Many farmers market managers across the country have developed clear guidelines for their vendors, making it easier to promote the market according to a shared set of standards.Read more
Aside from being delicious and packed with nutrients, mushrooms play an incredible role in soil and forest ecology, and hold powerful medicinal properties that consumers are seeking. To assist the sustainable farmers who grow this delicious and healing food, we worked with experts to craft rigorous production standards and launched our mushroom certification in 2016.Read more
With the help of new legislation, New York State will expand its hemp production to 2000 acres, up by 6000% this year--from just 30 acres in 2016. Research and production of industrial hemp statewide will get a big boost, making New York one of many states to support this re-emerging crop.Read more
Fundraiser parties are so fun to attend, but they seem like a ton of work to pull off. As someone who supports a number of local food and community-grown initiatives, I’ve thought about throwing a casual fundraiser myself, but I thought I'd need a lot of money and time to make it happen. Recently, I went to an event that completely changed my mind--the fundraiser party was completely homegrown, low-maintenance, low-cost, and most of all, fun. It made me wonder, could members and friends of CNG do something like this, too? To answer this question, I followed-up with the inspiring host, Erika Inwald, of the Domestic Fair Trade Association.Read more
Now that farmers in 39 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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
Building 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.Read more
By Ethan Grundberg from Cornell University Cornell Cooperative Extension
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.