Produce & Flowers

Garden Window Farm

Owner: Ben Geiger

1128 Surratt Road
Denton, NC 27239

Web site:

Application Date: 2022-03-24

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
As I grow my farm, I want my customers to feel confident that I am doing everything possible to have a sustainable farm and that I can be transparent with my farm operation standards.
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 heard about it for a long time as an alternative to organic certification but have had more interest as I've talked to other CNG farmers.
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? *
My farming knowledge has come from lots of reading/researching as well as interning at 2 small farms. I have also taken online farming classes. All of these resources have prepared me to follow organic guidelines and to be a conscientious and sustainable farmer. From the start of my own farm I have focused on ensuring I don't use any synthetic pesticides/herbicides and that I create a sustainable operation to the best of my ability.

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:
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 use a rototiller to break new ground and setup beds as a 1 time major soil disturbance practice. After that we use broadforking and a rake or tilther (only disturbing the top 1-2") for bed prep.
Do you use Cover Crops? *
If yes, please list: *
We have been experimenting with different cover crop mixes. Recently we've used a mix of rye, crimson clover and Austrian winter pea. We also regularly use buckwheat as a summer cover crop.
Do you use Compost? *
If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
We use vermicompost created on site and use regular compost that is bought in from a organically certified 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". *
On new beds only we apply 2-3" of 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. *
All based on soil testing: Alfalfa meal/Feather Meal mix at 400lbs/acre Sulfur at 65lbs/acre Soft Rock Phosphate at 1000lbs/acre Potassium Sulfate at 250lbs/acre Calcium Carbonate at 900lbs/acre
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? *
If yes, then please specify type and most recent application date: *
unknown, but purchased property from previous owners on 10/30/20 and have applied no prohibited inputs since then.
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. *
Our primary weed challenges are grasses like johnson grass, horse nettle, and goldenrod. To manage these we use wire hoes, scuffle hoes, and hand weeding. As well as, reusable ground cover fabric, cover cropping and living pathways/mowing to manage these.
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. *
Our biggest pest problems are worms, flea beetles, and squash vine borers. We us lightweight row covers and BT as primary controls. We only use BT when absolutely necessary so I would say around 3-4 times throughout the year.
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. *
Downy mildew has been our biggest disease challenge thus far. To combat that we are quick to remove infected plant material and occasionally use compost teas.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
Right now we are using Handy Water which is our town water source but we are hoping to drill a well in the near future.
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 do try to buy organically produced seeds when available but I haven't always purchases organic. I will make a greater effort to buy organically produced seeds.
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 Sungrow and Coast of Maine seed starter mix. Both are organically certified.
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. *
To the north we have about 200ft to a roadway, to the south is just a wooded area, to the east we have 200+ft of hay field buffer to a neighbor's horse pasture, and to the west we a horse pasture with around 50ft buffer that will also soon have a pollinator garden to act as an additional buffer.


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: