Aquaponics Application

Full Circle Farmers, LLC

Owner: Kristine Allouchery

2342 Coles Mill Road
Franklinville, NJ 08322
Gloucester County

daytime phone: (267) 974-2501
evening phone: (856) 694-1783

Application Date: 2017-01-18

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
We are in the first year of distributing a CSA program and we feel that certification would be appealing to our customers.
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? *
Met a representative at the Delaware State University Small Growers Convention in February 2016.

General Information

Please check all crops you grow in your aquaponic system. *

Please specify what other crops (if any).
Please check all markets you grow for (this will be displayed on your farm profile to help potential buyers find you). *

Please specify what other markets (if any).

System Design and Management

Please indicate what type of system you use (for hybrid systems, check all that apply): *

If you indicated you use an "other" system type, please specify what other type of system you use here.
If you use wicking beds, describe how the water his handled after it is used in the wicking beds. Does this water recirculate? If not, how is it disposed of?
What materials are used for root support, growing media, tubing and pipes, tanks, troughs, and other materials that come into direct contact with system water? (check all that apply) *

Are there any other materials you use in your system that are not listed above? If so, please indicate them here.
If you use soil or compost in your system, where is it used? Is it used only in the dead-end portion, or also in in the recirculating sections of the system?
If you use compressed grow plugs, what is (are) the product/s name/s? Have you been able to confirm with the supplier that it/they do not contain synthetic nutrients?
GRODAN AO 1.5"X1.5" STARTER PLUGS - no synthetic nurtrients
If your system contains cement, does it come into direct contact with the water? Please describe how cement is a part of your system.
If you use wood in your system, is it treated wood? Does it come into direct contact with the water? Please describe how wood is a part of your system.
Wood is only used as the framing system for our floating beds and grow beds. It is painted, treated wood but does not come in direct contact with any part of our system, not does it come in contact with the water.
If your system includes IBC totes purchased used, have you been able to confirm with your supplier that they were used only for food grade uses? If so, how have you confirmed this? If not, how do you intend to confirm this?
Please note that while IBC totes can be grandfathered in when they're in already in use at the time CNG certification is sought, CNG standards prohibit the introduction of IBC totes once CNG status is obtained. Please indicate that you understand this restriction on IBC totes by checking the box here. *
Does water circulate at a rate sufficient so that the water volume of the fish tanks(s) recirculates each hour? If it recirculates at a lower rate, please explain. *
Briefly describe how your system achieves appropriate aeration. *
We use individual aerators in each floating bed, in addition to aerating each of our four fish tanks.
Briefly describe how your system achieves appropriate degassing. *
Degassing is achieved through use of a swirl filter and a series of filtration tanks at each end of the system.
Does your system include any of the following: roofing materials, recycled plastics, or plastics that contain BPA? *

Water Sources

CNG standards vary according to water source. Please indicate below ALL water sources you use for your aquaponic system, and answer the corresponding questions.
Do you use Municipal water? *
Do you use well water? *
What are the ground water contaminants of concern in your region? *
We tested for Total Coliform Bacteria/E. coli, Organic Compounds - Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), nitrates, lead, mercury, iron, manganese, Radiological Contaminants – Gross Alpha, pH
What experts did you consult to determine contaminants of concern? *
South Jersey Water Test, LLC (certified lab)
Have you tested your well within the past year, and if so, what were the results? *
Feb 17, 2017: Coliform/E.coli were absent. pH was low. all other parameters were below allowable limit for drinking water, or below detectable level.
Are you willing to start testing annually? *
Do you treat or filter the water before adding it to the system? If so, what methods are used? *
Do you use rainwater? *
Do you use surface water? *
If you use a water source that is not named here, please elaborate.

Water Quality: Nutrients, pH, solids

How do you ensure a good match between stocking density and crop production? *
We started our system based on keeping our fish population per tank relatively low to avoid overcrowding.
Please describe how you design and operate your system to provide biofiltration that corresponds to production of fish waste and crops. *
In a true aquaponic system design, we use a swirl tank separator at the start of the system which moves forward to the hydroclay system, separating additional waste through use of worms and the natural filtration of plant roots and then passing through to additional filters before reaching the plants.
Do you ever add supplemental nutrients? If so, what materials or products have you used? List ingredients and product names. How much of these do you use? How frequently? *
Do you use worms in your system? *
What steps do you take to ensure worms do not introduce pathogenic bacteria to your system? *
The worms were introduced into the system before plants were, approximately August 2015. We purchased them from Uncle Jim's Organic Worm Farm We would be willing to adhere to the CNG requirements of quarantine and rinsing in the event we decided to add more. We do not actively plan to do that at the moment.
What materials do you use to buffer pH? *
Baking soda
What methods do you use to prevent the build up of waste solids in your system? *
We "blow out" our piping system from the fish tanks to the grow bed and remove some waste - some is fed to worms. We also regularly skim solids from the bottom of the tank and any that float free. The swirl separator takes out any heavy waste.
Please indicate how often you monitor each of the following:
pH? *
Every other day
Temperature? *
Every day
Dissolved oxygen? *
Once per week
Ammonia? *
Once per week
Nitrites? *
Once per week
Nitrates? *
Once per week
Use this space if you'd like to share additional information about your water quality and monitoring practices.

