Draft Aquaponics Standards Posted for Review

aquaponics.pngSince June of 2014, Certified Naturally Grown staff have been working in consultation with our Aquaponics Advisory Council to develop a new program to certify aquaponics operations. The first step in this process is now complete! We have finished the initial draft of CNG's standards for certification of aquaponic operations - addressing questions such as water quality, allowed and prohibited inputs, and materials used. Now we seek public feedback on these draft standards to help us ensure they are complete and appropriate. The draft aquaponics standards are posted at www.cngfarming.org/aquaponics. Please take a look and share your feedback!

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Stand out in Your Field ~ Marketing For Farmers


Certified Naturally Grown is offering free marketing support for farmers. Be sure to check out our lessons to help farmers easily tap their farm stories to boost their marketing at StandOutInYourField.org

JandL Farm & Stables, John and Laurie, GA


Laurie and John came to natural farming after years of different jobs and experiences - John served 21 years in the Navy, while Laurie was a teacher. Though John still works his full-time job, they're happiest when taking care of their horses and farm.

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Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Round 2

Right now the FDA is considering new food safety rules that will have a major impact on local farms for years to come. We have an opportunity to improve these rules - again - during this second comment period. 

FDA is explicitly asking for examples that will help them understand how the rules will impact farmers and the public. Your voice is very important. Be sure to submit comments before the December 15 deadline.

Find more information and instructions at sustainableagriculture.net/fsma.









For an excellent overview of how the proposed rules would impact community-based farms, we recommend this Farmers Market Coalition policy update.



Footehills Farm, Erin and Louanna, GA

In_the_mix.JPGInspired by their rural childhoods in Upstate NY and the elder farmers they so fondly remember, Erin and Louanna Hughes started their own family farm in the hills of Taylorsville, GA, called Footehills Farm.

Here, the whole family takes part- kids and grandparents alike.

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Summer Newsletter - 2014

What do aquaponics, restaurants, and bumper stickers have in common? Check out the summer news from CNG to find out!






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Back to the Roots Restaurant Week

RestaurantLogoBlueText.pngThis September, Certified Naturally Grown will launch Back to the Roots Restaurant Week in cities nationwide. We will feature restaurants that source ingredients from local farms. The chefs at participating restaurants understand that serving local ingredients has two big benefits – it makes their dishes shine and strengthens the area’s farming community. 

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Steel Wheel Farm, Ryan and Kim, WA

Kim_Ryan.jpgIt's not uncommon for kids to be fascinated by tractors. They're pretty cool. But for Ryan Lichttenegger, his interest in tractors was no fleeting boyhood amusement.

You could say that a love of tractors, and one tractor in particular named Olive, were a big part of how Ryan and his wife Kim got to be where they are -- the owners and operators of Steel Wheel Farm located in Fall City, Washington.

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When Organic Laws Don't Include PGS


(This article was written for the Global PGS Newsletter of IFOAM, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements by Alice Varon, Executive Director of Certified Naturally Grown. Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) are locally focused quality assurance systems. They certify producers based on active participation of stakeholders and are built on a foundation of trust, social networks and knowledge exchange.)

pgs_proud_to_be_part_1-170x150.jpgRecent developments in the United States may serve as a cautionary tale for leaders seeking to formalize the organic certification process in their own countries. When the use of the word “organic” is regulated by law, and requires third-party certification without allowing for a PGS model, it can complicate and even hurt the organic movement.

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Aquaponics Certification in Development

aqua-cycle_cartoon.jpgAt a certain point last year we couldn't help but notice a rise in the number of people contacting CNG, wondering if we would certify their aquaponics* operation. They'd always argue that we should. After all, they'd say, we don't use any chemicals because if we did, the fish would die! Following about the nineteenth such inquiry, we decided it was time to look into this increasingly popular method of food-production. Is aquaponics really sustainable? Does this kind of agriculture fit into the values and commitments of CNG?  

(*What's aquaponics? See bottom of this post.) 

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