Produce & Flowers
Little Toccoa Creek FarmOwner: Susan Caster
1517 Camp Mikell Rd
Toccoa, GA 30577
daytime phone: (404) 512-5621
evening phone: (404) 512-5621
Application Date: 2017-03-14
- 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)? *
- Have you ever been certified in the past? *
- Have you ever been denied certification? *
- How did you hear about Certified Naturally Grown? *
- I don't remember: farmers market?, friends?, GO conference?, online?
- 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: *
- first year 1/6
- 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:
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? *
- If yes, please list: *
- I have clover seed, but haven't yet planted.
- Do you use Compost? *
- 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? *
- If yes, please note general sources (local dairy, horse farm, etc.): *
- Horses on my pasture
- 1 wheelbarrow load per 1000 square feet
- What time of year do you apply the manure? *
- Do you apply any non-composted Manure within 120 days of veg-crop harvesting? *
- 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)? *
- 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. *
- 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? *
- 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? *
- 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? *
- 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. *
- 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.
- 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.