Why Jennie Love of Love 'n Fresh Flowers Chooses Certified Naturally Grown

By Suzannah Schneider, Communications Manager and Certification Coordinator

Jennie Love 'n Fresh Flowers Certified Naturally GrownJennie Love shows off her new Certified Naturally Grown Certificate

We are thrilled to welcome farmer-florist Jennie Love of Love 'n Fresh Flowers to the Certified Naturally Grown community! Love 'n Fresh Flowers is now the only full service florist offering 100% Certified Naturally Grown flowers.

Sustainable Love n Fresh Alternative Organic FlowersFor those uninitiated with this game changer, Jennie Love is known as a true leader and educator in the sustainable flower field. She is the President of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, as well as an instructor at the legendary Longwood Gardens. Jennie is renowned for her stunningly seasonal and often unconventional arrangements, as well as her thorough workshops for both the curious public and seasoned professionals.

Her teaching farm exists on five acres of preserved green space in Philadelphia, showcasing some of the city's best blooms and most innovative floral design - in an unexpected location. 

All of her groundbreaking work is dedicated to the health of the earth and her community. As Jennie puts it,

This Certificate speaks to our deeper commitment to growing in a truly sustainable manner, focused first on nurturing Nature and second on the production of crops. Turns out if you put Nature first, she helps you grow even better crops!

Jennie Love is building momentum toward a flower industry where passionate farmer-florists grow extraordinary blooms and thriving businesses without the use of synthetic chemicals, and with an unwavering commitment to seasonality for even the pickiest clients.

We are honored that Love 'n Fresh Flowers is now a dedicated member of the CNG community.

In fact, Jennie was so jazzed about gaining her certification that she published a blog on her website about what joining CNG means to her. In case you missed it during the holiday hubbub, we've decided share some highlights of the post with you below.

Do you know a flower farmer who would be a great fit for Certified Naturally Grown? Direct them to CNGfarming.org/flowers
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Pacific Gro Helps Certified Naturally Grown Grow!

By Suzannah Schneider, Communications Manager and Certification Coordinator

Pacific Gro Fish Fertilizer Organic

Sometimes, even the crops grown in the nourished soil of a Certified Naturally Grown farm need a boost.

Pacific Gro produces liquid fertilizer from fish, shrimp, and crab caught in, of course, the Pacific Ocean. Their bio-active fertilizer uses shrimp and crab shell in the fertilizer to increase yields. Plus, these shells are micronized in a liquid that will not clog fertigation emitters - an innovation unique to Pacific Gro.

We spoke with marketing director Warren Shoemaker to learn how the addition of shells can support soil health along with whole-farm health. Welcome to the CNG Business Allies community, Pacific Gro!

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5 More Markets in the US Qualify for GEMs Listing

By Suzannah Schneider, Communications Manager and Certification Coordinator

Hub City Farmers Market, Spartanburg, South Carolina

A highly selective group of farmers markets in this country have made a conscious effort to recognize and prefer the farmer vendors who verify their growing practices with a certification. Certified Naturally Grown is extending our work by actively recognizing and promoting these markets for their role in going the extra mile to help build a more sustainable food system by encouraging ecological practices.

Specifically, we vet these markets to confirm they qualify, and then feature them in our three-tiered Guide to Exceptional Markets (GEMs).

We're proud to promote qualified GEMs markets around the country - including these five newly-listed markets in Alaska, Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Find a listing of all the GEMs markets here!

Does your neighborhood market feature certified vendors? If there's at least one CNG farmer, let us know! We would be delighted if it qualifies and will happily add it to our GEMs listing.

Just click the button below to #PitchYourMarket!

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Late Fall News from Your Grassroots Certification: 33 New CNG Farms & More!

By Suzannah Schneider, Communications Manager and Certification Coordinator
Certified Naturally Grown
We're celebrating 33 newly certified farmers and beekeepers joining the CNG community since early September! Check the list below to see if a farmer you know is among them. Plus, our Guide to Exceptional Markets (GEMs) is growing!
Organic Chicken

The Harvest Quarterly is our seasonal newsletter, delivered every few months. Enjoy it while it's fresh! Not yet subscribed? Sign up here.
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Welcome New Board Members of CNG!

By Suzannah Schneider, Communications Manager and Certification Coordinator

Certified Naturally Grown Organic Sustainable New Board
Welcome Leonard Githinji, Katie Gourley, Kim Karris, and Jasmine Nielsen!

