We are pleased to announce that we are now Certified Naturally Grown. CNG is the grassroots alternative to the USDA’s National Organic Program, and was created in 2002 as a response to the program created by the USDA. After years of growing fruits & vegetables in the backyard without the use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers, I intended to continue to practice this method in a larger capacity at Steiner Field. CNG guidelines are the same as the USDA’s program in regards to allowed, restricted and prohibited usage of inputs that can be used on your fields, so you can rest assured that the produce is grown without harmful fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. I invited Russell Trujillo of Corrales Classic Farms and Al Gonzales of Gonzales Flower Farm in Corrales New Mexico to carry out the inspection of my field for certification, and learned quite a few things about what they have experienced growing in the Rio Grande Valley over the years. So far I have been asked by a few folks why I wanted this operation to be Certified Naturally Grown, and here are a few reasons:
1. Proclaim to our customers we are dedicated to growing fruits/vegetables without use of any synthetic or chemical herbicide, pesticide, or fertilizer inputs.
2. Community of like-minded farmers.
3. Lower cost to certify than USDA program for smaller farmers.
We felt that the overall structure of CNG was more inline with our ideals – minimizing off farm inputs used, growing diverse species, minimal usage of fossil fuels, integration of cover crops, minimal water usage, etc. Although many farmers use natural practices in the the Albuquerque area, we wanted to go the extra step and become certified, as we wanted our customers to know that we are dedicated to growing the best fruits & vegetables without harmful chemicals.
For more information, please visit our profile page at CNG: https://certified.naturallygrown.org/producers/5144