Produce & Flowers

Shine Farms

Owner: Nicole Broder

4366 Sledd Lane
Mechanicsville, VA 23111

Mailing Address:
3301 1st Avenue
Richmond, VA 23222

Web site:

Application Date: 2022-01-20

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
Our farm does not use chemicals or synthetic products in our growing process. It is an important aspect for our current customers, and we hope being part of the CNG program will help us market our practices as well as validate our practices to interested people who are currently unaware or not connected to our farm. We also appreciate the farmer to farmer accountability and community created at the basis of the CNG program.
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? *
We know and or have worked on other farms in our area that are CNG.
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? *
This is Shine Farms' fourth growing season. We use practices we like to call "beyond organic." The three owners of Shine Farms have all had previous years of farming experience on farms which were also CNG certified or farms using chemical-free practices and goals of sustainability.

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:
1/16 of an acre
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. In our established beds we do our best to disturb the soil as little as possible. We often use a broadfork in our bed preparation process. Our farm site was initially a minimally maintained soccer field, so when first creating our beds we tilled the soil to aid in aeration and the removal and killing of grass.
Do you use Cover Crops? *
If yes, please list: *
Over the winter, we do our best do have 1/4 to 1/3 of our field in cover - generally a mixture of winter pea and oats. We have also used crimson clover and rye. We use buckwheat during the warmer seasons. For example, we consistently plant a round of buckwheat in our our soon-to-be garlic beds. We do our best to not have beds with exposed soil. If there is enough time before our next planting we will use cover crop. Otherwise, we make sure to leaf mulch or tarp the bed while it is not in vegetable production.
Do you use Compost? *
If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
We purchase mushroom compost from Full Circle Mushroom Compost or use compost from a local landscaping 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". *
6-8 wheelbarrows/ 90 ft. x 3.5 ft. beds
Do you use Manure? *
If yes, please note general sources (local dairy, horse farm, etc.): *
We do not use manure on a consistent basis or as a widespread way to fertilize our beds. We selectively allow our chickens to run through sections of our field - generally over the winter on a swath of cover crop. We always make sure to follow the 120 day interval between application when crops touch the soil and the 90 day interval for when crops do not touch the soil.
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". *
Less than 1 inch deep
What time of year do you apply the manure? *
Generally during the winter
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. *
Alfalfa Meal, Kelp, Lime, Harmony (composted poultry layer manure), Poultry Feathers, Humic (leonardite containing fulvic and humic acid), Worm Castings, Down to Earth All Purpose Fertilizer (fish bone meal, blood meal, feather meal, alfalfa meal, rock phosphate, langbeinite,kelp meal) We get a soil test each year and use the results to determine specific amendments needed for sections of the field. We use an all purpose fertilizer when flipping a bed if we feel it is necessary. We generally practice general amending of beds once a season.
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 definitely see a decrease in weeds with our minimal till practices, however, they are something we still battle. Wire grass is a huge weed in our fields. We have a lot of other small, broadleaf weeds as well. We manage weeds through minimal tillage. We use leaf mulch in beds when possible and silage tarps over large areas, when time allows, before flipping bed sections. Sometimes we use geotextile in our pathways, or we another type of barrier such as combinations of cardboard, leaf mulch, wood chips, etc. We do a lot of manual removal of weeds and do our best to weed when plants are small and definitely before they go to seed.
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. *
Insects and pests are a challenge for us as well. With our less cool winters, populations of insects have seemed to increase. We practice crop rotations, companion planting, and planting of flowers and other habitats that bring beneficial insects. We use insect netting and diatomaceous earth for our squash bugs, and also limit the amount of beds we plant in certain families at a time and put physical barriers between beds. We do a lot of manual removing of pests. Depending on the insect, we will spray plants using neem oil and Bt. This past year, we dealt with a June bug grub challenge. Over the fall we spread milky spore and nematodes in hopes of assisting with the challenge this coming spring.
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 practice crop rotation and physically planting types of plants separate from one another in hopes of decreasing spread of disease. We look for disease resistant varieties when selecting seeds. We remove diseased plants if necessary. We will spray baking soda, neem oil, and kelp to help with the prevention and stopping of disease and its spread.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
We have a deep well used to irrigate our crops.
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 look at several different suppliers when selecting our seeds. We purchase organic seed, unless we are unable to source the variety or type needed.
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 use the Fort Vee potting mix from Vermont Compost Company.
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? *
We plan to purchase our strawberry transplants. We are still seeking a producer where we will purchase the bare roots. We also purchase sweet potato slips and potatoes. Both potato products are organic.
How have you confirmed with your supplier that the transplants are grown without synthetic fertilizers or wetting agents? *
We will ask.
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). *
Depending on where we are able to source our strawberry bare roots, they may fall in this category. We will not advertise our strawberries as CNG until 12 months have passed.
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 lease the land with 2 other farms. Both of the farms do not use any chemicals in their growing practices. We are buffered by woods on all sides of our farm. There is at least 1/4 mile between us and another home on three sides of the property. There is a buffer of woods and roughly 300 feet to a main thoroughfare to the southeast.


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: