Produce & Flowers

Sunny Hill Growers LLC

Owner: Ray Soderberg

9022 Old Mill Rd
Rocky Ridge, MD 21778
Frederick County

daytime phone: (301) 906-2728
evening phone: (301) 906-2728
Web site:

Application Date: 2021-04-06

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
To raise the level of the farm, to create better awareness to customers and the community of the best practices and hard work used to produce our product. We also want to be part of a group of like minded caretakers of the soil.
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? *
Somewhere on the internet or farming publication.
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: *
2.5 acres
Number of above acreage that you own: *
7.5 acres
Number of above acreage that you lease: *
Do you have other acreage in "Conventional" Agricultural Systems? *
General Listed Acreage Breakdown
Veg Crops:
1.5 acres
Fruit Crops:
Other Acreage:
1 acre flowers
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: *
Tractor mounted rotary tiller used for initial opening of ground. Disc may also be used. After establishing open ground, we build permanent beds and use no till strategies from that point forward.
Do you use Cover Crops? *
If yes, please list: *
All certified organic seed. Buckwheat, Oats, Rye.
Do you use Compost? *
If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
Leafgro produced by the Maryland Environmental Service. All plant based, was on MD organic list in 2019 but has not been reevaluated by MD since Pandemic. Was on Pennsylvania organic approved list in 2020 but has not been reevaluated since pandemic.
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". *
two to two and half inches deep.
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. *
As of the date of this application, only compost and organic approved liquid kelp have been used. I plan to use alfalfa meal, seaweed and biochar later this season. Additionally, recent soil test suggest adding lime to all fields.
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. *
We use several methods to control and eliminate weeds. We tarp the field plots to kill weeds prior to planting. We also use flame weeding in the planting areas. We manage weeds that do appear by removing, cultivating very young weeds with long handled hand tools. Lastly for weeds around storage sheds, gravel parking areas and pathways, we spray weeds with a mixture of 30% vinegar with small amount of salt, water and organic soap.
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. *
We have had little to no insect pressure in the past year. some crops were grown in high tunnels. This year we will use lady bugs in the tunnels. We have and will use sticky traps to monitor and capture bugs. Other crops such a squash, zucchini, peppers planted outdoors we've used small amounts of soapy water to kill pests. We plan to use crop rotations to assist us with future pest issues. We will consider using neem oil should pest problems increase. Use for any method is on an as needed basis.
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. *
We've only seen some small amounts early blight on tomato plants. We grow tomatoes in tunnels with plants 20" apart and water through drip. We also prune plants for maximum airflow to help prevent or minimize diseases.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
Private well water.
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. *
We have been buying only certified organic seed for vegetables. Flowers are another matter. This year, 90% of the flower seed is certified organic. The remaining 10% is not certified and is not treated on genetically modified. We hope we can use this non certified 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 potting soil, or do you mix your own on the farm? *
We purchase
What ingredients does your potting mix contain? If you purchase a mix, please also indicate which product. *
Over the past four years we've used several commercial potting mixes. All have been OMRI approved. This year we are using a certified organic (CCOF) potting mix from a local farm This mix contains coir and compost.
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? *
From which sources do you buy transplants? *
2021 will be the first year we have purchased seedlings. All have been purchased from Banner Greenhouse in NC. All are certified organic (CCOF).
How have you confirmed with your supplier that the transplants are grown without synthetic fertilizers or wetting agents? *
Their CCOF certification.
Please list any bought-in transplants not grown according to CNG standards. This produce may not be sold as Certified Naturally Grown (except, in the case of perennials, after twelve months of CNG cultivation). *
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. *
On the west side of our property there is a 35' tree and shrub buffer between our field and a road. Across the street are two residential homes with no farming operation. North side of property has 25 to 100' tree and shrub buffer. Beyond the buffer is another 50' grass buffer to railroad tracks. East side of our property is approximately four acres of woods. Our property borders another 27 acre wooded tract with no farming operations. South side, Two small residential homes border part of our property, no farming. The other portion of the south side has near 100' of grass to a small road. across the street is another residential property with no farming activity. One of the reasons we bought this property is its isolation from other close by farming operations.


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: