Good Roots is Certified Naturally Grown!

What does Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) mean?

CNG is the grass roots alternative to certified organic. CNG standards are largely the same as those of the National Organic Program. For example, CNG producers do not use GMO seeds or synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides.

CNG inspections are conducted by a local farmer. Farmer-inspectors are highly suited to ask specific questions based on their knowledge of the local pest pressures and farming challenges, and to make relevant suggestions.

The CNG participatory model a) ensures that standards are being upheld and b) strengthens the local farming community by connecting farmers to one another.

Find Good Roots on the CNG website:

Dear Good Roots Patron, 

  Plants are prey to countless organisms, from grazers and browsers (such as cattle and goats) to munchers and suckers (such as insect pests) to invaders (such as bacterial and fungal organisms). And plants can’t simply uproot and change residence when at risk from predators.

  What do plants do? They have an arsenal of physical and chemical means of protection. Waxy cuticles, thorns, prickers, and trichomes (hairs) are some of the physical deterrents that plants use. But for the most part, plants are chemists supreme. They use an astounding array of chemical defenses, numerous compounds of which we humans employ for our own medicines. And, we are still learning what and how plants synthesize the chemicals that they do along with how they communicate chemically with each other.


  In our gardens, plants can become even more vulnerable to prey, particularly detrimental insects and fungi and bacteria. Instead of spreading about in a relatively large ecosystem, plants in gardens present a high density of alluring plant parts for pests to consume. Around we go, trying to combat pests that ravage plants and reproduce in astounding numbers only to ravage plants and reproduce and ravage again…..

  What to do? The best means of defense is, literally, healthy plants from roots to shoots to flowers to fruits. Such plants have a greater capacity to defend themselves and to ride the tide of pest damage without suffering irrevocably. Healthy soils with ample pore spaces, humus, and macro- and micro-organisms; adequate light and moisture; sufficient macro- and micro-nutrients (e.g. N-P-K and trace elements); tolerable temperature ranges, etc.; all contribute to healthy plants. While we can’t necessarily control all aspects of light, water, and temperature in outdoor gardens, we can promote garden health by: continuing to build/maintain healthy soils, including a diversity of plants that attract pollinators and beneficial insects/soil organisms, rotating crops, mulching the soil, removing all old plant debris from the garden, neither letting such debris accumulate atop ground nor turning it below-ground.

  Sounds almost too good to be true! But, yes, healthy plants in a healthy environment do have a better chance of combatting pests than do plants stressed by lack or excess of something (water or light or nutrients, etc.) because healthy plants then have the resources they need to maintain their natural defenses. If pests do inundate the garden, mechanical means and organic sprays/dusts are options. Using such aids among healthy plants can result in a more agreeable outcome than doing so among stressed plants.

  Dance about in your garden as you listen to your plants and work in concert with them to keep them and the whole garden ecosystem healthy and happy and productive. Uh….Listen? How does one listen to plants? We might look at that another time. Meanwhile, a cornucopia of foliage, flowers, fruits, and beauty, to you and your garden.

  Come see our plants. We are at Multiple Choices Center for Independent Living. Our address is 145 Barrington Drive. Barrington Drive is an elbow-shaped road between Cedar Shoals Drive and Gaines School Road. Call or text to ensure that we Multiple Choices - Good Roots folks are on-site to show you around

(706/424-4080 voice or text).

Again, we thank you for supporting Good Roots at Multiple Choices.


Good Roots Staff

Good Roots is a Multiple Choices Center for Independent Living, Inc. micro-enterprise training and production program for isolated individuals. Isolation can be based on race, creed, gender, ethnicity, disability, and/or other differences. The end result is often the same – poverty, prejudice, limited resources, and lack of opportunity.

Good Roots trainees learn the art and science of starting seedlings, and the rudiments of small business ownership, while contributing to their local communities through the production and sales of quality organically grown vegetable, herb, and flower seedlings.

To purchase plants directly from Good Roots in Athens, visit us at Multiple Choices Center for Independent Living located at 145 Barrington Drive. Good Roots folks are available at the Center most Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 8 until 5 (or after). Please call ahead (or text), however, in the event that we are out in the field.

What is Good Roots?

Stephanie Bergamo