Produce & Flowers

Kat The Farmer

Owner: Kat Johnson

Check, VA 24072
Floyd County

Mailing Address:
407 Diamond Knob Road Northeast
Check, VA 24072

daytime phone: (540) 835-3563
evening phone: (540) 835-3563
Web site:

Application Date: 2022-01-18

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
CNG provides an excellent source for validating my growing practices and demonstrating my commitment to my customers beyond "just a claim'. I trust the process of peer inspection and I value being a part of the process for my farm and other farms. I also value the marketing materials provided my CNG to better communicate the standards required to become certified.
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? *
I have worked for 2 CNG Farms (Patchwork Family Farm, and Fields Edge Farm in Floyd County VA). I work at CNG currently as the Certification Specialist and its about time I certify my new farming operation which I launched in the spring of 2021.
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 working on farms in highschool and ave learned on the job since then. It has been part of my life and career path for about 17 years. I have always grown without synthetics, and often with USDA Organic or CNG certified operations. I am constantly learning from other farmers via conversation & mentorship, podcast, books, conferences and courses.

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:
In tandem to my farm operation, I also create prepared salads and salad dressings, however these will not be marketed as CNG.
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: *
I use a traditional 4' rototiller to form and shape beds. My core intention is to use this to establish the beds, then shape and build them by hand and avoid using the tiller repeatedly between crops.
Do you use Cover Crops? *
If yes, please list: *
Cover crop varieties are somewhat dependent on the season and window of opportunity. I use Oats, Peas, Rye, Buckwheat, Clovers, Sorghum Sudan, Phacelia, Tillage Radishes.
Do you use Compost? *
If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
Royal Oak Composting, Purchased complete from Mulch & More in Roanoke. Compost is made from natural wood waste, sawdust, stumps, brush as well as industrial, pre and post consumer food waste and goes through an approved composting process. I am also learning to make my own from kitchen scraps, crop residue, leaves and purchased 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". *
5 gal per 100 sqft
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. *
All amendments, fertilizers, sprays are applied based on soil test recommendations and crop nutrient requirements. So it varies. All products I work with are Omri Listed, or derived from organic materials. This past season and the coming season I have used or plan to use: Azomite (natural minerals), Harmony(composted chicken manure), Nature Safe 9-0-9, Feathermeal, Gypsum, Wollastonite (calcium Silicate), Allganic Soluble pottasium sulfate, Thorvin Kelp, Alfalfa meal, Vermont Compost Fort Vee Light (for seedlings), Coconut Coir (for microgreens), Copper Sulfate (@ 20#/acre), Solubor (boron @ 5#/acre), Mikrobs (organic microbial superpack, Kenkashi Liquid concentrate (microbial innoculant), Maxicrop.
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. *
At this time my farm is new, so there are still perennial weeds and trees trying to regrow, I try to hand dig out the pernicious ones but mostly I am working with long handled hoes to shallowly cultivate and uproot these. I haven't used tarps but this may be an approach I try out in the future.
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. *
Flea Beetles: I limit the amount of brassicas I grow, try to rotate well, deploy row cover on the ones I do immediately after seeding/transplanting, and then also try to time brassicas for the late fall and winter when these buggies are dormant. Cabbage Moths & Caterpillars: Same prevention measures listed for flea beetles, in addition to squising and use "Dipel" if all else fails. Cut Worms: This has been an issue but I have not taken much action on them, trying to plant enough that their take isn't catastrophic. Aphids: try to limit excess nitrogren build up, especially in tunnel. use of Lady Beetles, and Lacewings from Arbico Organics before resorting to "Azera".
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. *
Bacterial Leaf Spot on Lettuce: I observed this in 2021 season, I think better rotation will help, areas where compost was layered on the surface did much better, which makes me thing that use of landscape fabric might be a good strategy for 2022 season too. I will spray beneficial microbes on transplants to help fortify the leaf surface and 'outcompete' the bad bacteria. Powdery mildew: I think this is mainly a factor of temperature and humidity so I am still working on hose cultural controls.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
Private well, Floyd County water is the best. Tested annually.
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. *
I source seeds from a handful of companies and favor Organically Grown sources for any varieties that have that as an option. I always use untreated and non-GMO seed.
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. *
"Vermont Compost Fort Light": Blended from manure compost; sphagnum peat moss; coconut coir; perlite; gypsum; blood meal; kelp; bone meal. I use straight up Coconut Coir for microgreens.
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? *
I haven't purchased any yet, but I am hoping over the years to add in brambles and fruit trees in the margins.
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. *
To the North, East and West I own the property outside of the perimeter deer fence which is 100 - 1000' before reaching the property line but all adjacent properties are forestland. To the south, my perimeter fence is about 20' from the road, and the opposite side of the road is a scrubby woodlot and pasture.


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:
Note from CNG Executive Director: This application was reviewed by Gareth Stacke, CNG's Certification Specialist from 2018 - 2021.