Produce Application

Black Creek Farm

Owner: Erik Schellenberg

149 Martin Ave
Highland, NY 12528-2707
Ulster County

daytime phone: (914) 610-0788

Application Date: 2019-03-13

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
I have been operating my farm within the NOP guidelines but don't do much wholesale, so I want to have a certification but don't want to deal with NOFA-NY because we are a small operation and it's very difficult for me to provide as much detail in records as they require.
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? *
J&A Farm - Adina Bialas

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:
CBD Hemp - 4
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:

Farmland Management and Practices

Primary Tillage System: *
I use a conventional tillage system. My farm is almost entirely muck, and in my experiments with low-till, I find that weeds like yellow nutsedge make these methods extra challenging.
Do you use Cover Crops? *
If yes, please list: *
Buckwheat, peas & oats, mustard, sudex, vetch.
Do you use Compost? *
If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
I use very little compost - basically just for production in my greenhouse. i get the compost from Hepworth Farm, which is a certified organic farm.
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". *
I applied 6" of compost to an area of 1,200 square feet in my greenhouse. The ground was just subsoil so this is the primary growing medium.
Do you use Manure? *
If yes, please note general sources (local dairy, horse farm, etc.): *
OMRI approved Microstart
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". *
I try to use granular chicken manure to get as close to the removal rate of my crop. Garlic, for example, will get about 50lb N from granular chicken manure and about 20 lb N from cover crop.
What time of year do you apply the manure? *
I only use treated granular manure. Usually pre-plant, but sometimes will also side dress by drilling.
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. *
I use alaska fish emulsion, chilean nitrate, and kelp for greenhouse fertility. I use solubor for boron, sulpomag if I need any of those nutrients as indicated by soil test, and crushed limestone with no additives if I need to raise pH.
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. *
This is the down side of muck soil. I do not have Solanum carolinense. Other than that, I pretty much have everything! My most intractable issue is yellow nutsedge. In a wet year like 2018, cultivation becomes impossible and I will be dealing with the fallout from that for the next decade. The only strategy that works with my mix of weeds is stale seed bedding and targeted summer fallowing/cover cropping. In fields with bad YNS, I will work them up as early as possible and then perfecta harrow them weekly until I have to plant. The action of the perfecta is the only way to really hurt them and dry them out. Any crop I grow gets as much stale seed bedding as I can manage. My standard plan is to chisel plow to dry the field out first. If there is cover crop, crop, or weed residue and I need to plant early I may rototill. If I can, I try to skip and go directly to the perfecta. I will then let at least 2 and ideally 3-4 flushes of weeds come up and perfecta them at the white thread stage. In the best case scenario, I will do a final pass on my cub with the basket weeder and then immediately seed. For carrots and other slow germinating crops I may even spray a 30% agricultural vinegar over the beds a day before carrot emergence. This is the only way I've ever had anything close to a clean crop because I can't use flame weeders on my farm - they can light muck on fire.
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. *
Striped cucumber beetle. I generally cover plants with so much Kaolin clay that I worry they won't be able to photosynthesize. This is the only way to get them to the 4 leaf stage and avoid bacterial rot from SCB. If the SCB are really bad that year I will sometimes put out row cover and sometimes spray entrust according to its label if it's really bad. Flea beetle. I will try to use row cover when I can right after planting on susceptible crops. I will also use pyganic and thyme guard according to their label rates and frequency. Potato leaf hoppers are usually very bad for me as well. Again, pyganic does help. I don't have any control methods for these as they come in on wind from the south.
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. *
Muck is generally a very alive soil, and has plenty of diseases. I often have soft rot on onions and overcome this by trying to harvest after they fall over for better neck curing. I got so many fungal diseases on tomatoes that I quit growing them in the field and have a tomato-only high tunnel now where I use maxifort rootstock to avoid many issues. I use leaf mold resistant varieties. Most of my disease fighting starts with variety selection, but I will use double nickel, copper, and oxidate for various fungal diseases. I am a Cornell Extension agent, so I always identify the pest, use the appropriate OMRI approved product, and apply according to the label.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
Believe it or not, I have never irrigated anything. Our water table is very high...actually too high for comfort. But we don't have to irrigate. If I ever find myself in such an extreme drought that we need to irrigate, I would simply block the drainage ditch through which a lake-fed perennial stream flows, and thereby fill my drainage ditches and water the field from underneath.
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? *
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.) *
My most northern field is adjacent to the southern field of my neighbor's operation. They are a conventional vegetable operation. There is a farm road with ditches on either side that is about 30' between their field and mine. The road in the middle is raised up 2' with respect to the road, and weeds generally grow about 4-5' tall on either side of the road. I believe this buffer provides good drift control
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. *
As I mentioned above, there are 30 feet between my most northern field and my conventional neighbor's most southern field. I believe it is adequate because I have spoken with my neighbor and they are judicious applicators of pesticides and take care not to allow drift onto my property.


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:
I also have a really cool diversity of fruit and nut trees. I have an experimental planting of 40 persimmon and 40 pawpaws that just bore fruit for the first time in 2018, so that's exciting! I believe the apple industry in the Hudson Valley is doomed and we need to find fruit that actually want to grow here...and these are them! I will probably have my first sales of persimmons in 2019 if the harvest is good.