The Hemp Farmers of Certified Naturally Grown

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Now that farmers in 31 states can grow hemp commercially or for research, we’re seeing more farms adding hemp to their mix of crops. We’re pleased to include hemp in our produce certification, and we welcome Homestead Organics (above) as the first majority-hemp producer to join Certified Naturally Grown.  

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Food Co-ops and Markets that Prefer CNG

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Food Co-ops and farmers markets are key partners in building a more sustainable local and regional food system. They source from local producers and make it easier to keep money in the local economy while getting quality food at good prices.

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What's the Buzz About Hemp?

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Hemp farming has become legal again in 31 states in the US, with more farmers expecting to grow it in the near future. Looking back at the history of hemp farming and its diverse sustainable uses today, it’s exciting to see how this crop might once again play valuable roles in our economy, our environment, and health. Photo from Dr. Bronners Instagram.

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Summer 2017 Newsletter

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The Harvest Quarterly will arrive once every few months. Enjoy it while it's fresh! To receive it via email, subscribe here

We have news about the next phase of CNG's work, our Draft Weed Management, our Scholarship Fund, and the August 21 solar eclipse. Enjoy!

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Building on our Strengths to Grow the Movement

Broadfork_Veggies.pngBuilding a more sustainable food system requires a variety of approaches, from training new farmers, to teaching people how to cook real food, to advocating policy changes, to offering meaningful certification programs.

No one organization can do it all. We need each other, and to value one another’s contributions.

For 15 years, CNG has served a special niche in this movement. Just like in ecosystems, we depend on others to play different roles. So, for example, CNG offers peer-review certification to farmers producing food for their local communities. We don’t serve big agribusiness operations supplying huge corporate accounts. So it’s important that there are alternatives to CNG, like the National Organic Program, for larger-scale growers. The other programs also help signal - and incentivize - sustainable food production.

As we think about what’s needed to strengthen the good food movement, we’re looking closely at what CNG brings that’s distinct and valuable. Certification is important. But we understand it’s only a part of what’s needed, and we feel like we are well-positioned to expand our work – particularly in the area of building local food systems.

As we map out the next phase of CNG’s work, we would like to get your input. What qualities do you most value about CNG? And what enhanced role do you think CNG could play in the sustainable food movement, beyond offering certifications?

For those who might be new to CNG, below is a quick primer.    

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Farmworker Safety During the Solar Eclipse from Cornell Cooperative Extension

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By Ethan Grundberg from Cornell University Cornell Cooperative ExtensionCornell.png

The media attention surrounding the total solar eclipse that will be visible in parts of the US on Monday, August 21st is generating some concern about specific considerations for farmworker safety during the event. You can find a printer-friendly version of this information here

Here are some eclipse safety facts to share with field crew in both English and Spanish. 

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Solar Eclipse Visible from Hundreds of CNG Farms

For the first time in 99 years, the US will experience a coast-to-coast solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, making it possible for everyone in the contiguous US to witness it. A total eclipse will only be visible within a narrow band that stretches from Oregon to South Carolina.

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Farmers Market Fun with CNG Tattoos

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If you haven’t heard, we are now selling temporary tattoos of the CNG logo--and the first batch is free! It’s kind of a funny concept, but trust us--they’re a huge hit everywhere from farming conferences in Georgia to farmers markets in Ohio. 

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Growing Food in the Desert at Bean Tree Farm

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Barbara Rose has been farming at Bean Tree Farm in Tucson, AZ since 2004. Her 20 acre saguaro/ironwood forest farm is far from a conventional farm. Instead of traditional rows of crops, she produces desert annual and perennial cactus pads and fruits, legume seeds from mesquite, ironwood and paloverde (bean trees), and medicinal and culinary herbs. These plants have been grown in the region for centuries.

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Owl's Nest Farm Benefits from the CNG Community as First-Year Farm Owners

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Owl’s Nest Farm, farmed by Liz Whitehurst in Upper Marlboro, Maryland was started in 2016 with a foundation of healthy soil and strong CNG relationships. Her diverse 4 acres of farmland, just 20 miles outside of Washington, DC, had been Certified Naturally Grown for three years, farmed by Kristin Carbone of Radix Farm. Both the CNG land, and the CNG farmers nearby at Working Over Thyme Farm enriched Liz and her partners' farm life, and they wanted to participate as certified growers as much as they could. 

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