Spring News from Your Grassroots Certification 🌱

Congratulations to These 72 Newly-Certified Farmers and Beekeepers

We are delighted to announce the most recent crop of Certified Naturally Grown producers who have met all the requirements for certification since October! They are listed below alphabetically by state and province. 

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Film SEEDs Success

This winter we launched Film SEEDs, A Farmer Learning Collaborative. Now that this series of six weekly sessions is complete, we wanted to share some participant feedback, and announce we intend to continue and evolve this dynamic online peer-to-peer learning approach.

For fun you can watch the trailer we made for our inaugural series. 

Film SEEDs was an ambitious project involving several elements:

  • the creation of nine short educational films,
  • five lessons on core topics in CNG production practices, and
  • a dozen experienced CNG farmers who were featured in the "expert exchange" discussions and/or in the films
  • CNG farmers throughout our North American network, plus those who joined via partner organizations. 

Participants really appreciated this new initiative. Here's some feedback we received:

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Real Food Grown Right T-Shirts

Is your wardrobe ready for summer weather? We are here to help with the re-launch of our t-shirt campaign!

Step out in style at the farmers market. Place your order today!

Our campaign ends April 19, then production begins. Shirts will be delivered April 28 - May 7th. 

These shirt were hand-designed by Aly Miller and come in five colors.

All proceeds benefit Certified Naturally Grown. Why not get one for each member of your farm crew or family? Thanks in advance for your support!

Photo of Jenna, CNG's Program Manager, in snowy Rochester, NY where April 1 brought even more snow. She hopes to wear the shirt without the jacket soon!

Our Second Cohort of Senior Remote Inspectors

As the growing season is upon us, farmers are focused on production, at last! But at some point every CNG producer needs to arrange for their annual peer-inspection. 

Farmers report gaining a lot from the inspections they give and receive, but we are striving to make them even more valuable, while keeping the process as streamlined as possible. In 2020 we developed an initiative to name highly qualified, experienced CNG producers to serve as Senior Remote Inspectors (SRIs). We announced our first cohort in November. 

Today we’re pleased to announce CNG’s second cohort of SRIs. This group of twelve long-time members includes several who have been with CNG for more than ten years. 

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CNG Seeks Board Candidates

Applications due May 10, 2021

Click Here to Apply

The Board of Directors of Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) invites applications from individuals interested in serving this membership-based nonprofit organization. CNG is a well established and stable organization, yet there remains a great deal of untapped potential to positively impact our food and farming system. We seek passionate and engaged board candidates to help us increase our impact by reliably fulfilling the core responsibilities listed in the position description below while also contributing to the organization with particular strengths in one or more of the following areas:

  • Marketing and communications strategy
  • Fundraising (particularly corporate sponsorship) 
  • 501(c)(6) and/or other membership-based organizations
  • Financial management/investment capital

In addition, we are particularly interested in candidates who bring a rural perspective; who identify as Black, Indigenous or a person of color; and who reside in Tennessee, Michigan, Arkansas or the West Coast (and, more generally, not on the East Coast). 

CNG is rooted in the principles of Participatory Guarantee Systems as outlined by IFOAM-Organics International. All board candidates should be prepared to share in this commitment. 

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New Bandanas Help Us Stay Connected

CNG Blue Bandana

For many of us, "Stay Connected" captures how we have coped and adapted - and if we're lucky, thrived - amidst the challenges of this past year. It describes how CNG members find strength through collaboration, sharing resources and stories while navigating new ways of life. And staying connected is one of the benefits of our annual peer-inspections, which continued, even if in a modified form.

Inspired by these values, and how they show up on farms, our designer Aly Miller set to work illustrating the inter-dependent relationships of the three sisters - Corn, Squash and Beans - with the many twirling tendrils that connect them, the height of Corn granting light to Beans, and the lush carpet of Squash leaves serving the triad by preventing weed growth. Nature shows the way.

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Our Farmer Learning Collaborative

Film Series + Expert Exchange + Discussions

Please join us for this series of six live sessions, guaranteed to boost understanding of best practices for vegetable production according to CNG standards and connect you to our nationwide network of ecological farmers.  

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Our First Cohort of Senior Remote Inspectors

Certified Naturally Grown's peer-review certification model is attractive to many farmers. Not because it’s easier - it actually can be a real logistical challenge. Rather, peer reviews actively foster valuable knowledge exchange and mutually supportive farmer networks. 

We have been exploring ways to boost the inherent value of our peer inspections, all while streamlining the process of identifying an appropriate inspector and navigating the logistical challenges posed by the COVID-19 epidemic.

Today we’re pleased to announce one outcome of this effort - CNG’s first cohort of Senior Remote Inspectors (SRIs). 

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Small Farm Works Helps Certified Naturally Grown Grow!

If you take a year off farming to live in Japan, you might just encounter a tool that small-scale diverse vegetable farmers in the United States would find extremely useful. That's what happened to John Hendrickson, founder of Small Farm Works. 

Paper pots and paper pot transplanting equipment were originally pioneered by a major Japanese sugar company growing sugar beets more than 30 years ago. Since then, other types of paper pots and transplanters have evolved. Since John began importing the Chainpot Transplanter, many a farmer's jaw has dropped when they first witness this incredibly efficient approach to putting seedlings into soil.

We spoke with John about his company and some additional farm tool innovations he'll be introducing to American farmers. Welcome to the CNG Business Allies community Small Farm Works!

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Growing Sustainable Garlic and Produce at Coyote Ridge Farm

Lindsay Howells

Lindsay Howells has been farming in Oregon City, Oregon since 2016, and demonstrates her care for the land through farming. She grows an astounding array of produce on just 1/3 acre--including a unique variety of garlic that her customers have completely fallen in love with. 

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