Produce Application

Blackbird Farms LLC

Owner: Gregory Dunn

Address:
5213 Roosevelt Street
Coopersville, MI 49404
Ottawa County

Web site: http://blackbirdfarms.net

Application Date: 2016-02-10

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
So that my customers can be confident that I am authentically and legitimately following organic and sustainable practices. I also value the Certified Naturally Grown emphasis on peer inspection and collegiality.
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? *
I know area growers who have been Certified Naturally Grown.

General Farm Information

Farm Acreage you want listed as Certified Naturally GrownTM:
Total Farm Acreage you actually GROW on: *
2-3 acres (anticipated in 2016)
Number of above acreage that you own: *
all
Number of above acreage that you lease: *
non
Do you have other acreage in "Conventional" Agricultural Systems? *
no
General Listed Acreage Breakdown
Veg Crops:
2-3 acres
Fruit Crops:
0
Hay:
0
Grains/Beans:
0
Sugarbush:
Misc. and random across the property
Other Acreage:
The whole property is 16 acres. 11 are tillable. 8 will be kept fallow under cover crops this season.
Please check all items you grow and will market as Certified Naturally GrownTM *











Please Specify Any Other Items:
Black Walnut Syrup.
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: *
Two-bottom plow only if I need to bring idled acreage back on line or need to incorporate thick cover crops. Disc harrow to initially prepare the soil Three-point tiller to prepare new beds.
Do you use Cover Crops? *
yes
If yes, please list: *
Annual and perennial ryegrass Crimson clover White clover Buckwheat Vetch
Do you use Compost? *
yes
If yes, please note general sources (on farm, purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
purchased finished compost from local supplier
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". *
Past application rate has been four to five wheelbarrow loads per 100' bed. This season I am considering renting a lime spreader and a skid steer to spread perhaps as much as 30 yards across two to three acres.
Do you use Manure? *
yes
If yes, please note general sources (local dairy, horse farm, etc.): *
Pelletized chicken manure amended with additional minerals as specified by my soil analysis. These products are acceptable to the organic standards, and the manure itself is able to be applied within the required harvest windows.
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". *
1000 lbs per acre
What time of year do you apply the manure? *
Spring (but see above re: harvest window)
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 and kelp emulsion amended with trace minerals (as specified by my soil analysis) and fortified with molasses.
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. *
Nut sedge, fox grass, quack grass, chickweed, velvet leaf Cultivation (hand and powered), hand weeding, weed barrier, mulches, cover crops
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. *
cabbage worm and colorado potato beetle: crop rotation, BT and spinosad (applied with backpack sprayer) tomato hornworm: manual control flea beetles: floating row cover root maggot: crop rotation, floating row cover cabbage root maggot: crop rotation
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. *
powdery mildew: cultivar selection, copper fungicide (applied with backpack sprayer), milk (applied with backpack sprayer) early and late blight: cultivar selection, crop rotation end blossom rot: soil fertility management, water management
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
private on-farm well
Are there any known contaminants in the irrigation water? *
no
Are you a maple producer who seeks to certify your sugarbush? *
yes
Maple sap is considered a wild crop. CNG's Wild Crop Harvesting Standard states that wild crop must be harvested in a manner that ensures that such harvesting or gathering will not be destructive to the environment and will sustain the growth and production of the wild crop. Please briefly describe any steps you take to protect and ensure the sustainability of your sugarbush. *
I am starting to produce black walnut syrup. I am using essentially the farm's landscape trees (we don't have a woods, per se) and some volunteers that have established themselves in the farm's margins. I limit the number of taps based on the trees diameter. I do not tap trees that fall below a certain diameter.
Do you use an organic de-foamer? *
yes
In rural areas, woods have unfortunately been used as dumping grounds for all manner of garbage, including toxic waste. These dumps can contaminate the sap, and your syrup, if too close to your sugarbush. Will you refrain from tapping any trees that stand within 50 feet of old dumps (or recent ones!) in or near your sugar bush? *
yes
Over-tapping trees can stunt their growth. Do you (or will you) adhere to the Cornell Sugar Maple Research & Extension Program guidelines which state "trees 10-17 inches in diameter (31-53 inch circumference) should have no more than one tap. A tree 18-24 inches in diameter (57-75 inch circumference) should have no more than two taps. A tree larger than 25 inches in diameter (79-inch circumference) should have no more than three taps." *
yes
To maximize tree health and sap production, CNG supports Cornell's recommendation that all taps are 5/16" in diameter or smaller. Is this your practice, and if not, would you be willing to transition to 5/16" (or smaller) taps within the next three years? Please elaborate. *
Yes.
Use this space if there's anything else you'd like to share about your maple operation. *
This is a very small part of the operation, though one I would like to grow.

Seeds, Transplants and Buffers

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
Are they grown using Naturally Grown/Organic methods? *
yes
If they're not grown according to CNG methods, please list them here. This produce may not be sold as Certified Naturally Grown. (If they are, put "N/A") *
My transplants are grown according to Naturally Grown/Organic methods.
Do you purchase any transplants from outside sources? *
no
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. *
To the south of the field: The barn, farmhouse and yard, about five acres. To the north of the field: eight acres of our farm laying fallow in cover crops for future potential use. Behind that, two-thirds is the neighbors woods, and one-third is conventional farmland behind a buffer of trees To the east: residential neighbor who has let her property grow up in second-growth trees and brush To the west: residential neighbor's yard. I currently maintain a thirty-foot buffer zone between it and my crops. Future plans include developing this buffer zone into a shelterbreak and native plant zone.

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:
This is my fourth year growing on this property, so I am still growing into what this farm could become. I am more than happy to take whatever measures are required for me to come into and continue to be in compliance with the Certified Naturally Grown guidelines. Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to hearing from you.