Here at CNG, we’re always cooking up new plans to make our certification more recognizable and valuable, and when we’re not doing that, we’re keeping track of our 700+ members. Here’s some fascinating tidbits about our current, talented group.
1) Georgia has the most CNG farms, by far!
Georgia has more Certified Naturally Grown producers than any other state, and 15% of CNG’s membership. For years, Georgia growers have been enthusiastic leaders in our movement. Several farmer’s markets and grocery co-ops prefer or even require their producers are either CNG or organic, such as the Peachtree Road Farmer’s Market, Grant Park Farmer’s Market, and the Daily Grocery Co-op, (check out our Market Directory to find out if there are any such markets near you). Our strength in Georgia is partly due to early adopters like Rashid Nuri, the figurehead of urban agriculture in Atlanta at Truly Living Well, and Lynn Pugh, educator of many new farmers, at Cane Creek Farm. Let’s see if Pennsylvania - the state with the next-most CNG farms - can catch up to Georgia in 2017!
2) In 2016, just 50% of new applicants were granted CNG Certification.
In 2016, we certified 197 new farms. This might sound like a lot until you learn how many applications were submitted! That year, we reviewed 397 applications.
But CNG can benefit farms whose applications aren’t accepted too, because we make a point of notifying applicants why their practices don’t align with our standards, and what they can do differently in order to become certified in the future. It is not unusual for applicants to revisit the CNG certification process in future years, and we think that's super.
3) There are 4 members in Utah, and they're all beekeepers.
This dry, semi-arid climate can make it difficult for crops to thrive, but the bees love it! In fact, Utah’s nickname is “the beehive state”, and their state insect is the honeybee. (Photo above from Queen Farina)
4) 12 aquaponics farms and 3 mushroom farms are Certified Naturally Grown.
Last year we launched the nation’s first certification for all-natural aquaponics systems, and we added a certification for mushroom growers too. Know any mushroom or aquaponics producers? Please help spread the word. We’re eager to grow our membership in these areas. (Photo above from DFW Aquaponics in Texas)
5) Some members have been with CNG for 14 or 15 years!
Harris Farms in Millington, Tennessee has been with us the longest, joining in 2002. They’re closely followed by six farms that joined in 2003: Conway Produce in Kansas, Fulton Farm in Pennsylvania, Pleasant Valley Farm in New York, Evolutionary Organics in New York, Morton’s Organic Orchards in Colorado, and Bean Mtn. Farms in Arkansas.