Why Regenerative Cannabis Farming is Better than Sustainable[email protected]
Regenerative Farming: Working organic amendments into the soil to build more soil culture, which creates significantly more resin on the plants.
Sustainable Farming: Meeting society’s present food and textile needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
By: Cyrus Sepahbodi & Laine Hammer
From the first idea of a new product to the placement on your bathroom shelf, we think about every aspect of our process to ensure each step is not only good for you, but also good for the earth. Our partner farms utilize regenerative farming and focus on consciously cultivating with natural soils. Our whole-plant process isn’t just about creating a clean product, it’s also about working with farms that believe in setting an example for the industry in the hopes of a cleaner future.
As we all know, plants start with seeds and soil. Cannabis is a bioaccumulator, meaning what’s in the soil ends up in the plant. This is important to note because any pesticides, heavy metals, mycotoxins, residual solvents, and mold can easily make its way into the plant if the soil they are grown in contain any of these contaminants. Regenerative farming is crucial to our mission because it relies upon being part of the larger ecosystem in which the farm exists. The key to these techniques is that they do no harm but instead work actively to improve the land.
Regenerative Farming vs. Sustainable Farming
“Sustainable” has become the go-to word for greener, more eco-friendly practices, but regenerative takes it several steps further. The key difference between regenerative farming and sustainable agriculture is that in practice, but sustainable agriculture means farming in sustainable ways to maintain – meeting society’s present food and textile needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Regenerative practices are significantly more intensive about regenerating nutrients and biodiversity, far beyond simply sustaining, focusing on Aquaculture, Agroecology, Agroforestry, composting, no-till practices, pasture cropping, and bio-characteristics. Regenerative farming nurtures biodiversity, and in the case of cannabis farming, provides for better, cleaner, and more potent plants.
Why is Regenerative Farming Important?
Our farmers use modern technology and years of experience to regenerate and revitalize their soil, putting nutrients back into the cycle, and make a positive impact upon the environment. We think regenerative farming should be the universal standard – for both cannabis and food alike. We choose our farmers because they’re making a difference, working to inspire future farmers and companies. Being eco-conscious is not only the future of the cannabis industry, but also the future of the planet.
We spoke to our VP of Cannabis Procurement, Tiana Arriaga, to see why this topic is so vital to the industry and our overall well-being:
“Farmers and others in the industry have seen over time how over-cropping and using soils that have contaminants, or bringing in foreign soil, is just not good for the environment. We’re trying to be a part of the ecosystem naturally, and that practice expresses itself through better cannabis plants. We’ve seen the results even in testing; the more natural your environment means the higher the potency, higher terpenes, and a better plant.”
Regenerative Farming Practices
Regenerative farming starts with a consciously cultivated environment. That means our farmers avoid foreign potting soil or organic potting soil, but work with natural soil instead. In order to enrich the land, they work organic amendments into the soil to build more soil culture, which creates significantly more resin on the plants. When you compare the same strain grown in natural soil to the same strain in a bag of soil, the plants in the natural soil are significantly healthier – the plant grows better and is trichome-heavy. These practices also increase biodiversity, improve soils and watersheds, and enhance the complete ecosystem in which the farms operate.
Regenerative farming techniques:
Cultivation: Cultivating sun-grown cannabis with an emphasis on carbon farming, crop rotation, closed-loop onsite plant nutrition, and composting systems.
Water: Water conservation strategies through soil management and irrigation methods.
Land and Soil Management: Using rainwater harvesting systems that promote groundwater health.
Beneficial to Animals: Management of natural areas to promote habitats. Regenerative farming preserves wildlife corridors and restores habitats.
Healthier Plants: Companion planting, cover cropping, and on-site food systems.
Pest Management: Not relying on chemical pesticides and herbicides. Traditional farming techniques that utilize chemical pesticides can potentially create stronger and more damaging pests, so organic-approved pesticides such as alcohols, copper sulfate, hydrogen peroxide, neem oil, diatomaceous earth, and pepper are often used.
Impact on Community: Allows for community-supported agriculture, resource and skill sharing, and positively impacts small farms and businesses.
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