Mushroom

Garden Window Farm

Owner: Ben Geiger

Address:
1128 Surratt Road
Denton, NC 27239
County

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

Application Date: 2022-03-25

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program. *
I'm hoping to add this as an addition to my produce certification. I want my customers to be confident in the sustainable efforts we are taking on our farm.
Are you currently third party Certified for your produce operation by any other organization (Organic, Biodynamic, etc)? *
no
Have you held any certification/s in the past that you don't currently hold? *
no
Have you ever been denied certification? *
no
How did you hear about Certified Naturally Grown? *
Other farmers.
How did you learn to grow mushrooms, and for how long have you been growing them for market? What has prepared you to farm successfully according to CNG standards? *
I have grown them on another small farm that I interned at and have done some research and reading of mushroom growing publications.

General Information

Check all types of mushrooms you intend to certify. Please include any types you intend to grow or harvest in the coming 24 months. *











Other types you'll be growing, not listed above:
Are there any mushroom types you grow or harvest for which you are NOT seeking certification? Please list all such types, and explain why you are not seeking to certify them.
Please check all markets you grow for (this will be displayed on your farm profile to help potential buyers find you). *











Please specify what other markets (if any).

Substrate, Supplements, and Other Materials

For each type of mushroom you produce, tell us about your substrate. (Put "N/A" or leave blank for any type you don't produce). Please indicate in the appropriate box below: 1) what you use for substrates and supplements (if any) and 2) the sources of these materials. Include names of products and distributors where appropriate. If any substrate is obtained from a non-commercial source, please describe that source.
Shiitake (Lentinula)
Organic Straw (produced on farm when possible) Organic Rice Hulls (from PBH, omri approved) Wheat Bran (Bartlett Milling Co)
Oyster (Pleurotus)
Organic Straw (produced on farm when possible) Organic Rice Hulls (from PBH, omri approved) Wheat Bran (Bartlett Milling Co)
King stropharia, garden giant, wine cap (Stropharia)
Reishi (Ganoderma)
Enoki, velvet foot (Flammulina)
Maitake, hen of the woods (Grifola)
Butterscotch mushroom (Nameko)
Lion's mane, pom-poms (Hericium)
Chicken of the woods (Laetiporus)
White button, portabella (Agaricus)
Other (please specify)
Did you remember to indicate, for each of the substrates and supplements noted above, the sources of these materials? You may use this space to say anything else about the substrates you're using or may want to use in the future.
Do your substrates include corn, soy, cotton seed hulls, or other byproducts of crops that are grown commercially in GMO form? *
no
Do you use logs as a substrate? *
no
Do you use wood chips, sawdust, sawdust blocks, or wood pellets? *
no
Do you use any of the following items as substrate: cardboard, paper, clothing, municipal compost, wood from rare trees harvested for mushroom production? *
no
Do you use manure as a substrate in your mushroom operation? *
no
Please describe all sterilization or pasteurization procedures and materials you use. (If none, please put N/A) *
We use a 55 gallon metal drum that is food grade, packing it with the straw, wheat bran, and rice hulls then adding water. We then heat that to between 140-160 degrees for 2 hours.
How do you dispose of or re-purpose used substrate? Please indicate current practices as well as any plans you have for how the used substrate may be put to further productive use. *
We either use regular composting or vermicomposting to discard of used substrate.
How do you ensure that nutrients from used substrate do not leach into waterways? *
By composting and keeping it covered during large rain events and away from drainage areas.

Containers, Racks, and Beds

Please describe the racks and beds used in production (if any). What are they made of? *
N/A We hang the bags.
Please describe any containers used for sterilization, and/or pasteurization. What are they made of? *
55 gallon metal drum that is food grade.
Please describe any containers used for production. What are they made of? If you don't use containers for production (as for log-based production) you may answer "n/a". *
We use long cylindrical food grade plastic bags.
Were the containers purchased new or repurposed? If re-purposed, please describe how the containers had been used previously, and how you confirmed this with the supplier(s). *
The plastic bags are purchased new and used once. We don't like the plastic waste but we're not sure how to get around that at this point.
In your operation, do any of the following materials come into direct contact with any substrate or fruiting bodies?Plastics that contain BPA, polystyrene, treated wood, railroad ties, containers that previously held toxic materials, re-purposed containers that had an unknown prior use *
no

Wild Harvest

CNG Mushroom certification covers cultivated mushrooms, not wild-crafted mushrooms. However, we include this section on the application for two reasons: #1 It is important to us that those who participate in our programs are mindful of the sustainability of the non-certified portions of their operations. #2 We want to give our members the opportunity to be transparent about their wild-crafting practices, and to minimize confusion about which mushrooms are certified.
Are any of the mushrooms you sell wild harvested (or "wildcrafted")? Yes/No *
no

