Produce & Flowers

Kankakee Valley Homestead

Owner: Thomas Eich

Walkerton, IN

daytime phone: (219) 363-1251
evening phone: (219) 363-1251

Application Date: 2022-01-18

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
We have been chemical-free since the start of our farm four years ago. For a while we thought certified organic was the way to go so we were working with CCOF's transitional program but I think CNG's program makes more sense for us as a smaller market farm.
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? *
A farmer we know is CNG and a market we are looking at attending recommends the program.
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? *
I first farmed at "The Garden Of..." a CCOF Organic Farm in Los Olivos California. After finishing college I came back to Indiana to transition the family farm. We've been managing a market garden for four years under organic guidelines in the goal of certification.

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: *
hay, wholesale commodity crops: corn and beans, wholesale potatoes Our efforts to keep certified and conventional crops separate include: A separate field, separate harvest equipment (color-coded crates), and separate refrigerated storage. A separate, clearly labeled table at our farmstead, online store, and market. One of our markets would consist only of CNG crops. Not mixing crops (things like our potatoes and sweet corn will ONLY be conventional while other crops like our salad greens will exclusively be on the CNG 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:

Farmland Management and Practices

Primary Tillage System: *
John Deere 5045 with disk harrow
Do you use Cover Crops? *
If yes, please list: *
Buckwheat, Cereal Rye, Wheat,
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. *
We applied 2 Ton of lime and 450# of potash per acre in Spring 2021.
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. *
Velvet leaf and marestail are our primary broadleaf challenges. We combat them with tillage and creating stale seed beds in our acres we are seeking to certify. If there is a problematic area we will keep it under a quick succession of short crop like radishes arugula to outcompete the weeds. In our conventional crop acres we use Prowl H20. Our primary grass challenge is foxtail. The only method we've found that works on our certified areas is tillage. In our conventional acres we use a clethodim.
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 primary challenges we face are potato beetles, squash bugs, and army worms. We've used OMRI spinosad with success in both conventional and certified acres.
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. *
Powdery Mildew and Mosaic Virus our our primary challenges. As of yet we haven't treated for them as the problem tends to be only in the primary growing season when we can't afford the pre-harvest intervals of many sprays. Our best strategy is to choose resistant varieties and to prevent cross-contamination through good sanitation practices.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
We use either the house well or a sandpoint well just off the field to fill 1000 gal nurse tanks that we hook to irrigation. Our plan is to dig a deeper, larger well we can use our hose reel on.
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. *
We generally source seeds through Johnny's, High Mowing, and a couple local companies. We would adhere to CNG standards for seed selected for our certified field.
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? *
we purchase
What ingredients does your potting mix contain? If you purchase a mix, please also indicate which product. *
we have used fox farms ocean forest or happy frog but are open to alternatives.
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 seeking to certify our four acre market garden field. There is road and an approx 20 foot buffer between the field the road and across the road our hay field located 70 to the north. There is a treeline, road, and approx 120 foot buffer between the field and our field to the east that we rent for conventional agriculture. There is an approx 380 ft buffer inlcluding a treeline between the field and the field to the west that we rent for conventional agirculture. To the south is wetlands protected programs extending over 800 feet.


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 seeking to certify the four acre field on which we have farmed the majority of our market vegetables for years with organic practices in mind. Last spring we added a 40 acre field that we currently sublease half of it out. On our half we grow conventional corn and bean crops as well as our potato crop, and I think our U pick sunflowers will also be on that field next year. I would eventually like to add those acres as well in the future but not for the current year.