Produce & Flowers
Star Cross NaturalsOwner: Michael and Kelly Younkin
880 Indiantown Rd
Somerset, PA 15501
daytime phone: (814) 289-1571
evening phone: (814) 289-1571
Application Date: 2016-08-12
- Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
- We desire to start a small CSA and would like to begin by becoming Certified Naturally Grown. We are proponents of organic gardening but don't wish to participate in the USDA's organic program for various reasons. Your organization is the perfect solution.
- 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? *
- Mother Earth News Fair initially and Mike Brabo of Vesterbrook Farm in Missouri spoke highly of CNG and encouraged us to become certified.
- 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:
- Sugar and red maple trees.
- 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: *
- Raised beds/no till.
- Do you use Cover Crops? *
- If yes, please list: *
- Field peas, buckwheat and crimson clover. Have used mustard in the past.
- Do you use Compost? *
- If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
- On farm. Garden weeds, chicken manure, leaves, and other organic matter.
- 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 deep.
- 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. *
- I have used Fertrell products in the past as well as Neptune's Harvest fish oil. Blood meal, bone meal, and kelp meal are also used periodically.
- 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. *
- Weeds that we struggle with the most are quackgrass, Canada thistle, smartweed, and quickweed. To a lesser extent lamb's quarters, pigweed, and creeping Charlie. Control methods include hand weeding, hoeing, and mulch.
- 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. *
- Cabbage worms, flea beetles, and cucumber beetles. Floating row covers and hand removal.
- 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. *
- Tomato blights and molds. Have tried spraying a vinegar solution with some success. Using blight resistant varieties has been the most successful.
- Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
- Deep well, rain water, and sometimes spring water.
- Are there any known contaminants in the irrigation water? *
- Are you a maple producer who seeks to certify your sugarbush? *
- Maple sap is considered a wild crop. CNG's Wild Crop Harvesting Standard states that wild crop must be harvested in a manner that ensures that such harvesting or gathering will not be destructive to the environment and will sustain the growth and production of the wild crop. Please briefly describe any steps you take to protect and ensure the sustainability of your sugarbush. *
- Use minimal taps.
- Do you use an organic de-foamer? *
- In rural areas, woods have unfortunately been used as dumping grounds for all manner of garbage, including toxic waste. These dumps can contaminate the sap, and your syrup, if too close to your sugarbush. Will you refrain from tapping any trees that stand within 50 feet of old dumps (or recent ones!) in or near your sugar bush? *
- Over-tapping trees can stunt their growth. Do you (or will you) adhere to the Cornell Sugar Maple Research & Extension Program guidelines which state "trees 10-17 inches in diameter (31-53 inch circumference) should have no more than one tap. A tree 18-24 inches in diameter (57-75 inch circumference) should have no more than two taps. A tree larger than 25 inches in diameter (79-inch circumference) should have no more than three taps." *
- To maximize tree health and sap production, CNG supports Cornell's recommendation that all taps are 5/16" in diameter or smaller. Is this your practice, and if not, would you be willing to transition to 5/16" (or smaller) taps within the next three years? Please elaborate. *
- I currently use 5/16" taps.
- Use this space if there's anything else you'd like to share about your maple operation. *
- I am currently selling my sap to another producer, but I plan to start my own small operation spring of 2017.
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? *
- If yes, please state the source (conventional farm field, golf course, etc.)and any details you can provide (type of pesticide, fertilizer, herbicide used, and/or what used for.) *
- There are corn, soybeans, and oats grown in fields to the south of my property. There is a buffer of approximately 20 feet plus a township road. Unknown what is used on the 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. *
- To the East; swamp and some trees. To the North; horse pasture. To the South; depending on the year there are soybeans, corn, or oats grown on this property. The buffer is approximately 20 feet of lawn, plus a township road (16 feet or so). To the West; lawn and then corn which is at least 100 yards away.
- 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: