Produce & Flowers
Black Dog Bees & Maple Trees, LLCOwner: Jennifer & Jason Mercer-Weale
4 Woodland Rd
Lebanon, NH 03766
daytime phone: (603) 678-8149
evening phone: (603) 678-8149
Web site: http://Www.blackdogbeesandmapletrees.com
Application Date: 2021-01-17
- Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
- We adhere to organic and all natural practices, but are a small operation. Also, there is no organic certification for apiaries. CNG makes sense for us. We believe our land has never been farmed (due to landscape and tree growth) and is in its natural state, making it highly valuable for natural/chemical free food production.
- 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? *
- Mother Earth News article
- How did you learn to farm, and for how long have you been farming for market? What has prepared you to farm successfully according to CNG standards? *
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:
- Honey, mushrooms, poultry
- Please check all items you grow and will market as Certified Naturally GrownTM *
- Please Specify Any Other Items:
- Honey, hive products, maple syrup, mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, lion’s mane), eggs and poultry.
- 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:
- Direct to consumer.
Farmland Management and Practices
- Primary Tillage System: *
- N/A. Our farm is a forest farm.
- Do you use Cover Crops? *
- Do you use Compost? *
- Do you use Manure? *
- 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. *
- Organic mushroom sawdust spawn from North Spore.
- 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. *
- Forest farm, silviculture practices, selective forest harvesting. We don’t have any weed issues currently, but could encounter poison ivy, Japanese knotweed, and the usual lawn weeds. Lawn is left natural for the bees. Knotweed is a prime source of fall nectar for the bees. If we encounter poison ivy, we will either selectively burn it, or bring in goats.
- 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. *
- Varroa mites (cultural/OA/Formic acid), chicken mites/lice (DT dust, elector PSP), emerald ash borer (selective harvesting).
- 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. *
- Honeybee diseases - managed via good beekeeping practices. Chicken diseases - if not treatable by natural means, affected chickens are culled.
- Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
- Are there any known contaminants in the irrigation water? *
- Are you a maple producer who seeks to certify your sugarbush? *
- Maple sap is considered a wild crop. CNG's Wild Crop Harvesting Standard states that wild crop must be harvested in a manner that ensures that such harvesting or gathering will not be destructive to the environment and will sustain the growth and production of the wild crop. Please briefly describe any steps you take to protect and ensure the sustainability of your sugarbush. *
- Selective forest management for tree health and rotation of taps to different trees on alternating years.
- Do you use an organic de-foamer? *
- In rural areas, woods have unfortunately been used as dumping grounds for all manner of garbage, including toxic waste. These dumps can contaminate the sap, and your syrup, if too close to your sugarbush. Will you refrain from tapping any trees that stand within 50 feet of old dumps (or recent ones!) in or near your sugar bush? *
- Over-tapping trees can stunt their growth. Do you (or will you) adhere to the Cornell Sugar Maple Research & Extension Program guidelines which state "trees 10-17 inches in diameter (31-53 inch circumference) should have no more than one tap. A tree 18-24 inches in diameter (57-75 inch circumference) should have no more than two taps. A tree larger than 25 inches in diameter (79-inch circumference) should have no more than three taps." *
- To maximize tree health and sap production, CNG supports Cornell's recommendation that all taps are 5/16" in diameter or smaller. Is this your practice, and if not, would you be willing to transition to 5/16" (or smaller) taps within the next three years? Please elaborate. *
- Yes, this is our practice.
- Use this space if there's anything else you'd like to share about your maple operation. *
- We adhere to both the Cornell guidelines and the recommendations from the UVM Proctor Maple Research Center guidelines for sustainable sugar operations
Seeds, Transplants and Buffers
- How do you select your seeds? CNG standards call for growers to make a good faith effort to locate organically grown seeds by contacting at least 3 major suppliers. *
- We don’t produce anything from seed.
- 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? *
- 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. *
- We have large natural forest buffer on two sides (northwest, southeast). On the northeast side, we abut large residential backyards (lawns and backyard gardens). On the southwest, the neighborhood road borders our property with very low vehicle use. Our property is at the top of a hill and slopes downward on all sides (no runoff from other properties).
- 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: