Produce & Flowers

Shepherd's Hill Farm

Owner: Yevgeniy (Eugune) & Sarah Zhuzhzhalov

Address:
546 Town Springs Road
Chilhowie, VA 24319
Chilhowie County

daytime phone: (276) 685-7602
evening phone: (276) 685-7683

Application Date: 2021-05-17

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
Would like to get a produce farm up and running. Strongly believe in good soil health being the foundation of long-term sustainable agriculture; also, strongly believe in local small-scale farming as the best long-term sustainable food production system. CNG makes sense! We also really like and favor the non-profit, peer reviewed accountability model. A good way to build strong, local community of farmers and keep the standards high.
Are you currently third party Certified for your produce operation by any other organization (Organic, Biodynamic, etc)? *
no
Have you ever been certified in the past? *
no
Have you ever been denied certification? *
no
How did you hear about Certified Naturally Grown? *
Local farmer's market (Abingdon, VA); Steve and Becky Wold (Wolf Farms)
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: *
1.5
Number of above acreage that you own: *
10
Number of above acreage that you lease: *
0
Do you have other acreage in "Conventional" Agricultural Systems? *
yes
If yes, how many acres are in conventional agriculture? *
7.5
If yes, please list what you are growing conventionally: *
I graze sheep on the rest of the acreage. The methods used closely correspond to the organic model - rotational grazing, minimal grain.
General Listed Acreage Breakdown
Veg Crops:
1.5
Fruit Crops:
0
Hay:
8.5
Grains/Beans:
0
Sugarbush:
0
Other Acreage:
0
Please check all items you grow and will market as Certified Naturally GrownTM *











Please Specify Any Other Items:
The berries are a maybe.
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: *
Low-till, ideally no-till, but I doubt we'll ever truly get there. The vegetable acreage is in permanent raised beds with woodchips in the paths between.
Do you use Cover Crops? *
yes
If yes, please list: *
Buckwheat, sunn hemp, rye. Goal: complimentary root systems and action on the soil.
Do you use Compost? *
yes
If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
Local beef farm, looking to some additional local organic matter in the future.
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". *
This year - approximately 40 tons of rotted steer manure spread over 21,000 square feet. Is 2 year old manure considered compost?
Do you use Manure? *
yes
If yes, please note general sources (local dairy, horse farm, etc.): *
Local beef operation; our own sheep and chickens.
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". *
Approximately 40 tons of rotted steer manure spread over 21,000 square feet.
What time of year do you apply the manure? *
early spring
Do you apply any non-composted Manure within 120 days of veg-crop harvesting? *
no
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. *
Fish meal, kelp, azomite, lime, chicken-manure based organic fertilizer (Harmony brand). Used in the spring to prepare soil, and after. Fish emulsion for foliar feeding.
Have any chemical fertilizers been applied to the fields you are seeking Certification for in the last three years (36 months)? *
no
Have any non-acceptable pesticides and/or herbicides been applied to these fields in the last 3 years? *
no
Do you use Professional Soil Testing services? *
yes
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. *
Thorn apples, thistle. We mow, we graze sheep on them. In the vegetable beds we use solarization tarps, some woven ground cover, and hoe wheel, and other hand tools. *We are starting out. We're not sure what we'll be facing, so some of this is an educated guess. We will, however, only use OMRI-listed products.*
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. *
Insect issues anticipated - potato beetles, squash bugs, cabbage & tomato worms. We plan to use row cover, vacuum cleaner, and BT for the cabbage worms. Will consider pyganic and monterey garden insect spray if we need it.
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. *
Nothing so far, but we're just starting out. Will focus on prevention with crop rotation and soil fertility.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
Primary - our own spring. Secondary - Grosses Creek, which flows through our property.
Are there any known contaminants in the irrigation water? *
no
Are you a maple producer who seeks to certify your sugarbush? *
no

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 some stuff in the ground that's not organic seed (but it is non-gmo and to my knowledge untreated), but the bulk of our seed is purchased from organic suppliers such as Southern Exposure. Beyond that we select to make sure variety that does well in our area.
Do you purchase or grow using any Genetically Modified seeds? *
no
Do you use any chemically treated seeds in your operation? *
no
Do you grow your own transplants? *
yes
Do you purchase potting soil, or do you mix your own on the farm? *
We've done a bit of both.
What ingredients does your potting mix contain? If you purchase a mix, please also indicate which product. *
The stuff we've purchased is Baccto and the stuff that we've made is out of organic compost and products. We get most of our stuff from Wolf Farms.
Are all of your transplants grown according to CNG standards, without synthetic fertilizers or wetting agents? *
yes
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. *
N/A
Do you purchase any transplants from outside sources? *
yes
From which sources do you buy transplants? *
We bought some from Wolf Farms (CNG).
How have you confirmed with your supplier that the transplants are grown without synthetic fertilizers or wetting agents? *
Yes
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). *
N/A
Chemical/Spray Drift and Buffers:
Is there any likelihood of Chemical/Spray drift contamination of your fields? *
no
Do you have an adequate buffer to protect yourself from potential contamination? *
yes
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 at least 80 feet of pasture surrounding each side of our growing area. Past the pasture, there is a road on two sides, and woods on the other two sides.

Agreements

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 bought the place in 20220, and are just starting the process of turning it into farm & home. Some of our answers to the questions are current practices, some are educated guess. In particular, I'm certain our insect/weed/disease controls will evolve as we get a better idea of what we're dealing with at this location. Whatever we do thought, will be to CNG standards.