Peasants Parcel

Owner: Sharon Briggs

1569 Critton Owl Hollow Rd
Paw Paw, WV 25434
Hampshire County

daytime phone: (304) 460-5878
evening phone: (304) 460-5878
Web site:

Application Date: 2022-03-25

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program. *
We use sustainable practices and want our customers to see our commitment.
Are you currently third party Certified for your produce operation by any other organization (Organic, Biodynamic, etc)? *
Have you held any certification/s in the past that you don't currently hold? *
Have you ever been denied certification? *
How did you hear about Certified Naturally Grown? *
Word of mouth.
How did you learn to grow mushrooms, and for how long have you been growing them for market? What has prepared you to farm successfully according to CNG standards? *
I started growing mushrooms in college, 17 years ago. We have been growing for market for 3 years. We use biodegradable plastics, and are careful to use only organic or the best option we have for all inputs.

General Information

Check all types of mushrooms you intend to certify. Please include any types you intend to grow or harvest in the coming 24 months. *

Other types you'll be growing, not listed above:
chestnut, black poplar
Are there any mushroom types you grow or harvest for which you are NOT seeking certification? Please list all such types, and explain why you are not seeking to certify them.
Please check all markets you grow for (this will be displayed on your farm profile to help potential buyers find you). *

Please specify what other markets (if any).

Substrate, Supplements, and Other Materials

For each type of mushroom you produce, tell us about your substrate. (Put "N/A" or leave blank for any type you don't produce). Please indicate in the appropriate box below: 1) what you use for substrates and supplements (if any) and 2) the sources of these materials. Include names of products and distributors where appropriate. If any substrate is obtained from a non-commercial source, please describe that source.
Shiitake (Lentinula)
Organic Rye. Hardwood sawdust & wood chips sourced from a mill 18 miles away. Organic gypsum.
Oyster (Pleurotus)
Organic Rye. Straw from a farm 14 miles away. Organic gypsum.
King stropharia, garden giant, wine cap (Stropharia)
Organic Rye. Hardwood sawdust & wood chips sourced from a mill 18 miles away. Organic gypsum.
Reishi (Ganoderma)
Organic Rye. Hardwood sawdust & wood chips sourced from a mill 18 miles away. Organic gypsum.
Enoki, velvet foot (Flammulina)
Organic Rye. Hardwood sawdust & wood chips sourced from a mill 18 miles away. Organic gypsum.
Maitake, hen of the woods (Grifola)
Organic Rye. Hardwood sawdust & wood chips sourced from a mill 18 miles away. Organic gypsum.
Butterscotch mushroom (Nameko)
Organic Rye. Hardwood sawdust & wood chips sourced from a mill 18 miles away. Organic gypsum.
Lion's mane, pom-poms (Hericium)
Organic Rye. Hardwood sawdust & wood chips sourced from a mill 18 miles away. Organic gypsum.
Chicken of the woods (Laetiporus)
Organic Rye. Hardwood sawdust & wood chips sourced from a mill 18 miles away. Organic gypsum.
White button, portabella (Agaricus)
The form would not let me unchose this! We do not grow agaricus mushrooms!
Other (please specify)
Did you remember to indicate, for each of the substrates and supplements noted above, the sources of these materials? You may use this space to say anything else about the substrates you're using or may want to use in the future.
We buy gypsum at Southern States, we have them order in the organic variety because they do not usually carry it near us. We do have logs in production, but they will not be producing until next year. We only want to certify our indoor production this year.
Do your substrates include corn, soy, cotton seed hulls, or other byproducts of crops that are grown commercially in GMO form? *
Do you use logs as a substrate? *
Do you use wood chips, sawdust, sawdust blocks, or wood pellets? *
Have you confirmed that these are not chemically treated, nor contain glue or other adhesives? *
Do you use any of the following items as substrate: cardboard, paper, clothing, municipal compost, wood from rare trees harvested for mushroom production? *
Do you use manure as a substrate in your mushroom operation? *
Please describe all sterilization or pasteurization procedures and materials you use. (If none, please put N/A) *
We use used metal barrels from an apple juice factory 20 miles from us. We store substrates in plastic barrels previously used for organic molasses. We sterilized using All American canner/sterilizers and sometimes 23 qt presto pressure cookers. We use propane burners for pasteurization and sterilization. We follow standard procedures for sterilizing sawdust/woodchip substrates - 15 psi for 2.5 hours for most batches, and for pasteurization of straw we soak straw at 140-155 degrees F for 1.5 hours.
How do you dispose of or re-purpose used substrate? Please indicate current practices as well as any plans you have for how the used substrate may be put to further productive use. *
Compost on farm.
How do you ensure that nutrients from used substrate do not leach into waterways? *
Distance to waterways, stirring and mixing properly for hot composting.

