Produce & Flowers

Moon Dog Farms

Owner: Alex McPhail

Santa Fe, TX

daytime phone: (512) 635-4912
Web site:

Application Date: 2013-01-09

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
We are just starting our all-natural, sustainable fruit and vegetable farm. We want our new customers to be able to rest easy in the knowledge that the food they get from us is as healthy for them and the earth as any food available.
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 recently finished the Sustainable Agriculture program at Central Carolina Community College.
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: *
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:
-mail order fruit

Farmland Management and Practices

Primary Tillage System: *
We are breaking new ground so we will be discing and tilling to break up the existing weeds. We will then use a combination of cover crops and tillage as needed. We will be using living mulch and hay mulch to hopefully reduce our tillage needs.
Do you use Cover Crops? *
If yes, please list: *
We have used barley. We will be using combinations of sorghum-sudan grass, crimson clover, rye and hairy vetch. We'll also be using buckwheat for fast turnover times.
Do you use Compost? *
If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
We will be making compost on farm. We will also be using a compost from a local nursery consisting of leaf mulch and composted cow manure.
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". *
approx 5 cubic yards per half acre
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. *
We'll be using some rock phosphate and greensand. We will also be using a product made in Houston called Microlife. It is a mixture of all organic materials including rock powders and compost. It also has a lot of soil inoculants.
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 will have to fight grass since we are in new ground this year. However, I foresee our biggest issue being bermuda grass. The fields surrounding us are used for hay and have been "improved" with bermuda. We will spend a lot of time digging and hope to help the cause by using a lot of mulch and smothering cover crops. We also have talked about putting in a barrier of something to out compete the bermuda -- something like jerusalem artichokes.
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. *
The biggest problem around here is stink bugs. Because we are starting with a small vegetable crop we hope to be able to control them by hand. We also to intend to put in some bird habitats for native birds. The fruit trees have already been established and have never shown any significant damage from pests so I don't think we'll see many problems there.
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 issue this first year for the trees will be fireblight. We have to do some major pruning on the old trees and will leave them open to infection. They have never shown much susceptibility before, but with heavy pruning we expect see some. We will deal with this through good sanitation while pruning and careful monitoring after. For the vegetables we expect to see blight issues with all of the solanaceous crops. We will try to keep the plants sanitary by using drip irrigation and heavy mulching. We have no intention of using any copper products to curb the blight.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
We have 2 on farm ponds we will use for the trees. We are planning a well for the vegetables.
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. *
The 2 fields on either side of us are used for hay and have not been sprayed with anything. There are large buffer fields to the north and south of us as well.


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 starting the farm this year and so all of our plans are tentative and subject to change. However, we have both spent several years working on certified organic farms and my formal education was in Sustainable Ag so the natural way of growing is how we both learned. Any changes we make will be towards more sustainability and not less.