Its our responsibility as land stewards to cultivate our crops with the highest level of integrity. Paying full due respect to the true heroes of the farm, the animals, plants, and micro organisms, that are constantly cycling energy, and allowing us to pull off just a bit for our own needs.
While we recognize that to farm in a sense is to destroy and then rebuild, our goals are to mimic the natural cycles of the earth, to step in as humans only when necessary to help facilitate these cycles. We utilize many organic modern and ancient organic techniques to ensure the plants have all the proper and available nutrients.
We do not till or disturb the soil. When we harvest we simply cut the stalks at the base and replant the next crop right along side. The reason we do this is, when we disturb or till the soil we are breaking up the fungal networks that the plants use naturally to acquire the nutrients they need when they need it. Unlike bacteria, fungal strains can take years to recover from a single tilling. We need those networks strong so wed can rely on the natural cycle to feed our plants.
Korean Natural Farming
Korean Natural Farming or KNF is another organic dogma that we practice. We actively harvest wild growing plants on our property that have specific nutrients, and ferment them to be later applied to our crops as plant available nutrients. Also in this practice we harvest wild indigenous micro organisms that are adapt to our climate and region. We re apply them on our beds and let the micro organisms do the heavy lifting.
Aquaponics is the practice of raising fresh water fish, and plants in the same system. The fish waste is converted by mciro organisms into plant available nutrients. The plants use the nutrients and return the water back to the fish clean. Its a beautiful closed loop.
We incorporate aquaponic growing techniques in our vegetative and mothering greenhouses. We have found no faster way to grow plants with the least amount of input. Aquaponics also has the added benefit of harvesting tilapia, bass, and trout for our own consumption!
We simply do not use pesticides. Plants grown with insufficient light, and insufficient nutrients often fall prey to many pest and pathogen issues. Growers often respond with pesticides, and fungicides to maintain crop quality. The problem is these products kill good bugs and bad bugs. They destroy all the pollinators, beneficial insects, soil micro organisms, etc So this wont work for us, and we wont stand for it. We utilize beneficial insects to out compete the predator bugs. The beauty of this system is, when there are no more pest pressure, they simply leave and look for food elsewhere. Ensuring we have clean, pesticide, pest, and pathogen free plants.
Indoor cannabis production is responsible for 1% of the nations energy consumption. It is totally true that environmentally controlled crops yield more and have more nutritional value. We choose the greenhouse model where we can produce year round in our cold northern climate. A greenhouse is only as good as its design, and ours is designed to be very energy efficient. Our lighting system utilizes 12% the amount of energy as would an indoor grow with the same foot print. Along with other energy saving techniques and design. We can produce our plants with a significantly lower impact on the environment compared to indoor growing. Since we do live in the cold NW it is actually less toll on the environment to produce crops in this method than it would be to grow them in warmer climates and ship it here. We believe this to be the true measure of a sustainable farm. The actual toll it makes on the environment. A truly regenerative farm is actually building the environment around its. We are making great leaps to achieve this and hope to someday get there!
Most of us in the PNW don’t spend a lot of time worrying about water. Its a real problem and we are running out. We use many water saving techniques including heavy mulching, rain water harvesting, low flow, no run off automated irrigation, and aquaponics. Aquaponics is an incredible water saver, it uses 90% less water compared to conventional agriculture with 4x the yields.
We can’t do it alone so we must educate. In 2017 Joshua took on organizing The Science of Organic Regenerative Cannabis Cultivation Conferences. What started as a single event has turned into larger movement to educate folks on sustainable soil food web focus cannabis productions techniques. This is large part of Joshua’s passion and vision; to train train folks in compassionate agricultural practices.