Mushroom Application

Fat Top Farm, Inc.

Owner: Zach Taylor

11665 Giles Rd
Farmington, AR 72730
Washington County

daytime phone: (479) 502-6845
Web site:

Application Date: 2017-07-18

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program. *
My business partner and I want to run a responsible sustainable farm while making a profit. We are interested in the markets that having this certification would open up.
Are you currently third party Certified for your produce operation by any other organization (Organic, Biodynamic, etc)? *
Have you held any certification/s in the past that you don't currently hold? *
Have you ever been denied certification? *
How did you hear about Certified Naturally Grown? *
Local farmers market

General Information

Check all types of mushrooms you intend to certify. Please include any types you intend to grow or harvest in the coming 24 months. *

Other types you'll be growing, not listed above:
Are there any mushroom types you grow or harvest for which you are NOT seeking certification? Please list all such types, and explain why you are not seeking to certify them.
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).

Substrate, Supplements, and Other Materials

For each type of mushroom you produce, tell us about your substrate. (Put "N/A" or leave blank for any type you don't produce). Please indicate in the appropriate box below: 1) what you use for substrates and supplements (if any) and 2) the sources of these materials. Include names of products and distributors where appropriate. If any substrate is obtained from a non-commercial source, please describe that source.
Shiitake (Lentinula)
We use sawdust fuel pellets obtained from Lowe's supplemented with wheat bran from our local farmers coop. Our spawn is composed of whole oats and sorghum both obtained from our local farmers coop.
Oyster (Pleurotus)
We use sawdust fuel pellets obtained from Lowe's supplemented with wheat bran from our local farmers coop. Our spawn is composed of whole oats and sorghum both obtained from our local farmers coop.
King stropharia, garden giant, wine cap (Stropharia)
Reishi (Ganoderma)
We use sawdust fuel pellets obtained from Lowe's supplemented with wheat bran from our local farmers coop. Our spawn is composed of whole oats and sorghum both obtained from our local farmers coop.
Enoki, velvet foot (Flammulina)
Maitake, hen of the woods (Grifola)
Butterscotch mushroom (Nameko)
Lion's mane, pom-poms (Hericium)
We use sawdust fuel pellets obtained from Lowe's supplemented with wheat bran from our local farmers coop. Our spawn is composed of whole oats and sorghum both obtained from our local farmers coop.
Chicken of the woods (Laetiporus)
White button, portabella (Agaricus)
Other (please specify)
Did you remember to indicate, for each of the substrates and supplements noted above, the sources of these materials? You may use this space to say anything else about the substrates you're using or may want to use in the future.
Do your substrates include corn, soy, cotton seed hulls, or other byproducts of crops that are grown commercially in GMO form? *
Do you use logs as a substrate? *
Do you use wood chips, sawdust, sawdust blocks, or wood pellets? *
Have you confirmed that these are not chemically treated, nor contain glue or other adhesives? *
Do you use any of the following items as substrate: cardboard, paper, clothing, municipal compost, wood from rare trees harvested for mushroom production? *
Do you use manure as a substrate in your mushroom operation? *
Please describe all sterilization or pasteurization procedures and materials you use. (If none, please put N/A) *
We sterilize grains at 250 degrees, 15psi for at least three hours. We steam our sawdust blocks for 24 hours to achieve an internal temperature of 200 degrees for 8 hours.
How do you dispose of or re-purpose used substrate? Please indicate current practices as well as any plans you have for how the used substrate may be put to further productive use. *
We compost substrates to use in a personal garden. Once we can no longer handle the capacity we plan on working with local farms to trade blocks for finished compost.
How do you ensure that nutrients from used substrate do not leach into waterways? *
We compost rapidly taking care to not allow runoff by using tarps and straw barriers. There are no waterways on the property.