Containers, Racks, and Beds

Please describe the racks and beds used in production (if any). What are they made of? *
We use custom made pvc racks.
Please describe any containers used for sterilization, and/or pasteurization. What are they made of? *
metal barrel from an apple juice facility nearby, plastic barrels used for organic molasses previously. We soak and boil rye in new bought stockpots.
Please describe any containers used for production. What are they made of? If you don't use containers for production (as for log-based production) you may answer "n/a". *
We hold gypsum in a food grade container, we store dried rye berries in an old freezer that was left on the property by a previous owner. We have bought new food grade scoops and have a few large food service containers we purchased at a second hand food service store. We also purchased new compost tumblers for mixing sawdust substrate.
Were the containers purchased new or repurposed? If re-purposed, please describe how the containers had been used previously, and how you confirmed this with the supplier(s). *
We were gifted the metal barrels and the plastic barrels from a friend who runs our county recycling program. He picked them up at facilities where they had just been used. We had to clean the apple juice concentrate and molasses out of the containers ourselves, they were labeled with their previous ingredients.
In your operation, do any of the following materials come into direct contact with any substrate or fruiting bodies?Plastics that contain BPA, polystyrene, treated wood, railroad ties, containers that previously held toxic materials, re-purposed containers that had an unknown prior use *

Wild Harvest

CNG Mushroom certification covers cultivated mushrooms, not wild-crafted mushrooms. However, we include this section on the application for two reasons: #1 It is important to us that those who participate in our programs are mindful of the sustainability of the non-certified portions of their operations. #2 We want to give our members the opportunity to be transparent about their wild-crafting practices, and to minimize confusion about which mushrooms are certified.
Are any of the mushrooms you sell wild harvested (or "wildcrafted")? Yes/No *


What water contamination experts have you consulted to identify which contaminants are typically found in area water, and determine the tests that should be conducted? Relevant experts may include local or state health department officials, Natural Resource Conservation Service agents, state environmental protection or pollution control agencies, local well drilling and water testing companies. (If you haven't yet done this, please indicate who you will approach, and by when you expect to have completed this program requirement.) *
I talked with the NRCS agent in my county and an West Virginia University Ag Extension Agent who works in the southern end of our state and has experience with mushroom producers. They both recommended we have standard tests done at the state lab.
Have you tested your water at the point of use for heavy metals or other contaminants that were identified by local water quality experts? When? What were the results? (If you haven't yet done this, please indicate by when you expect to have completed this program requirement.) *
Yes, we had our water tested in 2021. The results were negative for E. coli and high levels of coliforms and the water was deemed safe for use.
Do you use well water to mist or irrigate fruiting bodies? *
Please note CNG mushroom standards require you test well water used to mist or irrigate fruiting bodies at least once per year for E. coli, and the results must be negative with no E. coli detected. Have you tested your well water for E. coli within the past year? What was the date of the most recent test? What were the results? Please keep lab results on file, and plan to have them available during your inspection. *
We tested in October of 2021. We will test again in 2022. We have results deeming the water safe on file.
Do you use surface water to soak logs or to irrigate non-fruiting substrate? Surface water includes water from ponds, streams, and reservoirs. *
Do you ever use surface water to mist or irrigate fruiting bodies? *


Do you purchase spawn or produce your own or some of each? (If purchased, please list the supplier.) *
We run a lab and make our own spawn.
CNG mushroom standards prohibit for spawn production the use of adhesives, byproducts of GMO crops, or other materials prohibited for use as substrate. Are you confident none of these materials were used as a growing media for the spawn? *

Pest & Disease Management

Describe your primary insect pest challenges AND methods of prevention and control. (Do not answer "none". You MUST indicate actual pest challenges or LIKELY challenges, and you must ALSO indicate how you manage or how you would manage them. If you indicate a product, also specify how often it's used.) *
Fungus gnats. We use sticky traps, led buzz lights, and make sure to be strict about doorways. We have a basic IPM plan and have had to use neem oil in the past for additional control.
Describe your primary disease challenges AND methods of prevention and control. If you indicate a product, also specify how often it's used. *
Trichoderma, a competing fungi, is our primary issue. We minimize this by using proper sanitation, especially in the lab or while working with pasteurized materials.

Site Location and Buffers

Is your operation either partially or entirely INdoors? *
Please describe neighboring land uses to the north, south, east and west of your INdoor operation. *
Residential neighbors on all sides.
Do these uses pose a risk of drift or contamination? If so, please describe. *
How does your ventilation and air filtration system prevent possible contamination? *
Air is filtered going in and out.
If you share space with other producers, please indicate whether they use synthetic chemicals, and if so, how do you protect your production area from potential contamination? *
Is your operation either partially or entirely OUTdoors? *

Sustainability Initiatives

What measures have you taken to conserve energy, improve energy efficiency, and/or use energy from renewable sources? (This could include system design, siting, insulation, lighting choices, and more.)
We are 100% off grid, using solar for most of our power.
Please use this space to highlight any other measures you take to reduce the environmental impact of your operation or to make it more sustainable in other ways.
We grow in biodegradable bags and only sell product in home biodegradable packaging.

Inspections & Networks

A core requirement of CNG certification is the on-site peer-review. Getting this completed is facilitated if you're a part of a network of mushroom producers who might serve as your inspector.
Are you a part of a network (informal or formal) of mushroom producers in your geographic area? *


I will not label, or in any way lead consumers to believe that a farm product not raised in accord with CNG standards is Certified Naturally Grown *
I understand that I have to complete at least one Inspection of another CNG mushroom producer in my area each year, if there is one within a one hour drive. *
I understand that the inspection I conduct will NOT be of the same producer that inspected me. *
I have reviewed the Certified Naturally Grown mushroom certification standards, I understand them, and I will abide by them. 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 operation.
We applied previously, but had horrible issues getting water tests done and were concerned about finding an appropriate inspector. I think we have solved both of these issues, we look forward to joining the CNG community!