Produce & Flowers


Owner: Joshua Zuckerman

Fennville, MI 49408
Mi County

daytime phone: (847) 971-2334
Web site:

Application Date: 2021-05-10

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
We are a new, small farm in Fennville, MI that practices a combination of regenerative agriculture, biodynamics and permaculture. We raise chickens and ducks for eggs and compost, sheep for wool, compost and dairy, and goats for dairy and compost. We manage 3/4 of an acre of diversified no till vegetable production, using zero chemical fertilizers and sprays and 9000 sq.ft. of native and annual cut flowers. We also have small amounts of fruits, including raspberries, blackberries, gooeseberries, strawberries, peaches, cherries, table grapes, arctic kiwis, persimmons and pawpaws. We plan to apply for organic and regenerative organic certifications in the future.
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? *
I saw a post on taste the local difference's instagram account about certified growers in Michigan.
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:
.25 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: *
We use a no till system and only till the top max. 2 inches to work in compost and to prepare beds for plantings with jane seeder, paperpot, or transplant.
Do you use Cover Crops? *
If yes, please list: *
This past winter we used overwintered kale, parsley and onions as cover crops.
Do you use Compost? *
If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
We are working towards producing 100% of our compost on site. I have recently used Morgan Compost Dairy-Doo and also picked up 4 yards of composted horse manure from a horse farm located 8 miles away.
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". *
1.5 ton a season.
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. *
Summer 2020 was our trail season and we bought and used Morgan Compost Dairy Doo and we use Morgan Compost/Dairy Doo Seed Starter 101,
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 tilther the top max. 2in of soil when we prep beds. After direct sow seeding and germination, we use the multineer tool set from Neversink Far for 90% of weeding applications. The other 10% is hand pulling. With transplants and paperpot, we prep with tilther top 2in. max and then after 1 week we use multineer and pull weeds. Around our berries I use a weedwacker to keep weeds low.
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. *
Our primary insect of challenge is a cabbage moth. We are working on developing a strong biodiverse system to encourage natural integrated pest management. Our main field is split in half by a "biodiversity pond" that was seeded last year with over 40 native species of flowers and grasses. We also let our ducks use this pond for exercise, bathing, and agritourism. Across the driveway from our production field is 9000 sq.ft of flower production, including 6000 sq.ft. of native flowers that were direct sow seeded. 3000 flowers are used for annual production. Our management system includes crop rotations and companion planting.
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. *
Since this is our first year in full production, we haven't come across any blight or disease yet. We have designed the system with a combination of drip irrigation and over head dibblers that work on a 30'x100' system. Our soil is very sandy and we are working towards greater moisture retention via no-till and composting.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
We currently use our well for the house to irrigate the farm and it's been working great so far. We don't use any timer systems, rather we also are observing the weather and our soil moisture levels to determine when to turn on a section of our irrigation system.
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 currently have been purchasing organic seed via Johnny's and Trueleaf Market.
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 currently purchase Seed Starter 101 from Morgan Compost / Dairy Doo
What ingredients does your potting mix contain? If you purchase a mix, please also indicate which product. *
Seed Starter 101 is an organic mix. It's amazing, I highly recommend it. We have great germination success with it.
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. *
We currently don't have neighbors with houses to our north and south. The properties are currently owned with future plans for residential properties. The properties currently consist of a maple-beech forest. Our eastern border consists of 580' of Blue Star Hwy, a 2 lane, 55 mph road. Our vegetable production is separated by 100' from the road, including a buffer of trees and an 8ft berm. To our west, we own 1200' of forest. We are about 1 mile away from the nearest petro-chemical monoculture, separated by forest to our East.


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:
We are excited to join Naturally Grown certification and help build the community!