Sweden Creek FarmOwner: Carole Anne Rose
11540 Madison 3605
Kingston, AR 72742
daytime phone: (479) 665-2146
evening phone: (479) 665-2146
Web site: http://www.swedencreekfarm.com
Application Date: 2019-06-10
- Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program. *
- Due to weather-related damage, I am downsizing my operation and surrendering my Oregon Tilth Certified Organic status as of June 30th - but we remain steadfast supporters of the planet-wide benefits of this model of farming. We have been Certified Organic for over 30 years. Ozark Natural Foods will become our largest customer of our Certified Organic Shiitake mushrooms but they also accept Certified Naturally Grown. We are hoping to achieve Certified Naturally Grown status so that we can continue to be
- Are you currently third party Certified for your produce operation by any other organization (Organic, Biodynamic, etc)? *
- Please note which certification and agency. *
- Oregon Tilth
- 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? *
- Ozark Natural Foods has committed to selling only Certified Organic and Certified Naturally Grown.
- 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)
- We use Certified Organic Shiitake Spawn grown on dowels for inoculation into locally purchased, logger/land owner certified oak logs. Gourmet Mushrooms Inc is certified by QAI (corresponding Certificate on site), and loggers/land owners certify that the logs we purchase from them come from trees and land that have not been sprayed or treated with any chemicals of any kind for the preceding 3 years. The logger/land owner agreements are also on site.
- 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. *
- We have worked with the forest service as necessary and local land owners every year.
- What do you use to seal logs after inoculation? *
- this is not part of our process
- If you use wax, how do you confirm that it does not contain ethylene-propylene co-polymer, synthetic colors, or perfumes? *
- This is not part of our process.
- Do you use wood chips, sawdust, sawdust blocks, or wood pellets? *
- 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 heat our buildings and homes with logs that are no longer productive and use additional old logs to stabilize flood zones, maintain fields, and redirect flood waters.
- How do you ensure that nutrients from used substrate do not leach into waterways? *
- I don't think that this is a consideration for spent Shiitake logs.
Containers, Racks, and Beds
- Please describe the racks and beds used in production (if any). What are they made of? *
- Our rack system is made of re-bar and logs are either set on them or leaned up against them.
- 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.) *
- We are working with the organizations implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). We have had several preliminary inspections and have attended multiple classes to conform to all new requirements and regulations. We are in the process of implementing all applicable requirements and have signed up for all pre-inspections and readiness reviews. We are on track to take the state offered training on how to collect valid water samples for correct testing, to be offered soon. We have been inspected and have ongoing training with: Amanda Philyaw Perez, DrPH, MPH Assistant Professor, Cooperative Extension Service University of Arkansas System, Division of Agriculture 2301 S. University Ave, Little Rock AR 72204 Office: 501.671.2228 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Jenna D. Rhodes, MA, MPS, MPH Program Manager, Dept of Pediatrics, UAMS Access to Healthy Foods Research Group, Arkansas Children’s Research Institute Arkansas Core Partner, National Farm to School Network 1 Children’s Way | Slot 512-26 | Little Rock, AR 72202 501.364.3360 office | 816.916.2325 mobile | 501.364.1950 fax Tammy Winsor AAD/State Plant Board Produce Safety Inspector Phone: 501-551-2717
- 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.) *
- No heavy metals or other contaminants have been identified by local water quality experts. I expect that as we progress with the FSMA, all of these requirements will be met as they are identified in the FSMA.
- Do you use well water to mist or irrigate fruiting bodies? *
- Do you use surface water to soak logs or to irrigate non-fruiting substrate? Surface water includes water from ponds, streams, and reservoirs. *
- Please note CNG mushroom standards require you to test surface water used to soak logs or irrigate non-fruiting substrate at least twice per year for E. coli, including at the beginning of the season and in the middle of the season, and E. coli levels must fall below 235 cfu/100ml. How often do you test for E. coli? What was the date of the most recent test? What were the results? If you haven't tested recently, by when can you have your surface water tested? *
- We do not irrigate any logs and never irrigate or apply water to fruiting mushroom logs. We have not tested our spring water for soaking logs and have verified with the Arkansas state FSMA implementation teams that our soak water will fall under the category of the die-off rate for bacteria. After soaking, it takes at least 5 days of drying out before a mushroom pin begins to develop (2/3 of any bacterial population present dies-off each day and will be unlikely to be present after 5 days). For the new size of our farm, our water compliance date will likely be 1/26/24. The FSMA group is planning farmer training on how correctly to collect a water sample, which I plan to attend. After that, I expect to be qualified to take and deliver a water sample to the U of A lab for testing.
- Will you agree to test according to the required schedule if you are a part of the Certified Naturally Grown program? *
- 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.) *
- We purchase Certified Organic spawn from Gourmet Mushrooms, Inc.
- 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.) *
- Deer and squirrels are our primary pests. We use ground cover cloth to encircle outdoor fruiting logs to confuse and deter the deer. Hunting squirrels to reduce their numbers is the only solution to reducing the losses they cause.
- Describe your primary disease challenges AND methods of prevention and control. If you indicate a product, also specify how often it's used. *
- We've had problems with both green mold and the fungus Diatrype. We have been experimenting with Oxidate spray and a dormant oil spray (listed and used as directed by OMRI) to treat surfaces and logs, when problems are observed and as a preventative treatment. The weather pattern over the past 9 months has caused an outbreak of Diatrype and has reduced production due to the logs not being able to dry out, and is why we are cutting back our farm size.
Site Location and Buffers
- Is your operation either partially or entirely INdoors? *
- Please describe neighboring land uses to the north, south, east and west of your INdoor operation. *
- We own all the land surrounding our fruiting buildings. On the mountain tops, beyond my land, is all forest, no homes but a few cabins and a Buddhist meditation retreat.
- Do these uses pose a risk of drift or contamination? If so, please describe. *
- How does your ventilation and air filtration system prevent possible contamination? *
- contamination is unlikely
- If you share space with other producers, please indicate whether they use synthetic chemicals, and if so, how do you protect your production area from potential contamination? *
- Is your operation either partially or entirely OUTdoors? *
- Please describe neighboring land uses to the north, south, east and west of your OUTdoor operation. *
- We own most of the land surrounding our laying yards. On the mountain tops, beyond my land, is all forest, no homes but a few cabins and a Buddhist meditation retreat.
- 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? *
- probably many, many miles
- What other factors mediate the risk of contamination? (Prevailing wind patterns, windbreaks, method of spray, etc.) *
- We are surrounded by many square miles of uninhabited woods. The electric lines are set up to be manually cleared to avoid chemical spray 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? *
- never treated in 34 years.
- 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 our water to homes is gravity fed. We heat our homes and work places with spent Shiitake logs. We are changing over all of our lighting to LED bulbs.
- 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.
- Even though we don't use our fields for food production, we brush hog them to maintain good pasture - enjoyed by the local wildlife. We have about 175 acres of natural woods that surround our operation and remain untouched by our farming efforts.
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.
- We are in a production disaster at this time, forced to decrease our production down to 1/3 of our size due to weather-related damage to the Shiitake mushroom organism. We hope to continue at this smaller size of about 400 pounds a week, 52 weeks a year, and look forward to a weather pattern that will support the needs of our crop. There is a lot of stress on our farm, for our farm families and in our local community. We are looking for ways to move forward with a business model that helps us get through this crisis and appreciate the opportunity the CNG offers to local farmers.