Water

What water contamination experts have you consulted to identify which contaminants are typically found in area water, and determine the tests that should be conducted? Relevant experts may include local or state health department officials, Natural Resource Conservation Service agents, state environmental protection or pollution control agencies, local well drilling and water testing companies. (If you haven't yet done this, please indicate who you will approach, and by when you expect to have completed this program requirement.) *
We are in a controlled envirnment that doesn't expose us to natural water sources. The water we use for sterialization is from a public/city water source. If further testing is necessary I can work with the water company, health dept, and NRCS if needed.
Have you tested your water at the point of use for heavy metals or other contaminants that were identified by local water quality experts? When? What were the results? (If you haven't yet done this, please indicate by when you expect to have completed this program requirement.) *
No, because it is city water these levels should be monitored by them. We may eventually switch to well water and if/when that happens we will have frequent testing to ensure there are no issues.
Do you use well water to mist or irrigate fruiting bodies? *
no
Do you use surface water to soak logs or to irrigate non-fruiting substrate? Surface water includes water from ponds, streams, and reservoirs. *
no
Do you ever use surface water to mist or irrigate fruiting bodies? *
no

Spawn

Do you purchase spawn or produce your own or some of each? (If purchased, please list the supplier.) *
Spawn is purchased and certified organic from field and forest products.
CNG mushroom standards prohibit for spawn production the use of adhesives, byproducts of GMO crops, or other materials prohibited for use as substrate. Are you confident none of these materials were used as a growing media for the spawn? *
yes

Pest & Disease Management

Describe your primary insect pest challenges AND methods of prevention and control. (Do not answer "none". You MUST indicate actual pest challenges or LIKELY challenges, and you must ALSO indicate how you manage or how you would manage them. If you indicate a product, also specify how often it's used.) *
Our primary pest issue is beetles and we are now producing in a fully screen room to exclude them.
Describe your primary disease challenges AND methods of prevention and control. If you indicate a product, also specify how often it's used. *
There are no known disease issues as of now, but if there is I would focus on ensuring our sterilization process is being completed properly.

Site Location and Buffers

Is your operation either partially or entirely INdoors? *
yes
Please describe neighboring land uses to the north, south, east and west of your INdoor operation. *
North - our house and roadway South - Hay fields and wooded area East - hay fields and horse pasture West - vegetable production and horse pasture
Do these uses pose a risk of drift or contamination? If so, please describe. *
No
How does your ventilation and air filtration system prevent possible contamination? *
No
If you share space with other producers, please indicate whether they use synthetic chemicals, and if so, how do you protect your production area from potential contamination? *
N/A
Is your operation either partially or entirely OUTdoors? *
yes
Please describe neighboring land uses to the north, south, east and west of your OUTdoor operation. *
North - our house and roadway South - Hay fields and wooded area East - hay fields and horse pasture West - vegetable production and horse pasture
Do these uses pose a risk of drift or contamination? *
No
What is the distance between your outdoor production area and the nearest sources of possible contamination? *
200+ feet
What other factors mediate the risk of contamination? (Prevailing wind patterns, windbreaks, method of spray, etc.) *
We don't do sterilization procedures on windy days.
Has your outdoor production area been treated with prohibited substances within the past 36 months? If so, by what was it treated, and when? *
No

Sustainability Initiatives

What measures have you taken to conserve energy, improve energy efficiency, and/or use energy from renewable sources? (This could include system design, siting, insulation, lighting choices, and more.)
We are growing in a screened room inside a greenhouse so we don't rely on extra lighting.
Please use this space to highlight any other measures you take to reduce the environmental impact of your operation or to make it more sustainable in other ways.
We are working on producing our own straw which will help our vegetable production as well as making it a sustainable source for our farm.

Inspections & Networks

A core requirement of CNG certification is the on-site peer-review. Getting this completed is facilitated if you're a part of a network of mushroom producers who might serve as your inspector.
Are you a part of a network (informal or formal) of mushroom producers in your geographic area? *
no

Agreements

I will not label, or in any way lead consumers to believe that a farm product not raised in accord with CNG standards is Certified Naturally Grown *
I understand that I have to complete at least one Inspection of another CNG mushroom producer in my area each year, if there is one within a one hour drive. *
I understand that the inspection I conduct will NOT be of the same producer that inspected me. *
I have reviewed the Certified Naturally Grown mushroom certification standards, I understand them, and I will abide by them. 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 operation.