Containers, Racks, and Beds

Please describe the racks and beds used in production (if any). What are they made of? *
Our racks are made of painted wood and galvanized pipes. We don't use beds.
Please describe any containers used for sterilization, and/or pasteurization. What are they made of? *
We use plastic barrels repurposed to steam sterilizers. They previously contained almond paste. We do not currently pasteurize but we do have a pasteurizer made of the same type of barrel.
Please describe any containers used for production. What are they made of? If you don't use containers for production (as for log-based production) you may answer "n/a". *
We is IBC totes that have been cut in half for mixing substrates. The totes previously contained detergent used on chicken houses. We store materials in new Rubbermaid barrels
Were the containers purchased new or repurposed? If re-purposed, please describe how the containers had been used previously, and how you confirmed this with the supplier(s). *
The IBC totes used for mixing were repurposed. They previously contained detergent.
In your operation, do any of the following materials come into direct contact with any substrate or fruiting bodies?Plastics that contain BPA, polystyrene, treated wood, railroad ties, containers that previously held toxic materials, re-purposed containers that had an unknown prior use *

Wild Harvest

CNG Mushroom certification covers cultivated mushrooms, not wild-crafted mushrooms. However, we include this section on the application for two reasons: #1 It is important to us that those who participate in our programs are mindful of the sustainability of the non-certified portions of their operations. #2 We want to give our members the opportunity to be transparent about their wild-crafting practices, and to minimize confusion about which mushrooms are certified.
Are any of the mushrooms you sell wild harvested (or "wildcrafted")? Yes/No *


What water contamination experts have you consulted to identify which contaminants are typically found in area water, and determine the tests that should be conducted? Relevant experts may include local or state health department officials, Natural Resource Conservation Service agents, state environmental protection or pollution control agencies, local well drilling and water testing companies. (If you haven't yet done this, please indicate who you will approach, and by when you expect to have completed this program requirement.) *
Tested for heavy metals by Arkansas Water Resource Center Water Quality Lab on 9/14/2017.
Have you tested your water at the point of use for heavy metals or other contaminants that were identified by local water quality experts? When? What were the results? (If you haven't yet done this, please indicate by when you expect to have completed this program requirement.) *
Municipal water test reports show no coliform or e coli concerns. Tested for heavy metals at point of use 9/14/2017, and there were no contaminants of concern.
Do you use well water to mist or irrigate fruiting bodies? *
Do you use surface water to soak logs or to irrigate non-fruiting substrate? Surface water includes water from ponds, streams, and reservoirs. *
Do you ever use surface water to mist or irrigate fruiting bodies? *


Do you purchase spawn or produce your own or some of each? (If purchased, please list the supplier.) *
Some of each...we purchase grain and sawdust spawn from Field and Forest Products and expand it in our own lab.
CNG mushroom standards prohibit for spawn production the use of adhesives, byproducts of GMO crops, or other materials prohibited for use as substrate. Are you confident none of these materials were used as a growing media for the spawn? *

Pest & Disease Management

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.) *
Our primary insect pest is mushroom gnats and other flies. We use a combination of fly strips, bug lights, bti. We were using a natural insecticide from Country Vet that contains pyrethrins, but found out it contained petroleum distillates. As of Sept 2017 we switched to Evergreen (pyrethrin based, OMRI-listed).f
Describe your primary disease challenges AND methods of prevention and control. If you indicate a product, also specify how often it's used. *
We have yet to encounter a disease challenge.

Site Location and Buffers

Is your operation either partially or entirely INdoors? *
Please describe neighboring land uses to the north, south, east and west of your INdoor operation. *
Houses to the north, east, and west. There is a small horse field to the south.
Do these uses pose a risk of drift or contamination? If so, please describe. *
I do not think so. Our growhouse is in the middle of three acres well away from any neighbor.
How does your ventilation and air filtration system prevent possible contamination? *
The air sucked in our grow room is filterd with a hepa filter.
If you share space with other producers, please indicate whether they use synthetic chemicals, and if so, how do you protect your production area from potential contamination? *
We do not share a space with any other producers.
Is your operation either partially or entirely OUTdoors? *

Sustainability Initiatives

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, lighting choices, and more.)
We use led lighting. Our walls are sealed and insulated with spray foam. Our site is located in the shade of several large trees.
Please use this space to highlight any other measures you take to reduce the environmental impact of your operation or to make it more sustainable in other ways.
We recycle the packaging most of our materials come in. We reuse or recycle the majority of the materials that are used in our process.

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 mushroom producers who might serve as your inspector.
Are you a part of a network (informal or formal) of mushroom producers in your geographic area? *


I will not label, or in any way lead consumers to believe that a farm product not raised in accord with CNG standards is Certified Naturally Grown *
I understand that I have to complete at least one Inspection of another CNG mushroom 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 mushroom certification standards, I understand them, and I will abide by them. 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.