Produce Application

Heartstrong Farm LLC

Owner: Eva Moss

Address:
10435 US HWY 64 E
Staley, NC 27355
Randolph County

daytime phone: (703) 577-7288
evening phone: (703) 577-7288
Web site: http://www.growheartstrong.com

Application Date: 2017-06-12

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
My husband Patrick and I (Eva) started our small scale (1 acre in cultivation) farm business this past January on leased land in North Carolina. We were inspired and called to this work after various apprenticeships on small sustainable farms and homesteads across New England and the Southeast. We believe that intentional and kind stewardship of the land leads to good food, which sustains not only our bodies but also our communities. We grow our vegetables, herbs, and cut flowers, without using harmful synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, and we are seeking Certified Naturally Grown certification so that our market customers and CSA members can know that when we say our produce is "naturally grown" it is guaranteed by a trusted organization that conducts inspections and requires a financial obligation from producers to stand by their commitment to grow naturally, for humans and the environment.
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? *
I first learned of Certified Naturally Grown from In Town Organics and Summer Fields Farm near where I went to college in Sewanee, Tennessee. I also became more familiar with the certification while listening to the Farmer to Farmer podcast, and following other certified farms like Kneehigh Farm.

General Farm Information

Farm Acreage you want listed as Certified Naturally GrownTM:
Total Farm Acreage you actually GROW on: *
1 acre
Number of above acreage that you own: *
0
Number of above acreage that you lease: *
1
Do you have other acreage in "Conventional" Agricultural Systems? *
no
General Listed Acreage Breakdown
Veg Crops:
0.95
Fruit Crops:
Hay:
Grains/Beans:
0.05
Sugarbush:
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: *
We grow in raised beds that were established by previous sustainable farmers on the land. Our tillage system is to first assess weed pressure and soil compaction of the beds. If both are low, we go in with a broadfork to loosen soil, add compost and composted manure, and then broadfork those amendments in and mulching the bed before planting. If both are high, we weed eat on and around the bed, and then run through with our rear tine rototiller, amending in compost and other OMRI listed and natural amendments (if needed). Our tillage depth is relative to each crop and the compaction of the soil. We strive for minimal tillage.
Do you use Cover Crops? *
yes
If yes, please list: *
Clover and buckwheat
Do you use Compost? *
yes
If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
Purchased complete for this first year, but managing a large compost pile on farm and hoping to supplement our own compost next year to the purchased complete compost (from Brooks Compost in North Carolina).
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". *
About 10 wheelbarrow loads per 1,000 sq ft
Do you use Manure? *
yes
If yes, please note general sources (local dairy, horse farm, etc.): *
We use composted chicken manure (OMRI listed fertilizer from Harmony) as fertilizer
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 cup per 10 feet
What time of year do you apply the manure? *
A few days to a week before planting
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. *
We use an OMRI listed bone meal to side dress our beets and solanaceous crops. We use it while the beet roots are tiny and before the solanaceous crops set fruit. We apply the bone meal by side dressing in bands a couple of inches away from the plant along the rows. We dig a shallow furrow, sprinkle in the bone meal, cover with compost, and then run drip irrigation over to help the roots absorb its minerals and nutrients.
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. *
We work with our weeds. We have thistles, crab grass, wild asters, goldenrod, and wild dock (our most worrisome weed) all over the place. After tilling, prepping bed, and planting, we control weeds by cultivating with hand hoes (long handled and a wheel hoe), hand weeding in some places, and weed eating in pathways and along the sides of beds. This has woked well for us in managing weed pressure on our crops. Since we transplant 90% of our crops, they have a jump start on the weeds. We have noticed that certain weeds, like thistle attract potato beetles, so we let them feed on that instead of our cash crops, and pull out the thistles before they go to seed. Dock is our most worrisome weed as it harbors aphid populations, though we have found that ants have begun to feed on them and are keeping the population in check) and it contracts and spreads cercospora leaf spot to surrounding crops. We pull up dock where it is small enough to do so, weed eat it, and cut down tall stand, especially before it goes to seed. We are careful to not till under dock as it will become even more prolific and challenging to manage. We do not use any herbicides (synthetic or OMRI listed) to control weeds, as our methods are all mechanical.
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 biggest insect problems are cabbage moths and larvae, Japanese beetles, flea beetles, and slugs. We control for cabbage moths on our cabbage crops by applying OMRI listed BT from Montreal as directed on the label many weeks before harvest, and then once we are harvesting the crop we mechanically control the larvae and cabbage worms by squishing them. Japanese beetles came out two weeks ago and have been killed on our bush and pole beans, sunflowers, and zinnias. I have been mixing biodegradeble EOS soap in water in a mason jar and tapping the beetles in, and have also applied need spray to our bean leaves (no flowers yet) and to our zinnias. For flea beetle control, we sprinkled diatomaceous earth on our radish, turnip, and bean seedlings and covered them with shade cloth until they were an inch or two tall. This has worked well for us. For slugs, they mostly damage our lettuce and flower crops, so when pressure appears high we sprinkle down Sluggo in the evening as directed on the label.
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. *
Cercospora (leaf spot) is our biggest issue as of right now. It was a very wet spring and we let the weeds in the pathways get too high which trapped moisture in on the hotter days leading to leaf spot. The first thing we did was weed eat to increase air flow, and then did one application of neem oil on our beets. The leaf spot did not totally go away, but we have found that our customers understand that it is an aesthetic issue with the beets and not a quality of taste issue and therefore cercopsora has not negatively effected the crops profitability.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
Private well on the farm property
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? *
no
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.) *
Our farm is located across the highway from a conventional corn and hay farm sprays using conventional chemicals. However, there is a tree line buffer between the farm and the highway and we believe the drift effect is minimal to none, especially as we have not smelled anything or noticed any residues on our fields as we grow at least a couple of miles away from the farm in question - but we know there is always a chance.
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. *
Our two production fields have a treeline on at least one side and the other sides are surrounded by old buildings. The 16 acre property we are leasing is entirely south facing and faces HWY 64, across which to the west is a conventional farm property with a treeline buffer on their property that runs along the highway. We have 12 out buildings sprinkled through out the property, and our production fields are at a lower elevation than most of the buildings. Our largest production field has a tree buffer around the entire perimeter, minus the entry point (about 20 feet wide). To the west of our property is a horse farm and to the east runs a creek and there is a road, across which is a residence whose land appears to be fallow.

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:
We are a new small farm that aims to serve a county in our state that is largely made up of food deserts and conventional livestock and commodity farms. We are striving to provide wholesome naturally grown food to our neighbors and beautiful flowers and healing herbs that are safe for all. We believe that if approved for the CNG certification, the label, its standards, and the CNG organization will be a great educational resource to provide to our community, which we have found is hungry to learn more about natural foods and healthy living.