Produce & Flowers

Valentines Farm

Owner: Francisco Estevarena

Address:
Glen Head, NY

Web site: http://www.valentinesfarm.com/

Application Date: 2022-03-02

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
Certification provides a stronger level of trust and respect from our customers. We are also interested in meeting like-minded farmers in our area and improve where it is needed.
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 search
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? *
Learned to farm by working and volunteering on several biodynamic farms across the world and here in the U.S., practicing on my own farm and contantly reading, attending converences and semianrs and always educating myself. Farming for market for the first time in 2021. We have been using biodynamic practices, though uncertified, for 5 years.

General Farm Information

Farm Acreage you want listed as Certified Naturally GrownTM:
Total Farm Acreage you actually GROW on: *
3
Number of above acreage that you own: *
3
Number of above acreage that you lease: *
0
Do you have other acreage in "Conventional" Agricultural Systems? *
no
General Listed Acreage Breakdown
Veg Crops:
0.5
Fruit Crops:
1
Hay:
Grains/Beans:
Sugarbush:
Other Acreage:
1.5 pasture and forest edge
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: *
Low till - broadfork and minimal BCS only
Do you use Cover Crops? *
yes
If yes, please list: *
Rye, peas, oats, radish, buckwheat, clovers, mustard,
Do you use Compost? *
yes
If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
On farm Purchased from Vermont Compost
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". *
40 gallons per 180 sqft, or 1-2 inches deep
Do you use Manure? *
yes
If yes, please note general sources (local dairy, horse farm, etc.): *
We use manure from our own chickens and it goes into our compost pile that matures for an entire year and it is turned at least once in spring before it becomes the base for our beautiful potting soil. Occasionally we place the chickens in specific areas of the garden, in the fall and move them to a another area once they are done clearing one spot. We do this through mid-winter to clean up and fertilize the garden, in any areas where we noticed low fertility or crop problems. These beds are let to rest before we lightly till them and compost them, and before we grow crops on them for 90 to 120 days, depending on the crop (usually a green manure comes next) before the projected harvest date.
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". *
30-40 chickens spend about 1 month on a given spot of the garden just in winter. About 480 sqft
What time of year do you apply the manure? *
Winter
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. *
Vermiculite 4A or Medium Granule - PVP Industries, used to make our potting mix. Peat moss, Howe - for our potting mix, once a year in the fall winter Manure Compost, Vermont Compost - once a year per bed, through out the season. Alfalfa meal 3-1-2 - Panorama Organics, sporadically with bed prep depending on crop and bed performance. Max twice per season. Fish and seaweed extract - Neptune's harvest - for fruit trees every 10 days is spring. Liquid Kelp - Maine-harvested kelp, for fruit trees every 10 days is spring. Granulized chicken manure - 5,4,3, Kreher Family Farms, sporadically with bed prep depending on crop and bed performance. Max twice per season. Boron, 20 Mule Team Borax Solubor® DF, Just tested it twice last season on brassicas Nematodes from Scam Mask - applied in spring and fall. Azomite Micronized - contains over 67 minerals beneficial to plants and animals, including rare earth element - included into our compost. Kaolin clay - Surround WP, Novasource - Added to the compost pile when is built in the fall and sprayed in fruit trees. Garden lime- Soil Doctor- added to the compost pile when is built in the fall Worm castings- 8350 Worm Castings- Fedco Organic Growers Supply, sporadically with bed prep depending on crop and bed performance. Max twice per season. Bone char- Fertrell, Burned bone meal - sporadically with bed prep depending on crop and bed performance. Max twice per season. Greensand - Fedco Organic Growers Supply -sporadically with bed prep depending on crop and bed performance. Max twice per season and in compost Neem Oil - Green Beauty - for fruit trees every 10 days is spring. Mother culture - ProBio SCD - for fruit trees every 10 days is spring. Black Strap, unsulfured Molasses - Golden Barrel- for fruit trees every 10 days is spring. Soybean Meal - Fedco - Applied just once in our blueberry patch.
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? *
yes
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. *
Chickweed, galinsoga, mugwort, ground ivy, lambs quarters, purslane, broad-leaf dock Management strategies: hoeing, hand-weeding, flame-weeding, landscape fabric (removed at end of season), mulching
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. *
Cabbage moth on the brassicas by far our wort pest. - hand picking, row cover, insect netting, sticky traps, BT (applied twice per season at most). Colorado Potato Beetles on potatoes- Hand picked - crop rotation and interplanting with rows of beans in between. Aphids on turnips- Biodegradable soap + water solution, and hoeing. Flea beetles on Eggplants Deer - fish line fencing and Deer Scram repellent powder -Blood meal - 42% Garlic - 4% Red Pepper - 2.8% Cloves - 1.5% Squash boar - We kill the worms when we rip the plants out. Succession plantings and row covers Cucumber beetle - pheromone traps and yellow sticky traps with row covers Thrips on onions - might harvest them earlier...
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. *
Blossom End Rot - solved by increased irrigation. Anthracnose on field tomatoes and celery. We are now growing all our tomatoes under hoop houses. We'll give extra compost yo our celery. Brown Rot on stone fruit- We apply the biodynamic fruit tree paste in winter and spray a holistic spray recommended by Michael Phillips made with mother culture, fish and seaweed extract, molasses and neem oil. pick all the rotten fruit and discard in trash. Cedar apple rust and apple scab - Same treatment as above.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
Municipal water
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 buy as much organic seed as we can. And this year we were able to buy all organic seed. Sourced from High Mowing, Turtle Tree, Johnnys, Fruition Seeds, Fedco and Restoration 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? *
We mix our own.
What ingredients does your potting mix contain? If you purchase a mix, please also indicate which product. *
Finished on-farm compost made with all farm residue plus discard straw bales (can tell exactly where the bales came from) and small amounts of amendments already listed, including lime, Kaolin clay, Azomite, boron, and once fully finished, mixed with vermiculite, peat moss and perlite.
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? *
yes
From which sources do you buy transplants? *
We have purchased lavender plugs 3 years ago from MOONSHINE DESIGNS NURSERY, and some herbs like rosemary, lemon verbena, and lemon grass from Burpee Seeds two years ago.
How have you confirmed with your supplier that the transplants are grown without synthetic fertilizers or wetting agents? *
Did not confirm.
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). *
Lavender, Rosemary, Lemongrass, Lemon verbena.
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, our barn and privacy hedge separates us from the road by a minumum 50 ft. To the south, a wooded line of feet at minimum 50 ft separates us from residential lawns that is likely to be chemically managed. To the east, our crops are at least 100 ft away and with wooded perimeter, from a from a residential lawn that is likely to be chemically managed. To the west, single line of trees and 25 feet separates our field from a property that is chemically managed, though they are careful not to spray anything on our side.

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: