Produce & Flowers

Hidden Penny Farm

Owner: Melissa Levenstein

43 Black Diamond Rd.
Port Angeles, WA 98363
Clallam County

daytime phone: (203) 731-4446
Web site:

Application Date: 2021-11-11

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
I am applying to be Certified Naturally Grown because I am eager to be part of a community that agrees upon sustainable practices that respect and replenish the earth. I want to be a member of a community of farmers that hold each other accountable and learn from each other and lean on each other to uphold higher standards in the food and farming industry. I also want to be part of the CNG program because I hope that it becomes a label that consumers know and trust and can empower them as conscious buyers.
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? *
My mom owns and runs a farm in Connecticut, The Village Farm, and she was became a member of CNG last year. She talks very highly of the program and has inspired me to apply.
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 began growing food when I was very young. My mom taught me in our small back yard garden. When I went to college I joined the university farm program that was just being developed. I remember listening to a cacophony of birds and trying to pick out each bird song, like they were individual instruments in a symphony. I fell in love with spiders and snakes those summers and on grand scale, living in relationship with all of the life forms on our piece of land. After I graduated I became a garden teacher. I worked with schools to establish school gardens and to work with children on holistic health from the health of soil to the health of our bodies. A few friends and I started a small farm that sold at the farmers market in order to raise money for our school garden projects. After a year doing that, I became a public school teacher and did not actively farm for 5 years. I went home to visit my mom who had just started her farm. I spent a year living and working with her. We read Eliot Coleman and Jean Martine Fortier and learned about market gardening. We learned about Brian O'hara and his farm, Tobacco Road Farm. We fell in love with feeding the soil and helping to create balanced ecosystems that we could grow food in. Since then, I've worked on large market farms to learn about production farming. I love the work of farming. Now I own my own farm. It has been two years since I have started Hidden Penny Farm. It has been an intense learning process and I feel like I wear one thousand hats everyday. I love the soil more than ever and have committed to building it and feeding it as part of my role as farmer. I have learned to grow cover crop and am working towards a closed loop system so that all inputs from our farm are made by us and/or our friends and neighbors. I feel prepared to farm successfully according to CNG standards because I care deeply about ecological processes and living and farming in accordance with them.

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 have permanent beds that are broad forked minimally (in two years, each bed has been broadforked 1-2 times). We use a power harrow on a BCS to incorporate amendments when prepping new beds. Cover crop is mowed down and sometimes we use the power harrow to do minimal incorporation.
Do you use Cover Crops? *
If yes, please list: *
rye, clover, mustard, oats, peas.
Do you use Compost? *
If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
Purchased complete from a local compost company.
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". *
2-4 inches deep on every 90ft. bed.
Do you use Manure? *
If yes, please note general sources (local dairy, horse farm, etc.): *
Composted manure from a local dairy and local goat 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 inch per 90ft. bed.
What time of year do you apply the manure? *
late fall
Do you apply any non-composted Manure within 120 days of veg-crop harvesting? *
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. *
Feather Meal Bone Meal Azomite
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 problem is sheep's sorrel. By minimizing tillage we have very little weed pressure. Our primary management strategies are hand weeding, weeding with hand tools/hoes, and straw mulch. We mulch our aisles with wood chips when possible.
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 insect challenges are cabbage worms, slugs, and aphids. For cabbage worms we hand pick the worms from the leaves and catch the moths to kill them. For aphids we use neem oil and dish soap to spray the leaves of the plant. We use it when we see them on the plant, spray once, and then usually do not spray again. For the slugs we use OMRI approved sluggo.
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. *
The only disease we've seen thus far is molding tomato plants due to lack of circulation and mildew on our peas. I imagine we could potentially deal with blight and potentially garlic diseases. I did encounter bad potato seed with scab on it. For the potatoes I did not plant the seed and threw it away. We rotate our crops every season and plan to make sure that no crop is planted in the same place for 5 years. The peas were torn down and placed in our burn pile.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
We are on our local water district, Black Diamond 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 select our seeds from the following three companies: Johnny's Select Seeds, Territorial Seed Company, and Deep Harvest Seeds. We also try to get seeds from Saltwater Seed Co. Deep Harvest and Saltwater are two very small, regionally adapted seed companies to the maritime northwest. We always prioritize organic seed, except when we are looking at crops that generally do not grow well in our climate, then we prioritize regionally adapted seeds. Usually we can get both from Territorial.
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. *
Organic Pro-mix
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. *
On the north, east, and south ends of our field is a forest and wooded area of 100ft that then descends a slope of 60+ feet. On the east side, the slope descends to a public trail, on the north side, it descends to a road, on the south side the woods give way to a sloped lawn that rises 200ft to a church. That land is not in use except to be mowed. To the west of our field is our house and other out buildings.


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: