Owl Wood Farm joined Certified Naturally Grown in 2014 when Mark Bascom and Lindsay Fisk first got started on their Hudson Valley farm, located in the rural hamlet of Salem, New York near the border with Vermont.
Lindsey and Mark were farming in ways that went above and beyond organic standards--for example, they didn’t use OMRI certified spray products deemed “safe” for organic farmers because they weren’t certain about the health and safety of some of those products. The Organic label didn’t entirely describe their approach to farming, but conveying this message to their customers wasn’t easy, especially when they were too busy at the market for longer conversations.
Telling customers that they were Certified Naturally Grown helped spur conversations about their growing practices.
They explained that CNG appealed to them because “having a label that is widely known and recognizable would help us verify our word.”
The Scholarship Fund for beginning farmers enabled them to afford certification as they intensified their operation and took steps to purchase the property they were leasing.
“We believe it is important to let our customers know that we are committed to sustainable growing practices and take our role seriously as stewards of the land,” they told us. “We particularly like the criteria of leaving some space for wildlife habitat.”
After being awarded scholarships for their first two years in CNG, Lindsay and Mark have built Owl Wood Farm into a stable farming business and purchased their property. This year they were able to cover their full certification dues, and they look forward to being able help build the Scholarship Fund in future years.
“We want to thank CNG for providing our farm a scholarship while we were in our beginning phases of starting our operation and for making certification manageable for beginning farmers,” they added.
Please help CNG replenish the Scholarship Fund, and become a Friend of CNG today!