Seeds, Transplants, and Crop Health

Do you grow some or all of your own transplants? *
What growing media do you use? Please list the ingredients. *
Do you use any chemically-treated or genetically modified seeds? *
Do you purchase some or all of your transplants? *
Describe your primary insect pest challenges AND methods of prevention and control. (Do not answer "none". You MUST indicate actual pest challenges or LIKELY challenges, and you must ALSO indicate how you manage or how you would manage them. If you indicate a product, also specify how often it's used.) *
Screens on greenhouse louvers and introduction of ladybugs into greenhouse No other active pest management at this time otherwise, nor required
Describe your primary plant disease challenges AND methods of prevention and control. (Do not answer "none". You MUST indicate actual disease challenges or LIKELY challenges, and you must ALSO indicate how you manage or how you would manage them. If you indicate a product, also specify how often it's used.) *
We have not had any issues with plant disease short of nutrition deficiency due to balancing composition of fish food vs. plant needs
CNG certification requires the use of certified organic or Certified Naturally Grown seeds whenever available. Please indicate the suppliers from which you source - or will source - your seeds if your application is accepted and you continue the certification process. *
Johnny's Seeds Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Please indicate, by entering your initials, that you understand that CNG strictly prohibits the use of chemically treated or GMO seeds. *
Please indicate, by entering your initials, that you will as a general rule purchase organically grown seeds, AND that you will only purchase conventional seed when the variety you wish to grow is not available in certified organic or CNG form. For each variety purchased in conventional form, you will identify (and keep records of) at least three commercial organic seed suppliers who do not carry that variety. *

Fish Management

We do not offer certification for fish, but do set some limited standards for fish management where they might affect the produce and or quality of life for the fish.
Does hormonal sex reversal treatment ever occur on-line / within the recirculating system? *
Please describe the practices you use to prevent and treat fish disease.
Observation, maintaining a clean living environment, keeping water circulated, providing sufficient air. We also keep the density of our low, at this time.
Have you ever found it necessary to use antibiotics? *
Please describe what kind of fish feed you use. Is it organically grown? (For aquaponic produce certification CNG standards do not require that the feed be organically grown, but we are interested to know what producers are using and to give credit to any producers who may be using organic feed) *
Ziegler's slow sinking pellets - it is not organically grown
Do you use black soldier fly larvae or duckweed as supplemental feed? *
Do you use any supplemental feed besides BSF larvae or duckweed? If so, describe it here, and indicate how you protect against contamination of your system. *

Protecting Against Contamination

Is your operation partially or entirely INdoors? *
What are the nearby land uses? Are there any that might pose risks of contamination? *
Residential use
How does your ventilation and air filtration system prevent possible contamination? *
Screens installed on louvers
Do you share space (including fish tank, seedling starting, or plant production space) with other producers? *
Is your operation partially or entirely OUTdoors? *

Waste & Energy

These questions will not determine certification status, but are intended to encourage producers to review our recommendations in these areas and to give credit to producers who have made investments in the sustainability of their operation.
How do you dispose of fish solid wastes? *
When necessary during system change over, how do you dispose of nutrient-rich water? *
We have not changed over our system - it is not necessary due to the quality of our water.
What measures have you taken to conserve energy, improve energy efficiency, and/or use energy from renewable sources? (This could include system design, siting, insulation, crop and fish species selection, and more.)
System design and siting of the greenhouse - we hope to qualify for government funding to install a solar array on the property that will power the greenhouse year round. We do not use LED lighting at this time.

Inspections & Networks

A core requirement of CNG certification is the on-site peer-review. Getting this completed is facilitated if you're a part of a network of aquaponics producers who might serve as your inspector. Are you a part of a network (informal or formal) of aquaponic producers in your geographic area? *


I understand that only the produce, NOT the fish, can be labeled and sold as Certified Naturally Grown. *
I will not label, or in any way lead consumers to believe that produce not raised in accord with CNG standards is Certified Naturally Grown. *
I understand that I have to complete at least one Inspection(s) of another CNG aquaponic producer in my area each year, if there is one within a one hour drive. *
I understand that the inspection I conduct will NOT be of the same producer that inspected me. *
I have reviewed the Certified Naturally Grown aquaponic 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 operation.