Certified Naturally Grown 

 

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What does Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) mean?           

Blue Gate Farm is a proud member of Certified Naturally Grown, or CNG, a non-profit alternative eco-labeling  program for small farms that grow using USDA Organic methods but are not a part of the USDA Certified Organic program.

CNG was created to provide farmers with an inspection-based, nationally recognized label that is endorsed by National Environmental Groups, Health Organizations, Agriculture Groups, Farmer's Markets and Universities and well publicized in the National and Local Media.

CNG farmers are required to adhere to the same strict Organic Agricultural Practices and materials list published by the USDA National Organic Program.  As an independent program NOT accredited or in any way affiliated with the USDA National Organic Program, CNG farmers are exempt from the fees and paperwork requirements associated with USDA Certified Organic.

The USDA program requires an enormous amount of record keeping for diversified farms - a paper trail of everything that happens from seed to sale. While this is appropriate for large farms that grow only a few types of vegetables and sell in bulk to chain stores or big processing plants it has proven excessive and largely irrelevant for diversified small farms that may grow upwards of 200 varieties of vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruits and then sell them directly to consumers right in their own neighborhood.

Every CNG farm is physically inspected at least once per year.  Unlike the USDA program, scans of each farm's application, affidavit and inspector reports are available on-line for any member of the public to review.  This maintains total transparency in the certification process.

The CNG label is available to farms primarily distributing locally and directly, through Farmer's Markets, Farm Stands, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) projects, local restaurants, co-ops, small grocery stores or through other direct sales channels such as the internet.

Please visit the Certified Naturally Grown website for more detailed information about, and Blue Gate Farm's participation in, the CNG program.

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Last modified: November 16, 2014