Produce & Flowers

Seven Oaks Farm

Owner: Erica Fernbach

Bostic, NC

Web site:

Application Date: 2021-05-03

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
We appreciate and admire the community surrounding the Certified Naturally Grown movement and would love to be a part of it. We are proud of our growing practices and commitment to promoting biodiversity and soil health on our farm. We see becoming Certified Naturally Grown as a way to help us market our approach and offer peace of mind to customers looking for produce grown without the use of chemical inputs.
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 and seeing the logo around
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:

Farmland Management and Practices

Primary Tillage System: *
We practice minimal tillage with our two-wheel tractor. Our field/bed preparation process is typically mowing, tarping, broadforking, and either mulching for transplanting or power harrowing for direct-seeding.
Do you use Cover Crops? *
If yes, please list: *
Winter: crimson clover, cereal rye, annual rye, hairy vetch, wheat, oats, peas Summer: buckwheat, sorghum sudan grass, sunn hemp
Do you use Compost? *
If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
Purchased complete
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" per bed top
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. *
Broadcast over entire growing plots once annually based on soil tests: Zinc sulfate monohydrate 35.5% Copper sulfate crystals (copper sulfate pentahydrate) Manganese sulfate 31.5% Potassium sulfate (0-0-50+S17%) Rock phosphate (0-3-0) Boron 10% Redmond 10 Fine premium mineral salt (95% sodium chloride + trace minerals) Elemental sulfur 90% Dolomitic Lime Pro-Select Prill (calcium, magnesium, calcium oxide, magnesium oxide, calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate) Applied pre-plant to each bed based on soil tests/specific crop requirements: Nature Safe 13-0-0 (feather meal, blood meal, meat meal) Rock phosphate 0-3-0 Potassium sulfate 0-0-50+S17% Boron 10% Liquid fertilizer applied via fertigation (frequency depends on crop): Neptune's Harvest liquid fish 2-4-1 (hydrolyzed fish & phosphoric acid) MaxiCrop soluble seaweed 0-0-17 (ascophyllum nodosum seaweed & potassium hydroxide) Soluble potassium 0-0-52 EM-1 (1%: Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus delbrueckii, Bacillus subtilis, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Rhodopseudomonas palustris, 96% Water and 3% Molasses) BEI Endomychorrizhal inoculant (Glomus aggregatum, G. clarum, G. deserticola, G. intraradices, G. monosporus, G. mosseae, Gigaspora margarita, and Paraglomus brasilianum) Raw milk
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 weed problems are a mix of annual weeds/grasses, yellow dock, horse nettle, and wire grass. We work hard not to invert the soil to reduce churning up weed seeds. We use tarping, cover cropping, leaf mulch, reusable landscape fabrics, mowing, weedeating, and a variety of hand tools 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. *
We anticipate our primary insect challenges to be a variety of caterpillars, squash bugs/root vine borers, cucumber beetles, aphids, potato beetles, slugs and yellow margin leaf beetles. We use interplanting and companion planting to increase biodiversity both above and below ground to attract beneficials, and we plant annual flowers and cover crops in planting gaps/field edges to provide beneficial habitat. We do some scouting and hand picking of insect pests (caterpillars and potato beetles for example). We keep Sluggo on hand to use only when it looks like slug populations are getting to the point of causing severe crop damage, which is maybe a few times a year.
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 anticipate our primary disease challenges to be downy mildew, powdery mildew, and cucumber mosaic virus. We plant our most susceptible crops in our caterpillar tunnels to keep them dry. We also plant disease resistant varieties when possible and we plant grafted tomatoes. Our crop plan includes planting our most susceptible crops in successions. We are also hoping interplanting and companion planting can help mitigate some disease.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
We use well water.
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 selecting varieties for which organic seed is available. We purchase virtually all of our seed from either Johnny's or High Mowing.
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. *
We currently use Baccto Organic Optimum Seed Starting Mix (blend of horticultural and sphagnum peat moss, perlite and an organic slow release fertilizer).
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? *
Banner Greenhouses
How have you confirmed with your supplier that the transplants are grown without synthetic fertilizers or wetting agents? *
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. *
Our 1 acre of leased land is subdivided into two main growing areas contained within 100 acres of intensively managed, non-certified organic pasture. Our main outdoor growing area is buffered by 300+ yards of pasture/oak woodland to the north, east, and west. To the south, there is ~200 yards of our landowner's various farm buildings, gardens, and house, then a road and a neighbor's hay field across the road. Our main covered growing area contains our two 100' caterpillar tunnels. To the north and east, it is bordered by lush riparian area/creek with a neighbor's unused field/horse pasture ~50 yards away. To the west is 100+ yards of our landowner's pasture, and to the south is ~100 yards to the road and the neighbor's cow pasture across the road.


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: