Kelsey Austin (Blueberry Meadows) blueberrymeadowsfarm@gmail.com cell: 716-307-6884