We are thrilled to welcome four new board members to our grassroots group! They bring with them a true breadth of experience from different fields within the food system and all around the country. These new members hail from Virginia, Oregon, Georgia, and New York, and join the Certified Naturally Grown Board of Directors for a three-year term.

But before we introduce them, we'd like to offer deep thanks to our two outgoing board members: Jonathan Duffy, former board Chair, and Elizabeth Weller, former board Secretary, for their dedication and contributions over the past three and six (!) years, respectively. We look forward to staying connected with them both in their continuing roles as beekeeper (Jonathan) and farmer (Elizabeth). 

Thank you Jonathan Duffy and Elizabeth Weller!

Read on to meet the new folks joining our returning board members: Andrew Linker, board Chair and Ross Margulies. Welcome Leonard Githinji, Katie Gourley, Kim Karris, and Jasmine Nielsen!

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6 Benefits of Getting Listed on the CNG Website

By Suzannah Schneider, Communications Manager and Certification Coordinator

One of the main reasons farmers join Certified Naturally Grown is to highlight a commitment to producing food for the local community without synthetic chemicals or GMOs.

And one of the main ways we help them do that is by giving each CNG producer a free profile on our website!

Once farmers get certified, they instantly gain a profile on our searchable map!

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Chelsea Green Publishing Helps Certified Naturally Grown Grow!

By Suzannah Schneider, Communications Manager and Certification Coordinator

Sustainable Organic Agriculture Books

There's a very strong chance that you have at least one book from Chelsea Green Publishing on your shelf. There's an even better chance that that book or those books are dog-eared, underlined, collaged with sticky notes, and all but falling apart after years of reference and careful study.

The 100% employee-owned company has long produced essential books on ecological agriculture, publishing for both the practice and the politics of sustainability since its founding in 1984. From Eliot Coleman's classics to Leah Penniman's guide from her Certified Naturally Grown farm, Chelsea Green has made a big impact on CNG farmers and the public alike.

This publisher's books are deeply practical, and always put forth with the goal of cultural change.

We are truly thrilled to welcome this pioneering company to the CNG Business Ally community.

To learn more about the rich history and mission of this Vermont-based organization, you won't want to miss our interview with Marketing Director Sean Maher!

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9 Farms That Included a Community Observer in their CNG Inspection

By Suzannah Schneider, Communications Manager and Certification Coordinator

Certified Naturally Grown Organic Community Certification
Kevin Prather of SCG Market Garden inspects Urban Roots Farm in Springfield, MO

We are thrilled to announce the first nine CNG inspections conducted with Community Observers!

Community Observers are those who participate in the CNG certification process by witnessing a farm's annual inspection. Just about anyone can serve as a Community Observer! From farmers market managers to school crossing guards, postmasters to pitmasters: if they want to have a healthier and more resilient local food system, they're a good candidate.

Community Observers all over the country are starting to join the CNG movement, connecting on a deeper level to their local food system and those who help it thrive.

Farmers are benefiting by developing stronger ties with local community members, while some gain flexibility around our "No repeat inspectors" rule.

Read on to hear from the pioneering cohort of growers welcoming Community Observers to their Certified Naturally Grown farms!

Want to get involved? Click the green button to register your interest.
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How Exceptional Markets Can Get Even Better

Crescent City Farmers Market

This fall we're calling on farmers markets and grocers to Level Up and get a higher ranking in our three-tier Guide to Exceptional Markets (GEMs).

Tier 1 market managers are encouraged to raise the bar for growing practices at your market and take steps to prefer vendors who hold a certification. You'll boost customer confidence when you encourage vendors to get certified and verify their claims about production practices.

Your market will get a boost too, by receiving a visibly higher ranking in our Guide to Exceptional Markets and all the standard perks awarded to Tier 2 markets:

  • free banner design,
  • free press release,
  • free temporary tattoos of the Exceptional Market badge, and
  • priority assistance involving your community stakeholders in CNG farm inspections as Observers.

Take the first step to level up and register here today

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Barn2Door Helps Certified Naturally Grown Grow!

By Suzannah Schneider, Communications Manager and Certification Coordinator

Organic Certified Naturally Grown Farmers Market
The full Farm2Door team

You've got to love a Business Ally that uses the words "farm" and "farmers" as proper nouns.

Barn2Door provides farmers with the marketing tools they need to succeed in today's online world. By creating e-commerce and mobile apps that prioritize farmers' unique needs, local chefs and consumers have increased access to food grown right in their communities.

We are so pleased to welcome this hardworking team into the CNG Business Ally community! Read on to see why see why farms become Farms in Barn2Door's book.

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