Produce Application

Little Toccoa Creek Farm

Owner: Susan Caster

Address:
1517 Camp Mikell Rd
Toccoa, GA 30577
Stephens County

Mailing Address:
310 Bloomfield Ct
Roswell, GA 30075

daytime phone: (404) 512-5621
evening phone: (404) 512-5621

Application Date: 2017-03-14

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
I have a new farm in Toccoa and want to grow healthy, clean vegetables and fruits. I'm committed to building the soil fertility, increasing biodiversity, following environmentally sound practices and using only natural inputs as I farm. I seek to be part of the community of certified naturally grown farmers and learn to use best practices.
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? *
I don't remember: farmers market?, friends?, GO conference?, online?

General Farm Information

Farm Acreage you want listed as Certified Naturally GrownTM:
Total Farm Acreage you actually GROW on: *
first year 1/6
Number of above acreage that you own: *
92
Number of above acreage that you lease: *
NA
Do you have other acreage in "Conventional" Agricultural Systems? *
no
General Listed Acreage Breakdown
Veg Crops:
1/6
Fruit Crops:
?
Hay:
?
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: *
Used a walk behind rototiller to get started, but hope to use no till practices in future.
Do you use Cover Crops? *
yes
If yes, please list: *
I have clover seed, but haven't yet planted.
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". *
8 wheelbarrow loads per 1000 square feet
Do you use Manure? *
yes
If yes, please note general sources (local dairy, horse farm, etc.): *
Horses on my pasture
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 wheelbarrow load per 1000 square feet
What time of year do you apply the manure? *
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. *
None to date. In addition to cover crops and compost, lots of mulch -- wood chips, straw, grass clippings and leaves. I have access to horse and cow manure which I'll compost before using. I plan to make (or buy) fish emulsion to spray on crops. Since I don't yet have my own chickens I plan to buy some chicken manure in bags. Also there are several blow downs at the edge of the pasture that I will bury into huggle beds.
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. *
Garden has been a pasture with primarily Bermuda and fescue. I'm starting small, tilling, then removing grass and preparing beds by hand/rake.
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. *
Are ants a pest? I'm going to let the chickens I get eat them outside of the garden. I've found some june bug larva in the soil; hope to reach a balance with predator/prey in their case. Tomato horm worms I plan to remove by hand; hoping for some with parasitic wasps which I'll leave. I'll remove plants with serious aphid problems and let ladybugs do their work on the rest. I'm really hoping for balance between beneficial and harmful insects. I'd like to encourage this by allowing some harmful insects.
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. *
My land is bottom land and so powdery mildew on squash and fruit rot on vegetables could be a problem. Nematodes could also be a problem. Fusarium wilt and blossom end rot can be a problem on tomatoes. These are just a couple of the many diseases caused by fungus, bacteria, nematodes and viruses that could be problems. Organic substances to control disease are a last resort. I plan to use all of the following practices first: Vegetable garden is located in an open sunny field to give plants an optimum location to be healthy and resistant to disease, Crop rotation plan to make sure members of the same plant family are not planted in the same area in subsequent seasons (I'm using the GrowVeg program to record what I plant where and ensure crop rotation), Mulch plants to maintain moisture, build healthy soil and control weeds, Regular weeding, Remove and dispose of diseased plants, Purchase resistant varieties, Water as necessary, Stake tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and pole beans, Purchase healthy organic seeds and plants, Never leave the soil bare...
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
I can use water from Little Toccoa Creek for irrigation, but the land is in a flood plain and hasn't required much irrigation to date. The Blueridge Outdoor Educational Center adjacent upstream to my property does water testing.
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

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
Are they grown using Naturally Grown/Organic methods? *
yes
If they're not grown according to CNG methods, please list them here. This produce may not be sold as Certified Naturally Grown. (If they are, put "N/A") *
I purchased certified organic Natural and Organic Mix potting soil from Griffin Greenhouse and nursery supplies to get started.
Do you purchase any transplants from outside sources? *
yes
From which sources do you buy transplants? *
I'm looking at sources for organic plugs; haven't purchased yet. May find some from other CNG growers.
How have you confirmed with your supplier that the transplants are grown without synthetic fertilizers or wetting agents? *
I will
Please list any bought-in transplants not grown according to CNG standards. This produce may not be sold as Certified Naturally Grown (except, in the case of perennials, after twelve months of CNG cultivation). *
I purchased berries and fruit trees from the UGA extension service, but will not be harvesting in the next 12 months.
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. *
I am growing over 100 feet from all neighbors. Still I've purchased 100 white pine trees to create a live buffer between my garden and the road/homes across the street even thought I have no reason to believe any of them spray chemicals on their lawns. The five acre vacation property to the north west has 2 acres of woods as a buffer. The land to the south is conventional pasture with cattle grazing; they seldom spray any herbicides, but did fertilize with 17-17-17 this year. The corner of the field is over 250 feet from my crops.

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:
I purchased this land in September 2016. The previous owner and her late husband held the land for, I believe, 30 years and did not use any synthetic fertilizers or herbicides. The land has had cows and horses on it.