Produce & Flowers

Vibrant Farm

Owner: Meghan Riehl

261 Old Mt. Tom Rd
Bantam, CT 06750
Litchfield County

daytime phone: (860) 266-1918
Web site:

Application Date: 2020-12-01

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
the NOP is growing further from the reason for its inception; we feel CNG aligns closer to our business and personal mission
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? *
If yes, please note which agencies and dates: *
The farm property has been certified organic since 2013
Have you ever been denied certification? *
How did you hear about Certified Naturally Grown? *
conferences, research; words getting out!
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:
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:
Our own online store with pickup at market and on-farm

Farmland Management and Practices

Primary Tillage System: *
reduced tillage; still purchasing equipment however we expect: occasional deep fracture with chisel shank; shallow disk or power harrow; permanent wheel tracks
Do you use Cover Crops? *
If yes, please list: *
overwinter rye w/ various seasonal covers including pea & oat, buckwheat, summer cocktails, and various fall mixes.
Do you use Compost? *
If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
initially will purchase off-farm; will initiate compost program with backhauled organic wastes and imported manures, leaves, and wood chips
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". *
generally, 1 in deep
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. *
HoloMac (AEA) N, Ca, P, K, Mg, B, Co + Humates; HoloMic (AEA) Co, Cu, Mn, B, Zn, S + Humates; HoloPhos (AEA) P, Ca + Humates; HoloK (AEA) K, Ca + Humates; HoloCal (AEA) Ca, B + Humates; PhotoMag (AEA) Mg, S, B, Co, Mo + Humates; HumaCarb (AEA) Humic Acid; SeaShield (AEA) 2-1-1 Crab; SeaStim (AEA) Seaweed; Accelerate (AEA) Mn, Seaweed, SeaShield; EM-1 (Teraganix) Soil Biology; Pepzyme C (AEA) Enzyme Stimulant; Rejuvenate (AEA) Microbiology Food 1-0-3; Spectrum (Teraganix) biological inoculant; Biogenesis (Teraganix) biological inoculant; Micro5000 Organic (Teraganix) biological inoculant; Hi-Cal Lime, pelletized; Gypsum, pelletized; Humates NM rock; Ida-Grow Soft Rock Phosphate; Sulphur, elemental (Tiger) 90% S; Solubor (20 mule team) 20% B; Zinc Sulfate; Copper Sulfate; Azomite; SEA 90; Alfalfa Meal, organic; Kelp Meal, organic North Atlantic 1-0.2-1.8 + trace; Seed Meal, organic (TBD); Organic Layer Compost; Basalt (bulk) rock dust; Wollastonite (calcium silicate); Talc (magnesium silicate); Sodium Molybdate; Manganese Sulfate (soluble); Cobalt Sulfate (soluble) Rock minerals used once annually based on crop tests; soluble mineral nutrients from AEA used for foliar program as necessary based on crop program, observed stress, or leaf sap analysis results.
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. *
We rely on reduced tillage to minimize weed concerns; often hand pulling is all that is necessary. Quick turnover crops have few weed issues and long season crops are generally mulched or undersown with a cover crop. We use no products beyond organic mulches to control weeds.
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. *
Previous management on the property has had issues with larvae and beetles; we anticipate no-till and increased nutrient management focus to reduce concerns of insect damage. We try to take a nutritional approach to the plant instead of a controlling response to insect issues. We use no specific products for insect control.
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. *
Previous management on the property has noted various wilts, mildew, blight, and bacterial issues. Much like insects, we take a nutritional approach to solve deficiencies causing weakness and disease susceptibilities. We use no specific products for disease control measures.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
2 on-site wells
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 prioritize organic, open-pollinated seeds produced regionally
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? *
currently purchase, expecting to mix in future
What ingredients does your potting mix contain? If you purchase a mix, please also indicate which product. *
Use McEnroe Organic - Perennial Blend, Lite Potting Soil; Vermont Compost Organic - Fort Vee
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? *
Gilberties Organics
How have you confirmed with your supplier that the transplants are grown without synthetic fertilizers or wetting agents? *
yes, certified organic
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). *
none yet
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. *
residential on all adjacent sides; residential community with mixed small agricultural use; deer fence surrounding 12 acres of property; grass barrier surrounding all fields; one field with adjacent residential horse pasture separated by deer fence & 10 ft. grass buffer; all other fields separated by grass buffer and dirt road, unmanaged shrubland, and residential property.


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:
The property we are managing as Vibrant Farm has been certified organic since 2013. We will be discontinuing the organic certification in preference of CNG as we feel it better aligns with our business mission, current scale, production methodology, and direct sales model. CNG's peer-to-peer, grassroots system appears to foster community and stand by the original intent of the organic movement. We are excited to confirm our commitment to our practices through CNG and join the community of growers that have chosen this program. With the support of the landowner, we aim to manage with enough documentation to re-certify USDA organic if we or a future tenant chooses.