Produce & Flowers

Wandering Winds Farm

Owner: Adam & Madeline Beckta

Address:
6196 F 41
Spruce, MI 48762
Alcona County

daytime phone: (989) 335-3669
Web site: http://www.wanderingwindsfarm.com

Application Date: 2020-09-30

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
We recognize the importance of growing using minimal inputs; for the health of our family and customers and our land. Having the Certified Naturally Grown certification will help show our customers and community our dedication to a healthy environment and people!
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? *
Facebook - other farms with the certification.
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: *
10
Number of above acreage that you own: *
10
Number of above acreage that you lease: *
0
Do you have other acreage in "Conventional" Agricultural Systems? *
no
General Listed Acreage Breakdown
Veg Crops:
2
Fruit Crops:
3
Hay:
Grains/Beans:
3
Sugarbush:
2
Other Acreage:
Please check all items you grow and will market as Certified Naturally GrownTM *











Please Specify Any Other Items:
Maple Syrup
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: *
Field crops - Tractor with disc, tiller Market vegetables - walk behind tiller when necessary
Do you use Cover Crops? *
yes
If yes, please list: *
Rye, Oats, Clover
Do you use Compost? *
yes
If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
On farm (made from hay, grass, composted chicken straw bedding)
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". *
Generally 4-6" on vegetable beds and around fruit plants
Do you use Manure? *
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. *
We have used lime to correct soil pH at the beginning of the season in previous years. We also use bloodmeal as fertilizer once a season on our garlic crop.
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. *
Quack grass is a major issue in the fruit and vegetable gardens. We hand weed and use hand cultivating tools in rows. For pathways we use a wheelhoe or a walk-behind tiller when necessary. For perennial fruit, we mulch heavily around the base of plants in early spring. Pig weed our biggest issue in the field. 2020 was our first year growing beans/corn in the field, so eradiction is an on-going project. We used a tractor mounted cultivator and hand weeded. We will do this going foward. In 2021 we will likely be trying out weed barrier, either cloth or biodegradable plastic 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. *
We have diversified plants throughout the farm, so attract many birds and predatory insects. Generally we aren't too concerned with insects and let them be unless out of control. We have used neem oil in the past. Flea Beetles: have tried row cover in the past with limited success, so mostly avoid growing cruciferous vegetables for now. Potato Beetles/Japanese Beetles: hand pick off when seen Slugs: we use Diatomaceous earth occasionally (maybe 1-2 times a year). Also have ducks and chickens on the farm that we can release into garden if the timing is right.
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. *
We haven't had a lot of plant disease issues. For tomatoes, we usually see blossom-end rot at the end of the season. This is not much of an issue and we don't have much loss. When our fruit trees mature over the next few years, we anticipate various apple diseases and will attempt to control with approved substances/methods if necessary.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
Well
Are there any known contaminants in the irrigation water? *
no
Are you a maple producer who seeks to certify your sugarbush? *
yes
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. *
We are part of the American Tree Farm system and are following the guidelines of the multiple foresters we have met with. Our forest management plan is aimed for long-term sugar bush development and creating and sustaining wildlife habitat. We love our 25 acre woodlot and use it frequently for recreation, so fervently want to avoid damaging it!
Do you use an organic de-foamer? *
yes
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? *
yes
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." *
yes
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. *
Yes, we use 5/16" taps and only one per tree regardless of diameter.
Use this space if there's anything else you'd like to share about your maple operation. *
In 2020, we tapped 15 trees using spiles and bags for sap collection. We intend to expand our tree count and will likely being using tubing and larger collection tanks.

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. *
Our seeds almost entirely come from Victory Seeds and we choose organic seeds when possible. Sometimes we purchase from Fedco, Johnny's, High Mowing and Baker Creek as well.
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
Do you purchase potting soil, or do you mix your own on the farm? *
Both
What ingredients does your potting mix contain? If you purchase a mix, please also indicate which product. *
On farm: perlite, peat moss, limestone, on farm compost ProMix: Sphagnum peat moss, peat humus, polymer gel, perlite, limestone
Are all of your transplants grown according to CNG standards, without synthetic fertilizers or wetting agents? *
yes
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. *
N/A
Do you purchase any transplants from outside sources? *
no
Chemical/Spray Drift and Buffers:
Is there any likelihood of Chemical/Spray drift contamination of your fields? *
yes
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.) *
Across our road on one side, there is a large conventional field. We communicate frequently with the farmers regarding any spraying. They are careful to follow best practices, including timing any spray with non-windy days. We also have a large tree buffer for the majority of our property.
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. *
Our only exposed side of the property is the west side. All others are forested for many acres. On our west side, we have a line of mature conifers about 20 feet from the road and our gardens begin 150-200 feet in from the tree line. The majority of our vegetable and fruit gardens are even further into the property. We have a hoop house that shields our market garden as well.

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: