Produce & Flowers

Rierson Farms NC LLC

Owner: Zachary & Monica Rierson

Address:
365 Paul Kennedy Road
Thomasville, NC 27360
Davidson County

Mailing Address:
108 Paul Kennedy Rd
Thomasville, NC 27360

daytime phone: (336) 689-4795
Web site: http://www.riersonfarmsnc.com

Application Date: 2022-06-08

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
We take pride in growing naturally on our farm after seeing our grandparents fight chronic health problems stemming from chemicals used in commercial growing practices. We utilize our animals and what our farm offers to create a growing environment free of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
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? *
Other local farmers that have or are going through the process of 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 learned from my grandfather in a small plot garden for our family and decided with my wife last year to become a market grower to bring affordable naturally grown produce to our markets locally. We have been selling at markets since June 2021. Research and the guidance of peers and our local ag extension agent has allowed us to build our operation from the ground up with CNG practices and knowledge.

General Farm Information

Farm Acreage you want listed as Certified Naturally GrownTM:
Total Farm Acreage you actually GROW on: *
3.5 acres
Number of above acreage that you own: *
0
Number of above acreage that you lease: *
3
Do you have other acreage in "Conventional" Agricultural Systems? *
no
General Listed Acreage Breakdown
Veg Crops:
3
Fruit Crops:
.5
Hay:
0
Grains/Beans:
0
Sugarbush:
0
Other Acreage:
0
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: *
Small walk behind tiller and hand tools.
Do you use Cover Crops? *
yes
If yes, please list: *
clover and buckwheat.
Do you use Compost? *
yes
If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
on farm.
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". *
2-3 inches during rest/offseason.
Do you use Manure? *
yes
If yes, please note general sources (local dairy, horse farm, etc.): *
on farm from goats, donkeys, and chickens.
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". *
1-2 inches as soil test indicates need.
What time of year do you apply the manure? *
late fall/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. *
lime and fish emulsion
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. *
Primary weed problem comes from the manure of our animals with seeds from the hay being the source of initial germination. We utilize our chickens early in season before fruit emerges to keep weeds down and utilize manual hoeing, weeding, and pulling around plants through the heart of the season. We will cultivate the top layer of soil in row middles as needed if a large amount of weeds have arose.
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 primary insect challenges are squash beetles, cucumber beetles, aphids, and Japanese beetles. Neem Oil is generally effective for all the above but have begun partnering with our local ag extension agent to create an arsenal of natural alternatives to pest prevention and treatment. All applications are applied after harvest on Friday evenings to allow for 72 hours of time before any fruit is taken off the plants.
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. *
Blight is the only main challenge we are presented with. Trimming and removal of infected leaves and plants is the only action ever taken and has been effective to the point of not needing an alternative option.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
On farm well and pond for emergency use only (have never had to use pond).
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. *
Have purchased seeds from known suppliers of other farms that have CNG certification or are seeking certification this year. Efforts are being made for our fall seed harvest in calling and doing our own due diligence going forward for some of the niche crops we plan to grow.
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 pre-made mix.
What ingredients does your potting mix contain? If you purchase a mix, please also indicate which product. *
Beyond Peat Organic Potting Mix for all transplants for our produce.
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. *
There are 200 yards of forrest on three sides of all growing fields that butt up to the property line and 200 yards of drive and a road way on the fourth side with a small subdivision on the opposite side of the road way. The farm is the highest point of the area so there is no danger of runoff contamination either.

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:
We are in a growing phase for the farm and are building our season extension and all new fields in accordance with the CNG guidelines to eliminate any back peddling to make sure our operation is and will always be First Generation farmers growing sustainably under the CNG guidelines. Any and all help and partnerships to continue to grow and innovate these principles at our farm and with others is always welcomed here.