Produce & Flowers

CBI Giving Tree Farm

Owner: Matthew Romans

15433 Turner Street
Lansing, MI 48906
Ingham County

daytime phone: (517) 349-6975
evening phone: (517) 349-6975
Web site:

Application Date: 2021-02-26

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
As a previously USDA Organic farm, we are looking to both simplify and strengthen our existing customer and farm relationships. Having scaled back significantly, we are seeking to build into the more local relationships we have - communicating our commitment to sustainable and organic standards to our customers, clients, neighbours, and city. We are especially excited to be on the forefront of the CNG in Lansing, hopefully impacting this area to consider building into this growing community of growers here.
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? *
If yes, please note which agencies and dates: *
We were last certified as USDA Organic through OEFFA in 2019 and had been certified similarly for around 15 years.
Have you ever been denied certification? *
How did you hear about Certified Naturally Grown? *
Word of mouth, it is getting more attention in our grower's circles!
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: *
5 acres
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:
13% flowers/herbs
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:
We have an online ordering form for our customers and local business which we send out on a weekly basis for 2-3 harvest, pickup and delivery days a week.

Farmland Management and Practices

Primary Tillage System: *
Minimal tillage - mainly no-till utilizing broadforks and rakes to prepare raised beds for vegetable crops.
Do you use Cover Crops? *
If yes, please list: *
Buckwheat, annual ryegrass, hairy vetch, spring mix.
Do you use Compost? *
If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
Compost from Morgan's Dairy Doo is used within our soil block recipe. On farm compost piles are loosely managed and also added to soil blocks. We also receive local leaves and woodchips from landscape businesses.
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". *
n/a compost is just applied to soil blocks
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. *
Dry fertilizer from Midwest BioAg specialty mix based off of soil test. Fish emulsion and kelp have been used to sidedress and boost transplants at time of planting.
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. *
Due to growing on muck soil our weed pressures are very high - some of our primary species we deal with are chickweed, bindwind, quckgrass, ragweed, pigweed. We (try to) manage weed pressures with hand tools (hoe's, pulling by hand) or applying mulch to suppress weeds (woven landscape fabric or leaves).
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. *
Aphids: Safer Soap, Asparagus Beetles: Physical Removal by cutting and removing all plant material in fall, Cabbage Loppers: Row cover, Monterey Garden Insect Spray, Cucumber Beetles: apply Surround on all cucurbits at planting and after rainfall or as needed to cover new growth, Cutworms: Apply Physical Barrier (cup) around base of plants, Flea Beetles: Apply Physical Barrier (row cover)
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. *
Try to manage disease with robust fertility planning for healthy plants, and crop rotation - diseased plants are removed and disposed of when outbreaks may occur.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
On-site well.
Are there any known contaminants in the irrigation water? *
Are you a maple producer who seeks to certify your sugarbush? *

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. *
Yes, I follow organic standards by seeking seeds that are organically certified, but if they are not I will seek 3 major suppliers to confirm that variety is not available organically.
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 potting soil, or do you mix your own on the farm? *
Make our own
What ingredients does your potting mix contain? If you purchase a mix, please also indicate which product. *
Peat moss, Vermiculite, On-farm compost (from crop residues), Morgan's Dairy Doo, Blood Meal, Zeolite, Rock Phosphate.
Are all of your transplants grown according to CNG standards, without synthetic fertilizers or wetting agents? *
If any transplants are not grown according to CNG standards, please list them here. (If they all are, put "N/A".) This produce may not be marketed as Certified Naturally Grown. *
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. *
There is a woodlot between our back fallow fields and the nearest conventional cornfield. The cornfield is at least 100 yards from any of our growing areas in addition to having the wooded buffer.


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: