Alo FarmsOwner: Meredith Ferguson
150 Huddleston Road
Peachtree City, GA 30269
daytime phone: (678) 489-4423
evening phone: (404) 358-4496
Web site: http://www.alofarms.com
Application Date: 2018-08-21
- Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
- Alo Farms would like to promote and reduce the exposure to pesticides, antibiotics, and chemical fertilizers. Alo Farms becoming Certified Naturally Grown would promote sustainable and resilient alternative farming methods.
- 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? *
- Please check all crops you grow in your aquaponic system. *
- Please specify what other crops (if any).
- 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).
System Design and Management
- Please indicate what type of system you use (for hybrid systems, check all that apply): *
- If you indicated you use an "other" system type, please specify what other type of system you use here.
- If you use wicking beds, describe how the water his handled after it is used in the wicking beds. Does this water recirculate? If not, how is it disposed of?
- What materials are used for root support, growing media, tubing and pipes, tanks, troughs, and other materials that come into direct contact with system water? (check all that apply) *
- Are there any other materials you use in your system that are not listed above? If so, please indicate them here.
- Schedule 80 PVC
- If you use soil or compost in your system, where is it used? Is it used only in the dead-end portion, or also in in the recirculating sections of the system?
- If you use compressed grow plugs, what is (are) the product/s name/s? Have you been able to confirm with the supplier that it/they do not contain synthetic nutrients?
- Grodan A-OK Grow Plugs. Yes
- If your system contains cement, does it come into direct contact with the water? Please describe how cement is a part of your system.
- If you use wood in your system, is it treated wood? Does it come into direct contact with the water? Please describe how wood is a part of your system.
- If your system includes IBC totes purchased used, have you been able to confirm with your supplier that they were used only for food grade uses? If so, how have you confirmed this? If not, how do you intend to confirm this?
- Please note that while IBC totes can be grandfathered in when they're in already in use at the time CNG certification is sought, CNG standards prohibit the introduction of IBC totes once CNG status is obtained. Please indicate that you understand this restriction on IBC totes by checking the box here. *
- Does water circulate at a rate sufficient so that the water volume of the fish tanks(s) recirculates each hour? If it recirculates at a lower rate, please explain. *
- Yes Tanks are greater than one full exchange per hour.
- Briefly describe how your system achieves appropriate aeration. *
- Mechanical Blowers with Schedule 40 pipes and airstones.
- Briefly describe how your system achieves appropriate degassing. *
- Through a dedicated degassing station.
- Does your system include any of the following: roofing materials, recycled plastics, or plastics that contain BPA? *
- CNG standards vary according to water source. Please indicate below ALL water sources you use for your aquaponic system, and answer the corresponding questions.
- Do you use Municipal water? *
- Does the municipal water contain chlorine? If so, how is chlorine removed? *
- Dedicated Water Filtration System
- Does the municipal water contain chloramine? If so, how is it removed? *
- Dedicated Water Filtration System
- Do you have a copy of the municipal water testing results? *
- Do you use well water? *
- Do you use rainwater? *
- Do you use surface water? *
- If you use a water source that is not named here, please elaborate.
Water Quality: Nutrients, pH, solids
- How do you ensure a good match between stocking density and crop production? *
- With an engineered solution and best practices
- Please describe how you design and operate your system to provide biofiltration that corresponds to production of fish waste and crops. *
- Establish a mineralization tank with filled media for the colonization of nitrification bacteria. In the DWC system the beneficial bacteria colonize in system surfaces.
- Do you ever add supplemental nutrients? If so, what materials or products have you used? List ingredients and product names. How much of these do you use? How frequently? *
- No/ N/A
- Do you use worms in your system? *
- What materials do you use to buffer pH? *
- Calcium Hydroxide & Potassium Hydroxide
- What methods do you use to prevent the build up of waste solids in your system? *
- Flushing Mineralization tank
- Please indicate how often you monitor each of the following:
- pH? *
- Temperature? *
- Dissolved oxygen? *
- Ammonia? *
- Nitrites? *
- Nitrates? *
- Use this space if you'd like to share additional information about your water quality and monitoring practices.
Seeds, Transplants, and Crop Health
- Do you grow some or all of your own transplants? *
- What growing media do you use? Please list the ingredients. *
- Rockwool – Stone Wool made from molten rock spun into fibers and compressed into cubes.
- Do you use any chemically-treated or genetically modified seeds? *
- Do you purchase some or all of your transplants? *
- 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.) *
- These are the issues we have encountered to date: Mites – Nematodes Aphids - Lady Bugs Gnats- Bits
- Describe your primary plant disease challenges AND methods of prevention and control. (Do not answer "none". You MUST indicate actual disease 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.) *
- Leaf Blight: Prune or stake plants to improve air circulation
- CNG certification requires the use of certified organic or Certified Naturally Grown seeds whenever available. Please indicate the suppliers from which you source - or will source - your seeds if your application is accepted and you continue the certification process. *
- Certified Organic- Johnny’s Seed
- Please indicate, by entering your initials, that you understand that CNG strictly prohibits the use of chemically treated or GMO seeds. *
- Please indicate, by entering your initials, that you will as a general rule purchase organically grown seeds, AND that you will only purchase conventional seed when the variety you wish to grow is not available in certified organic or CNG form. For each variety purchased in conventional form, you will identify (and keep records of) at least three commercial organic seed suppliers who do not carry that variety. *
- We do not offer certification for fish, but do set some limited standards for fish management where they might affect the produce and or quality of life for the fish.
- Does hormonal sex reversal treatment ever occur on-line / within the recirculating system? *
- Please describe the practices you use to prevent and treat fish disease.
- Saline Treatment & triage Tank if needed.
- Have you ever found it necessary to use antibiotics? *
- Please describe what kind of fish feed you use. Is it organically grown? (For aquaponic produce certification CNG standards do not require that the feed be organically grown, but we are interested to know what producers are using and to give credit to any producers who may be using organic feed) *
- Nelson and Pade Products
- Do you use black soldier fly larvae or duckweed as supplemental feed? *
- Do you use any supplemental feed besides BSF larvae or duckweed? If so, describe it here, and indicate how you protect against contamination of your system. *
Protecting Against Contamination
- Is your operation partially or entirely INdoors? *
- What are the nearby land uses? Are there any that might pose risks of contamination? *
- Entirely indoors
- How does your ventilation and air filtration system prevent possible contamination? *
- Minimum 8 air exhanges per hour. Insect screening of all intakes.
- Do you share space (including fish tank, seedling starting, or plant production space) with other producers? *
- Is your operation partially or entirely OUTdoors? *
Waste & Energy
- These questions will not determine certification status, but are intended to encourage producers to review our recommendations in these areas and to give credit to producers who have made investments in the sustainability of their operation.
- How do you dispose of fish solid wastes? *
- Compost repurpose to soil garden
- When necessary during system change over, how do you dispose of nutrient-rich water? *
- Store an use of appropriate soil garden areas.
- 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, crop and fish species selection, and more.)
- Actual System design. Siting/ Orientation to our latitudes. Greenhouse System: 2 Layer system, Insulation at north wall, Shade Cloths
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 aquaponics producers who might serve as your inspector. Are you a part of a network (informal or formal) of aquaponic producers in your geographic area? *
- I understand that only the produce, NOT the fish, can be labeled and sold as Certified Naturally Grown. *
- I will not label, or in any way lead consumers to believe that produce not raised in accord with CNG standards is Certified Naturally Grown. *
- I understand that I have to complete at least one Inspection(s) of another CNG aquaponic 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 aquaponic 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 operation.