Produce & Flowers

Little Wild Things Farm

Owner: Marieke Vervoort

906 Bladensburg Rd NE
Washington, DC 20002
District of columbia County

daytime phone: (202) 750-0695
Web site:

Application Date: 2017-04-25

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
All of our produce is grown organically but we aren't ready to apply for organic certification and it may also not be practical given our multi-location urban model. We'd still like to have a certification that shows our customers that we are serious about growing naturally/organically.
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? *
Through fellow farmers
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: *
300 sf
Do you have other acreage in "Conventional" Agricultural Systems? *
General Listed Acreage Breakdown
Veg Crops:
Baby greens (many varieties), microgreens, edible flowers (many varieties), shoots (pea, sunflower, buckwheat, popcorn, etc.)
Fruit Crops:
Other Acreage:
Please check all items you grow and will market as Certified Naturally GrownTM *

Please Specify Any Other Items:
Edible flowers, salad greens, microgreens and shoots.
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: *
Low till - we use a small mantis tiller to till when we are first creating our raised beds. When we prep existing beds for new crops we use a broadfork, amend with locally produced compost and organic amendments as needed based on soil testing (e.g. kelp meal for example, this year), and then use a tilther to prep only the top two inches of soil for direct seeding or transplant.
Do you use Cover Crops? *
If yes, please list: *
We overwinter certain crops including peas and some greens and flowers (e.g. mache and violas) under poly low tunnels, in most of our beds, and rotate these beds from season to season. We have also used cover crop mixtures (hairy vetch, clover. and rye for example) in beds that weren't being used.
Do you use Compost? *
If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
We source our compost locally from Veteran Compost (certified for use in organic operations) and make a small amount of our own compost on the 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". *
1-2 inches deep per bed, each time the bed is turned over. We've ordered 4 yards of compost already this season and will likely be ordering more. We apply more compost in the early spring and a little bit less as beds are turned over mid-season (1
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 purchased kelp meal this year (pure kelp meal) and used some blood meal and bone meal during our first season. We test our soil each year and only amend based on the results of the soil tests. For indoor growing, We use a custom soil mix made for us by Veteran Compost, a local composting business. It contains their compost, which is certified for use in organic operations and I'm attaching the composition report for your reference. Here is the full list of ingredients: 1/4" screened organic compost (produced by Veteran Compost), 1/4" screened organic worm castings (produced by Veteran Compost), Coarse Vermiculite (produced by PVP Industries in Bloomfield, OH), and 1/4" screened OMRI certified peat moss (Sunshine Brand).
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 primary method of weed control is to use landscape fabric, and to plant at a high density to allow the crop to form a canopy to block out weeds. Besides these two methods, we manually weed a limited number of beds using colinear and stirrup hoes, and hand weeding.
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. *
Our main insect challenge has been harlequin bugs. So far, our only methods of control have been to use inset netting and then to stop planting brassicas when the weather gets too hot. We're also using crop rotation as a preventative measure and planting borders of diverse native perennials and a pollinator garden to increase diversity and beneficial insects in our system. We sometimes have issues with fruit flys at our indoor facility and our main method of control has been simply hanging sticky fly traps and we added covers/lids to all of our trash and recycling containers.
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 haven't had many disease issues at our outdoor plot yet (we are entering our third season). We are using crop rotation as a preventative measure. At our indoor location we have experienced issues with mold on our microgreens but have learned to control this using climate control measures (controlling for humidity and temperature) and planting at the correct density. We use micro-climates for certain microgreens by controlling the waste heat from different types of lighting (e.g. we use LED lights for cooler weather micros e.g. cilantro and florescent for heat-loving micros e.g. basil and purslane).
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
We use tap water from the DC water tap system only and drinking water safe hoses.
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? *
Plantmasters farm for some of our edible flower transplants.
How have you confirmed with your supplier that the transplants are grown without synthetic fertilizers or wetting agents? *
Yes - we specifically found this producer for our edible flowers transplants because they use strictly organic practices.
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? *
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 currently operate at two sites: our outdoor plot at 2131 Lincoln Rd NE (on the property of the Carmelite Friars Monastery), and our indoor location at 1648 N. Capitol St. NW (co-located with The Pub and the People on the lower level of the restaurant). The outdoor plot is located at the back of the Monastery in an area that has been a garden for decades tended by the monks. Beyond the wooded area to the South and an open field and tree border to the West, the adjacent land uses are two large cemeteries to the South and West. The adjacent land uses to the North and East are residential neighborhoods. The pub is surrounded by residential neighborhoods on all sides and mixed commercial use on the North Capitol street corridor.The only side that is slightly exposed is to the north, but we have planted a native pollinator garden on this side to eventually create somewhat of a buffer. The north side has residential houses on the other side of the fence and a alleyway that is only used by the local residents.


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: