Still Point FarmOwner: Dana Boomer
3300 W. Empire Hwy
Empire, MI 49630
12067 S. Gilbert Road
Empire, MI 49630
daytime phone: (231) 590-9788
Application Date: 2019-06-03
- Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program. *
- To allow additional sales to stores that require CNG/organic certification. In addition, to improve the manner in which our mushrooms are grown, and to learn about additional measures we can take to be naturally grown.
- 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? *
- Russ Beatty, Maple Achres Farm
- How did you learn to grow mushrooms, and for how long have you been growing them for market? What has prepared you to farm successfully according to CNG standards? *
- 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:
- Mukitaki/Olive Oysterling, Comb Tooth (Hericium coralloides)
- 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.
- Stropharia (not grown far enough away from commercial orchards at this time)
- 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).
- Those are the markets we are looking at at this time, may expand to others.
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)
- Maple logs, grown on-property.
- Oyster (Pleurotus)
- Poplar logs, grown on-property or on neighboring properties.
- King stropharia, garden giant, wine cap (Stropharia)
- Grown on wood chips received from local tree-trimming companies.
- Reishi (Ganoderma)
- Enoki, velvet foot (Flammulina)
- Maitake, hen of the woods (Grifola)
- Butterscotch mushroom (Nameko)
- Lion's mane, pom-poms (Hericium)
- Maple logs, grown on-property.
- Chicken of the woods (Laetiporus)
- Maple logs, grown on-property.
- White button, portabella (Agaricus)
- Other (please specify)
- Olive oysterling/mukitaki and comb tooth mushrooms grown on maple logs, grown on-property.
- 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.
- All maple logs are grown on property, sustainably harvested from an existing forest also used for maple syrup production. Mushroom logs are taken from trees that are thinned to allow for better forest health and additional syrup production.
- 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. *
- As described previously, maple logs (used for most species we grow) are sustainably harvested from a forest that is also used for maple syrup production. Ongoing thinning and management, needed for increased forest health, is used to produce the maple logs needed for mushroom production. The woods is currently over-populated with trees, and the level of mushroom production is not high enough to require over-thinning of the forest.
- What do you use to seal logs after inoculation? *
- Clear food grade paraffin based wax
- If you use wax, how do you confirm that it does not contain ethylene-propylene co-polymer, synthetic colors, or perfumes? *
- Purchased for mushroom production from Field & Forest
- 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) *
- None at this time. If at some point we decide to harvest oyster mushrooms from straw for CNG production, we would add pasteurization procedures.
- 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. *
- As logs decompose, they will be returned to the forest, with all tags removed.
- How do you ensure that nutrients from used substrate do not leach into waterways? *
- There are no nearby waterways on the property. The property is substantially above the water level, and all substrate used is similar to forest matter already decomposing on the property.
Containers, Racks, and Beds
- Please describe the racks and beds used in production (if any). What are they made of? *
- Racks and beds are made of either maple or other local, untreated woods. Fruiting racks are made of locust and pine, while base logs for beds are maple. No treated wood is used.
- Please describe any containers used for sterilization, and/or pasteurization. What are they made of? *
- No pasteurization is currently used for production.
- 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". *
- Galvanized steel tanks are used to soak shiitake logs. Otherwise, no containers are used.
- 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 galvanized steel tanks were purchased new.
- 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.) *
- We conduct water testing on an annual basis for our maple syrup operation, as required by the State of Michigan. No contaminants have been found. This testing will be continued.
- 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.) *
- As stated previously, our water is tested on an annual basis, and no contaminants have been found.
- 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. *
- As stated previously, our water is tested on an annual basis, and no E. coli has been found.
- 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.) *
- All spawn is purchased. Spawn is purchased from Field and Forest Products in Peshtigo, WI, and EasyGrow Mushrooms in southern Michigan.
- 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 main pest has been slugs in the shiitake mushrooms. This has been controlled by hand-picking after rains. Early attempts at oyster production on straw produced pest infestations of flies producing larvae in the mushrooms. These attempts have been halted until we find an organic method of control that is effective on our property.
- Describe your primary disease challenges AND methods of prevention and control. If you indicate a product, also specify how often it's used. *
- At this time (in our fourth year of production) we have found no disease challenges in our mushroom stock. If these appear, we will research and control these challenges with organic methods.
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. *
- Neighboring land uses to the west, north and south of the operation are large residential properties, which include large sections of forest and fallow agricultural land. Land to the east involves orchard and grain crops.
- Do these uses pose a risk of drift or contamination? *
- The uses to the east (orchard and grain crops) to have a drift risk, although it is low, due to prevailing winds from the west, north and south. Winds are rarely from the east. Any risk of drift is controlled by distance and intervening blocks of woodlands.
- What is the distance between your outdoor production area and the nearest sources of possible contamination? *
- 100'+, depending on production area and field.
- What other factors mediate the risk of contamination? (Prevailing wind patterns, windbreaks, method of spray, etc.) *
- As previously stated, prevailing wind patterns and windbreaks mediate the risk of contamination.
- Has your outdoor production area been treated with prohibited substances within the past 36 months? If so, by what was it treated, and when? *
- No, no prohibited substances have been used in the production areas in the past 36 months.
- 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.)
- All production is outdoors, with no additional lighting or heating. Innoculation is conducted in an open building, but generally during daylight hours, with no additional lighting or heat. The energy used is mainly for running drills, wax heaters, and the well for misting/soaking logs.
- 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 want to use our mushrooms to effectively use excess wood from an on-site maple forest. We are working to transition major areas of our property from heavy-chemical fruit production to no- or low-chemical production of other crops. The natural production of mushrooms and maple syrup are a major step in reducing the environmental impact of our full-farm operation, and transitioning our farm into a low-impact, sustainable operation.
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.