Hearts of Harvest FarmOwner: Paul Sorah
34 Rocky Ridge Rd
Arnoldsville, GA 30619
daytime phone: (423) 790-9690
Application Date: 2018-01-25
- Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program. *
- We want to be part of a grass roots movement based on peer evaluations and high end ethics as it pertains to our farming operation. Also, the farmers market and association we want to sell with require a CNG or a USDA OG certification and we feel more drawn to the CNG mission.
- 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? *
- From a local farmer in our community. Carter Dodd at Diamond Hill Farm.
- 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)
- Various hardwood logs, untreated hardwood chips from storm fallen trees and arborists. Sawdust spawn from Field and Forest.
- Oyster (Pleurotus)
- King stropharia, garden giant, wine cap (Stropharia)
- Reishi (Ganoderma)
- Enoki, velvet foot (Flammulina)
- Maitake, hen of the woods (Grifola)
- Butterscotch mushroom (Nameko)
- Lion's mane, pom-poms (Hericium)
- 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 adhere to all state or local quarantines for forest products that there may be in your region? *
- Please describe any steps you take to ensure that the logs you use are harvested according to a forest management plan that will maintain or help improve the overall health of the forest. *
- Some of our logs were from trees that were brought down during the Irma storms and others were received from arborists. We also look for trees that are invasive such as the sweet gum or leaning trees on our property.
- What do you use to seal logs after inoculation? *
- Food grade, clear wax
- If you use wax, how do you confirm that it does not contain ethylene-propylene co-polymer, synthetic colors, or perfumes? *
- Responsible purchasing and product investigation
- 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) *
- 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 will add to our compost piles.
- How do you ensure that nutrients from used substrate do not leach into waterways? *
- Our compost pile is protected from runoff and away from waterways. We take good care to pay attention to our log and bed areas so that we eliminate any old logs or beds that are ready for removal.
Containers, Racks, and Beds
- Please describe the racks and beds used in production (if any). What are they made of? *
- We have constructed A-Frames from untreated wood that we use as a lean-to system.
- Please describe any containers used for sterilization, and/or pasteurization. What are they made of? *
- 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". *
- 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). *
- 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 *
- 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.) *
- Local Oglethorpe County Ag Extension, local NRCS (Jason Wheatley) and our local well servicing company.
- 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.) *
- Yes, 12/13/2017, all parameters test are within permissible limits established for drinking water.
- Do you use well water to mist or irrigate fruiting bodies? *
- Please note CNG mushroom standards require you test well water used to mist or irrigate fruiting bodies at least once per year for E. coli, and the results must be negative with no E. coli detected. Have you tested your well water for E. coli within the past year? What was the date of the most recent test? What were the results? Please keep lab results on file, and plan to have them available during your inspection. *
- Yes, we have tested and results show negative signs of E. coli. Test results are on file.
- 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.) *
- Purchase from Field and Forrest
- 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.) *
- Slugs and gnats are our primary challenges. Consistent crop observation followed by hand removal of slugs when problems arise. Sticky traps for gnats or flying insects. Food grade Diatomaceous Earth. Proper harvesting techniques help to deter any gnat problems that may persists. Shade cloth row cover is used for fruiting and insect prevention. Compressed air and vacuuming are used as needed.
- 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 not encountered any diseases in our outdoor growing environment.
Site Location and Buffers
- Is your operation either partially or entirely INdoors? *
- Is your operation either partially or entirely OUTdoors? *
- Please describe neighboring land uses to the north, south, east and west of your OUTdoor operation. *
- North is our property that is being used for vegetable production, beyond that to the north is a neighboring cattle farm. East is our property that is woodlands with a pond. South is our property that is woodlands. West is our property that is woodlands and vegetable production.
- Do these uses pose a risk of drift or contamination? *
- What is the distance between your outdoor production area and the nearest sources of possible contamination? *
- We are isolated from conventional farming.
- What other factors mediate the risk of contamination? (Prevailing wind patterns, windbreaks, method of spray, etc.) *
- Windbreak screens, tree lines, ridge line surrounding the farm and chemical free farming on our land.
- Has your outdoor production area been treated with prohibited substances within the past 36 months? If so, by what was it treated, and when? *
- 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 are preparing for solar powered deer fencing and prep station, spring fed pond and rain water irrigation.
- 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.
- Composting our production waste to reuse on our farm.
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.