Produce & Flowers

Common Hands Farm

Owner: Keri-Sue Lewis

Address:
2187 County Route 11
Hillsdale, NY 12529
Columbia County

daytime phone: (518) 303-6082
evening phone: (518) 303-6082
Web site: http://commonhandscsa.com

Application Date: 2022-02-08

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
We are in our 11th year of production and have grown with 100% organic growing practices, including making our own compost and using biodynamic preps, as well as avoiding all synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides, herbicides, fungicides etc since we began our farm operation in 2011. We have avoided USDA organic certification because of its cost in the past. After doing research about CNG this year, we realized it's the way to go for our farm. We believe in the standards of CNG certification and are happy with its cost effectiveness. It helps us to sell and describe our crops to the various CSA members, farmers markets and wholesale customers we work with.
Are you currently third party Certified for your produce operation by any other organization (Organic, Biodynamic, etc)? *
no
Have you ever been certified in the past? *
no
Have you ever been denied certification? *
no
How did you hear about Certified Naturally Grown? *
Google
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? *
We have been farming for 11 years, and our founder/owner Dan McManus learned to farm from biodynamic farmers he grew up around. We have learned from many mentors, workshops and hands on experience.

General Farm Information

Farm Acreage you want listed as Certified Naturally GrownTM:
Total Farm Acreage you actually GROW on: *
10
Number of above acreage that you own: *
10
Number of above acreage that you lease: *
0
Do you have other acreage in "Conventional" Agricultural Systems? *
no
General Listed Acreage Breakdown
Veg Crops:
10
Fruit Crops:
Hay:
Grains/Beans:
Sugarbush:
Other Acreage:
Please check all items you grow and will market as Certified Naturally GrownTM *











Please Specify Any Other Items:
We also make value-added products with our crops, like ferments, pickles, sauces, etc.
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: *
perfecta chisel plow and some no-till beds
Do you use Cover Crops? *
yes
If yes, please list: *
oats, peas, rye, buckwheat, clover,
Do you use Compost? *
yes
If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
local cattle farms, and our own produce
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 tons per season
Do you use Manure? *
yes
If yes, please note general sources (local dairy, horse farm, etc.): *
local dairy 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". *
5 tons per season
What time of year do you apply the manure? *
spring
Do you apply any non-composted Manure within 120 days of veg-crop harvesting? *
no
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. *
biodynamic preps a handful of times a season, chicken fertilizer
Have any chemical fertilizers been applied to the fields you are seeking Certification for in the last three years (36 months)? *
no
Have any non-acceptable pesticides and/or herbicides been applied to these fields in the last 3 years? *
no
Do you use Professional Soil Testing services? *
no
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 encounter weeds every summer. We use a cub tractor and hoes for cultivating in the early weed stages, and then our crew weeds our crops by hand (every day a different crop, most weekdays) to keep up with them. We do not use any products on any 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 use diatomaceous earth as needed with pests on our squash plants primarily. That is what we have had the most challenge with in the past.
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. *
One thing we are always careful of is bacterial wilt in potatoes, as it's one of our largest crops, and we try to prevent such from happening by thoughtful crop rotations, and getting high quality certified seed from the Maine Potato Lady.
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 well that we use. We do have a stream through the property, but we have not had to use it.
Are there any known contaminants in the irrigation water? *
no
Are you a maple producer who seeks to certify your sugarbush? *
no

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 spend a lot of time in the winter choosing seeds, going through catalogues and comparing quality and prices. We use the following : Baker Creek Johnny's The Maine Potato Lady Territorial Harris Seeds
Do you purchase or grow using any Genetically Modified seeds? *
no
Do you use any chemically treated seeds in your operation? *
no
Do you grow your own transplants? *
yes
Do you purchase potting soil, or do you mix your own on the farm? *
Purchase
What ingredients does your potting mix contain? If you purchase a mix, please also indicate which product. *
It is organic potting soil from McEnroe.
Are all of your transplants grown according to CNG standards, without synthetic fertilizers or wetting agents? *
yes
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. *
N/A
Do you purchase any transplants from outside sources? *
no
Chemical/Spray Drift and Buffers:
Is there any likelihood of Chemical/Spray drift contamination of your fields? *
no
Do you have an adequate buffer to protect yourself from potential contamination? *
yes
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 we are surrounded by the forest. To the south we are approx 2 acres or more from the road. From the east we are next to our neighbor's fallow field. To the west, we are next to an old farm that is not in operation and the farmer is retired. There are no fields there in production.

Agreements

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:
commonhandscsa.com