Produce & Flowers

Earthkeeper Farm

Owner: Rachelle Bostwick

Kent City, MI

Web site:

Application Date: 2019-01-22

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
Our farm was CNG before we switched to certified organic. We have decided to go back to CNG.
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? *
If yes, please note which agencies and dates: *
NOP certified with Stellar Certification Service March 2011 to November 2018. CNG 2008? to 2011?
Have you ever been denied certification? *
How did you hear about Certified Naturally Grown? *
Word of mouth
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? *

General Farm Information

Farm Acreage you want listed as Certified Naturally GrownTM:
Total Farm Acreage you actually GROW on: *
6 acres
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:
2.5 acres
Fruit Crops:
.5 acres
3 acres (including some cover crops)
Other Acreage:
12 acres on farm not currently in production
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 chisel plow, moldboard plow, disk harrow, and occasionally a rototiller.
Do you use Cover Crops? *
If yes, please list: *
We use a lot of rye, clover, tillage radish, sunflowers, oats, and peas.
Do you use Compost? *
If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
We make compost of farm from veggie scrapes, chicken bedding, and manure from a neighbor's pet horses and donkeys.
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". *
Goal of 10 tons per acre per year
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. *
In the past we have used a custom blend soil amendment made by Morgan's Compost. It was approved by our organic certifier. We are currently out of that blend.
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. *
We have many weeds. Quackgrass is a problem for us. We use tillage, bare fallow, and smother crops to manage it. We have a normal assortment of annual weeds like lambs quarters, pig weed, and velvet leaf. We manage them will mechanical cultivation, hand weeding, and tillage. In recent years, we have been having more and more problems with thistle. We have been handweeding and hoeing it.
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. *
We have all the usual pests in the veggies. Their damage has been moderate, so we rarely spray for them (only using organic products). We scout and hand remove potato beetles, tomato worms, and occasionally cucumber beetles. We manage flea beetles with row cover. We use koalin clay on some cucurbits to deter cucumber beetles.
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. *
Our biggest disease problem is fungus in the tomatoes and powdery mildew on cucurbits. We plant multiple successions of crops, knowing that they will die prematurely. We foliar feed with fish emulsion, about every 2 weeks during May-July and then apx 1x per month for the rest of the season. To help prevent fungus, we use the biodynamic preparations horsetail and horn silica. Horsetail is sprayed about 2x in May-June, and then the rest of the season as needed. Horn silica is normally only sprayed once
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
We use 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. *
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. *
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. *
All the buffer zones are adequate to prevent contamination. There is wooded land to the north. Horse pastures to the south. Conventional corn/soy field to the east. There is a buffer zone of 50+ feet in which there are large, bushy willows, another line of small pine trees and some open meadow. To the west there are some apple trees boarding one area. At the nearest point they are about 450 feet from our fields.


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: