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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The Future of CNG Renewal is Here! With An Exclusive Reward, To Boot

By Suzannah Schneider, Communications Manager and Certification Coordinator

We're announcing two new options based on feedback from our members. Some farmers and beekeepers have reported that they'd prefer to pay CNG dues during the growing season when there's more cash flow - not in February. And others suggested we streamline the annual requirement that members submit a signed Declaration.

We heard your requests, and we're taking action. First, we are offering a Fall Renewal option. Plus, the Declaration you sign annually can now be completed online. 

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Hot Off The Press: Our Latest Newsletter About Certified Naturally Grown Farmers

By Suzannah Schneider, Communications Manager and Certification Coordinator

CNG Alternative Organic Certification Newsletter 2

We're so proud to announce that we just sent out the third edition of our print newsletter, Growing Above and Beyond. We feel this issue is our best yet! It's chock-full of inspirational stories about the ecologically-focused farmers all around the country making a difference in their communities. 

We're trying to make 20 new friends by October 20. Can you pitch in? When you do, you'll receive a crisp copy of this issue ASAP!
Read on for a sneak peek of the articles...

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Georgia Sea Grill Helps Certified Naturally Grown Grow!

By Suzannah Schneider, Communications Manager and Certification Coordinator

Organic Certified Naturally Grown DinnerSeared cobia over indigo grits topped with lady pea salad finished with red pepper coulis at Georgia Sea Grill

We're proud to welcome Georgia Sea Grill as Certified Naturally Grown's very first restaurant Business Ally!

The establishment has been a pillar of Saint Simons Island since 1997, and in recent years the restaurant has honed in on sourcing ingredients as locally as possible. In fact, they even own a farm that has been Certified Naturally Grown since March of this year! Their Potlikker Farm on Blythe Island grows Southern staples like North Georgia Candy Roaster Squash, red peas, and peaches as well as tropical crops like bitter melon, dragonfruit, and turmeric.

Farmer Samuel McPherson, Chef Timothy Lensch, and owner Zack Gowen at Potlikker Farm

We are thrilled to welcome them into the CNG Business Ally community, and wish we could take a field trip to Saint Simons to savor some stunningly-plated CNG ingredients!

Read on to learn more about Georgia Sea Grille from owner Zack Gowen to explore the restaurant's history and mission.

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Late Summer News from Your Grassroots Certification: 64 New CNG Farms & More!

By Suzannah Schneider, Communications Manager and Certification Coordinator
Certified Naturally Grown

We're holding onto the last days of summer here at Certified Naturally Grown, and celebrating 64 newly certified farmers and beekeepers joining the CNG community this growing season! Check the list below to see if a farmer you know is among them. Plus, we have a new opportunity to get involved with the CNG inspection process.

Organic Arugula

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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6 Exceptional Farmers Markets in the US

By Suzannah Schneider, Communications Manager and Certification Coordinator

Crecent City Farmers Market Supports CNG
Crescent City Farmers Market, New Orleans, Louisiana

Farmers markets are a feast for the senses, and so much more. They stimulate local economies, preserve farmland, promote rural resilience, and increase fresh food access. And members of our Guide to Exceptional Markets (GEMs) take it one step further by recognizing and preferring farms that verify their ecological practices.

We're proud to recommend and promote a robust network of GEMs markets around the country - including the ones features here in Arkansas, Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas. Find a listing of all the GEMs listed markets here.

These markets are so jazzed about CNG that they were inspired to send us photos of their new, colorful GEMs posters - just in time for National Farmers Market Week!

We would be delighted to add your neighborhood market to our roster. The perks are plenty! Just click the button below, and #PitchYourMarket.

Learn more about markets across the country that recognize and prefer CNG in our Guide to Exceptional Markets (GEMs).

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SeaAgri Helps Certified Naturally Grown Grow!

By Suzannah Schneider, Communications Manager and Certification Coordinator

Organic Certified Naturally Grown
Rob Cain with a watermelon grown using SEA-90

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

SeaAgri produces SEA-90, a combination of minerals and trace elements from natural crystals produced multiple times per year from sea water trapped in retention ponds located in a pristine estuary on the Sea of Cortez in Mexico (also known as the Gulf of California) This combination can help stimulate, feed and enhance micro flora populations in soil for healthier and tastier harvests. 

We spoke with company president Rob Cain to learn all about how elements from the sea can support the land. Welcome to the CNG Business Allies community, SeaAgri!

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9 Farmer-Tested Ways to Keep Cool

By Suzannah Schneider, Communications Manager and Certification Coordinator

Texas Eco Farms keeps cool with the help of a CNG hat

Farming is never an easy job, but when both the temperature and humidity approach 100, growing food can feel even more challenging.

Because there's a lot of wisdom out in those hot CNG fields, we polled our community to learn some of their best tips for staying cool, staying sane, and getting it all done.

If you're feeling a little sweaty and overwhelmed, fear not! Plenty of local CNG farmers are here to commiserate, and offer lots of ideas to get through August and beyond.

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