Produce & Flowers

Essentially Well Acres

Owner: Dustin Tudor

11665 Lawrence 2150
Mount Vernon, MO 65712
Lawrence County

daytime phone: (417) 207-0318

Application Date: 2022-03-09

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
We have an organic(not certified) elderberry farm that we started nearly three years ago. We will have elderberries and elderflowers to market this summer and fully believe that being CNG will give us an advantage in the market we are in. Quality matters to is. We’ve never used anything toxic or harmful on our farm. Being CNG fits who we are and I’m excited to partner with other like minded farmers.
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 was discussing becoming certified organic with a good friend. I was talking about how I wasn’t sold on the idea of that because of several reasons. He mentioned CNG and that he felt like our beliefs would fall in line more with being 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? *
I’ve had a family garden most of my life and have always grown naturally and organically. We’ve raised steers, chickens, and rabbits for our own meat and grow them the same way. This is our 3rd year growing elderberries and will be our 2nd year for market. This may sound cliche but most of our adult life has prepared us for this. Our oldest daughter(16) was born with medical conditions that required us to research, grow, and learn so we could give her a chance at a better life than what we were being told she’d have. Through the last 16 years we have invested countless time and energy into others through health and wellness, cutting toxins, etc. Our elderberry farm is an extension of our everyday lifestyle.

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:
Side note: we own 60 acres. Our elderberries only take up about two Acres. We currently run cattle on the rest. In the future we may look at becoming CNG on more of our acreage.
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:
“Essentially Well Acres” FaceBook page. We are also currently working on our website.

Farmland Management and Practices

Primary Tillage System: *
We tilled our rows as we were planting the elderberry plants. For some of our larger rooted plants that we transplanted we had to use a backhoe to make a hole big enough for the root ball.
Do you use Cover Crops? *
Do you use Compost? *
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. *
We used Organic Apple Cider Vinegar on the roots as a root boost when we originally planted them three years ago. We recently transplanted them into the field they’re currently in and dipped the roots in the same ACV/water mixture prior to replanting. Last year we used bone meal, feather meal, and langbeinite. All were “Down To Earth” brand and are all OMRI certified. We combined the three fertilizers pound for pound, then use about 1/4cup around each plant. We did this once last year and plan to do the same this year.
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. *
Ugh. Lol. Weeds have been my nemesis. I’ve weeded by hand the last three years. This was much more difficult and time consuming when our elderberries were younger. I didn’t want them to have to compete with weeds. Now that they are more mature I don’t have to be a picky about keeping all the weeds out. We do use a raw mulch from a local Amish mill on our rows which does help as a weed barrier now that the elderberry plants are more mature.
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. *
I have not had any issues with insects nor do I plan on having that problem. If I were to encounter an issue with insects I’d have to do some research and find a suitable solution. From what I’ve seen, elderberry growers have more of a problem with wildlife and birds than insects but I haven’t encountered those issues either.
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. *
I haven’t encountered any disease. Cankers caused by fungi are one of the more common conditions associated with elderberries. Pruning and burning affected areas is the best treatment method.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
We use our private well 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. *
The elderberry farm we purchased our elderberry starts from is certified organic.
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? *
Our own
What ingredients does your potting mix contain? If you purchase a mix, please also indicate which product. *
We start our own transplants in the ground so there isn’t a mix we use.
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. *
The closest farm road to the east is buffered by at least 100 yards of woods. We own to the West and the South so probably 1/2 mile in those directions is buffered by our own land. We’ll never use chemicals on that acreage. The land to the North is a bare field used for hay production. They don’t farm it or use it. They either bushhog it or have it cut for hay. Also, the closest farm road to the North is over 1/4 mile away.


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: