Apple Trails Family OrchardOwner: Becky Housberg
daytime phone: (641) 223-0157
evening phone: (641) 342-3840
Application Date: 2018-02-05
- Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
- We have planted an apple orchard in 2011 and have been using standards that follow CNG standards but have not applied for actual certification. Our orchard has just begun producing apples that we sell at our local farmers market. I have been following the advice of Michael Phillips (The Apple Grower) who uses mostly holistic methods in growing fruit. Want to show our customers that we are serious about how we grow our fruits without using harmful chemicals.
- 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? *
- From Mother Earth News magazines and Michael Phillips (the Apple Grower)
General Farm Information
- Farm Acreage you want listed as Certified Naturally GrownTM:
- Total Farm Acreage you actually GROW on: *
- 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:
- Remainder is in CRP or woodland
- 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:
- "Timber Ridge Country Market" in Osceola Iowa, a locally owned grocery store which specializes in only locally grown food.
Farmland Management and Practices
- Primary Tillage System: *
- Spring and fall tillage and tillage for excessive weeds.
- Do you use Cover Crops? *
- Do you use Compost? *
- If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
- We purchase completed compost from retail outlets.
- 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". *
- .5-1 " deep
- Do you use Manure? *
- If yes, please note general sources (local dairy, horse farm, etc.): *
- We use straw/manure from our personal chicken house that is distributed in the late fall and through the winter. Stopping in early spring. When we have cattle we also use some from our mostly grass-feed beef.This is on our orchard only.
- .5"-1 " deep
- What time of year do you apply the manure? *
- late fall through the winter
- 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. *
- Rock Phosphate (0-3-0) OMRI listed, Dried Kelp OMRI listed, from Des Moines Feed and Grain. SeaCom-PGR (0-4-4) from Saltwater Farms. Liquid Kelp from Peaceful Valley Farms, Seacom PGR Seaweed Conc. from Johnny's Selected Seeds, EM-1 Soil Microbial Inoculant from TeraGanix, Organic Neptune's Harvest Fish Fert.(2-4-1)
- 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. *
- Crab grasses, poison ivy, pig weeds and Eastern Red Cedars. Manage by tilling and digging or moving and pulling or snip off tops.
- 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. *
- Plum curculio, Peach tree borer, coddling moths, apple maggot and ants. Neem Oil, Surround Clay (Kaolin Clay). Bacillus thuringiensis. Insecticidal soap. Trap specific traps, yellow traps. Also, purchase a great deal of beneficial insects including, green lacewings, trichogramma wasp, ladybugs, and a pollinator strip close by to attract & keep beneficial 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. *
- Fly speck & sooty blotch. Open up tree canopy for better air flow. Neem oil is also used. Use "Surround" kaolin clay spray as well. Cedar apple Rust. We prune out cedar trees on our property as best we can and use neem oil in spring as needed. A likely challenge could be fireblight and we have tried to plant resistant apple tree varieties.
- Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
- We do not irrigate, but have 2 private ponds we us in drought situations also rain water collections for watering.
- Are there any known contaminants in the irrigation water? *
- Are you a maple producer who seeks to certify your sugarbush? *
Seeds, Transplants and Buffers
- 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? *
- Are they grown using Naturally Grown/Organic methods? *
- 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") *
- Do you purchase any transplants from outside sources? *
- 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. *
- Our orchard is the main reason we are wanting CNG certification, as it is our largest selling crop. The orchard is surrounded on 3-sides with CRP (conservation land regulated by the federal government as natural habitat) the north has about 200 feet to a field of corn/soybeans field and a gravel road is in-between this. This field is owned by us and renter is not allowed to spray if wind is blowing toward orchard. Other fruit or vegetable crops are surrounded by CRP.
- 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:
- We want to grow food as safely as possible not only to pass onto customers but also our own health. We are a small family farm, which most of the work is done by us and close friends and family.