Produce & Flowers

Allegheny Mountain Institute Farm at Augusta Health

Owner: Hannah Dorrel

Address:
315 Mule Academy Road
Fishersville, VA 22939
Augusta County

Web site: http://www.amifellows.org/ami-farm-at-augusta-health

Application Date: 2022-04-18

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
For the past 4 years, we have grown using almost identical standards from the CNG program and would like to be able to point to a certificate that echoes are growing methods. We have producers around are area who market themselves under "market gardening" giving the consumer the belief that they are growing their produce healthfully. We want to have a certification on our growing methods that our customers can see, our partners can point to and a certificate that holds us accuntable.
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? *
Social media, other local farmers, conferences, etc.
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? *
Spent one season working on a 16 acre organic farm in the midwest, then I attended Allegheny Mountain Institute where I had the fortunate event of taking over a 1.2 ish acre market garden that was in conjunction with our areas hospital. I've been farming for the past 6 years. What prepared me is having to figure out a lot of my own beliefs and thoughts about market farming. I didn't have a "true" mentor that taught me about all the areas of management, however, I learned a ton from online mentors and books that helped me for my own opinions. And then, ulitametely, the practice of watching and enacting the growing methods I believe in, which are in line with CNG standards.

General Farm Information

Farm Acreage you want listed as Certified Naturally GrownTM:
Total Farm Acreage you actually GROW on: *
1
Number of above acreage that you own: *
0
Number of above acreage that you lease: *
1
Do you have other acreage in "Conventional" Agricultural Systems? *
no
General Listed Acreage Breakdown
Veg Crops:
1
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:
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:
The majority of our produce goes into the local hospital we partner with. The produce is used for their programming.

Farmland Management and Practices

Primary Tillage System: *
Our primary source of tillage is power harrowing 1-2 inches deep after broad forking our soils. We hope to transition solely to using this system or even getting away from the power harrow and transition into using our Johnny's Tilther. However, we operate in Virginia with heavy clay soils and have had to "deep till" at times. We are continually adding compost and working that in to work towards no till.
Do you use Cover Crops? *
yes
If yes, please list: *
We use: -Rye, vetch clover combo for overwintering -Oats and peas for early spring/winter kill cover crops -Buckwheat for pollinators and a quick cover crop during season -Sun hemp for summer CC
Do you use Compost? *
yes
If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
We purchase our compost from professional compost companies in our area.
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 wheelbarrows per 250 square foot bed when adding
Do you use Manure? *
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. *
-Alfalfa meal - 7 springs farm -Feather Meal- Mason City by-products - Fertrell Super Plus Micronutrient blend - Thorvin Kelp - Fertrell 3-0-7 (primarily consisting of feather meal) - Browns Fish Emulsion - Symphony Organic 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? *
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. *
Continual battle with runner grasses, thistle and other various annual weeds that I can't name. We do a lot of tarping with silage tarps, throughout the season. We use landscape fabric to plant into to keep the weeds at bay. We also continually cultivate using collinear hoes and shuffle hoes. We do not spray any herbicides.
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. *
- Aphids- We constantly battle with Aphids. We try to pay attention to our soil amendments, for aphids typically thrive in a high nitrogen soil. We also are big believers in biology and grow wild flowers throughout our farm. Our biggest aphid issues are typically in our greenhouses, so we try and bring in predators. We also buy in lace wings / lady bugs to help combat them. We also try to maintain proper airflow. We do everything in our power to not spray but we have sprayed neem oil and insecticidal soap to keep the aphids at bay when they are out of control - Cabbage mouths- Cabbage mouths are prevelant on our brassica plants. We start by growing beautiful seedlings and properly harden them off in the field. Again, we make sure our soil has its proper nutrients to thrive before planting. After planting we cover with insect netting or row cover to keep the cabbage moths off. We also crop rotate to try and keep the overwintered insects guessing. -Cucumber Beetles- We start by growing great transplants in our Greenhouse, and plant and cover immediately until the cucumbers start to flower. At this point, we fertilize and hope for the best with our cucumbers. We treat downey mildew, thats often associated with cucumber beetles, but don't try to kill the beetles themselves. We have picked them off in the past. We also succession plant our cucumbers and try and get early crops in before the beetles are too bad. In the past, we have also used Kaolin Klay to form a barrier around the beetles. Japenese Beetles- we rotate our crops affected by these beetles and often hand pick the early clusters. Slugs- we try and mitigate our overhead watering during heavy times of slug seasons by using drip tape. We also rotate our crops to avoid the slugs but mostly we just learn to live with them.
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. *
Powdery Mildew- We completely remove infected parts of plants when the mildew sets in. We try to allow for adequate plant spacing and airflow on plants susceptible to powdery mildew. We also have used neem oil and horticultural oil to help treat Powdery mildew. We also crop rotate so we are not planting the same crop year after year and we can give the soil time to replenish itself from the disease. We would like to experiment with "bio-fumgation" but have not found the time yet. Downey Mildew- We completely remove infected parts of plants when the mildew sets in. We try to allow for adequate plant spacing and airflow on plants susceptible to powdery mildew. We also have used neem oil and horticultural oil to help treat Powdery mildew. We also crop rotate so we are not planting the same crop year after year and we can give the soil time to replenish itself from the disease. We would like to experiment with "bio-fumgation" but have not found the time yet Black Rot- We remove infected plants and will not plant brassicas within that space for the next few years. Blight- Typically on our solanaceas. We have moved all of our tomatoe production indoors and have avoided blight so far by doing that. It does appear on our potatoes, but at the time it occurs, our potatoes are nearly finished. We also practice crop rotation. Blossom End Rot- Usually occuring on our first peppers, we haven't found the need to act but if we were to do, we would like to add calcium to our soil / plant. We also crop rotatoe to avoid this.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
City 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 from 3-4 seperate suppliers. Johnny seeds, Fedco, Southern Seed Exchange and High mowing organic. With various random seed suppliers at times including Seed Savers and other small start ups. We try to be organic seeds when they are offered.
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. *
For 2022, We purchase the Coast of Maine potting mix. For the past 4 years we have purchased Mcenroe lite potting mix.
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. *
N/A

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: