stated in our
farming philosophy, we believe that we are to be stewards of all that we
have been given responsibility over. On this basis, we chose
sustainable lifestyle and farming
We have been followers of the organic movement since the '70s and carried
these principles with us when we assumed the responsibility of our
family's farm in 1988.
When the National Organic Program was implemented in 2002, farmers like us
that once proudly referred to ourselves as "organic" were no longer
allowed to do so unless we became "certified" by a USDA sanctioned agency.
Certification through the
National Organic Program (NOP) requires an enormous amount of record
keeping. Literally a paper trail of every type of thing you are
growing, from seed to sale.
This may be feasible for large commodity farms that grow a few types of
vegetables (monocrop plantings) and market under contract to chain stores or big processing plants,
but time is a short commodity to small growers of diverse crops
with a few family members available to complete all tasks.
The costs associated with USDA certification - both in terms of money and
paperwork requirements - is just too great for many small farmers.
They pose an economic barrier. We chose to certify our farm under
the Certified Naturally Grown program back in 2006. You can view our
farm page on the CNG site by
Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) was created
to address the
challenges that smaller, diversified organic farms face when
considering the USDA's Organic program.
Small farms and CSAs may
grow hundreds of varieties of vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruits every
year and sell them directly to consumers in their own communities.
But the volumes of paperwork, coupled with the equivalent of an additional
tax (fees and assessments) have made Organic Certification prohibitive for
diversified small farms such as ours.
CNG farmers are exempt from the fees and paperwork
requirements associated with USDA Certified Organic, yet they are required
to adhere to
CNG's Certification Standards
and inspections that are based on the highest principles and ideals of
Because CNG farm
documentation is available on-line, and because there is typically a
personal relationship between CNG farmers and the folks they serve, there
is a high degree of accountability.
Certified Naturally Grown is an independent program
not accredited by, or in any way affiliated with, the USDA National
Organic Program. CNGs Certification Standards include, but are not limited
USDA Organic Standards.
are reasonable and affordable, and many farmers find
the inspection process itself a valuable learning experience.
Certified Naturally Grown is nationally recognized
and endorsed. Please find and support the
CNG farms in your