By Suzannah Schneider, Communications Manager and Certification Coordinator
From animal feed to zinc oxide, Seven Springs Organic Farming Supplies has everything you need to prepare for a successful growing season.
The Virginia-based CSA farm and supply source caters to ecological operations of all sizes, and has long been an enthusiastic champion of our certification! We spoke with Crop Adviser Daniel Sweeney about how his work with Seven Springs Organic Farming Supplies supports our network of Certified Naturally Grown farmers. Thanks to the Seven Springs team for taking this all-staff photo exclusively for this blog post!
Certified Naturally Grown (CNG): How did Seven Springs Organic Farming Supplies get started?
Daniel Sweeney (DS): Ron Juftes and Polly Hieser started Seven Springs Farm in 1990. Ron created the supply company to meet the demand from other local farms, and the business has since grown steadily alongside the organic farming movement.
CNG: What are Seven Springs' core values?
DS: We strive to provide farmers and gardeners with the tools, supplies, and knowledge they need to be successful, year after year. We believe that ecologically-conscious farming is critically important for the health of people and the environment.
CNG: What makes Seven Springs Organic Farming Supplies different?
DS: Seven Springs is one of only a few companies that works solely with organic inputs and serves growers of all scales. We are a small and committed team with varied backgrounds and farming philosophies, and we take a thoughtful approach to serving growers on a case-by-case basis.
CNG: How did you make the decision to support CNG as a Business Ally?
DS: CNG is a "natural" fit for us and most of our customers. Our priority is ecological farming. Though we do limit our offerings to NOP compliant materials, many of the farmers we work with are not certified organic.
The integrity of CNG’s peer-review certification model inspires confidence and is in direct alignment with our mission and goals.
CNG: How does Certified Naturally Grown support Seven Springs customers?
DS: CNG supports our customers by offering a viable, grassroots alternative to organic certification and by thinking and acting independently in a time of change and growth in the natural farming community.
CNG: What are some exciting developments at Seven Springs Organic Farming Supplies our CNG community can look forward to in 2019 and beyond?
DS: We are always striving to be better informed and to expand our reach to help more farmers. In the past year we have welcomed a livestock specialist and an IPM specialist to the team. We also now have an Nutrition Farming bionutrient advisor on staff. Plus, we've recently been working with university researchers to help provide the most accurate recommendations for our biologically-based inputs.
CNG: It's a tough question, but what is your favorite item in the Seven Springs store?
DS: I’m sure each person on staff has their own favorites…Personally, I love the cover crop seeds, specifically winter peas. Seeds are the ultimate in potential because they can positively impact every aspect of farming, from nutrition to pest and disease management. Plus, they’re beautiful!
CNG: If you had a magic agricultural wand, how would you use it to improve farm systems in America?
DS: I would use my magic wand to allow everyone the opportunity to spend time working on a farm.
America is a nation founded on agriculture. Unfortunately, many Americans have never had the chance to experience the joys, sorrows and ultimate beauty of farm life.
I believe that the more people are connected to the land and the better we all understand the choices farmers have to make, the easier it will be to work together as we push into the challenges ahead.
CNG: Is there anything else CNG growers should know?
DS: Seven Springs is here to serve farmers of all walks! We exist to help farmers first, and we believe that the materials we offer have a place in all types of farming.