Ok, NOW we need some RAIN
The crops are really producing well, every week there is something new to harvest! The majority of our day is spent harvesting; beans, cucumbers, summer squash...and soon melons!! usually by now we have the weeds under control, but this year we seem to be overwhelmed still in a few areas. if there is anyone who would like to get heir hands dirty for a few hours, let me know, it would be greatly appreciated. Weeding can be very therapeutic and satisfying :)
I can't believe I am saying it after the crazy wet spring we had, but we really need some rain. 'Tis the season that the clouds seem to skirt right around us. If you do a rain dance, please be sure to be specific about where the raindrops fall : )
This year we are excited to be growing a new crop; hemp!
100% of this crop will be for a local company called Healing Harbors located in Durham, Maine.
A woman owned company with a superior product, we are proud to be working with them, be sure to check them out!
Hemp was classically grown for its fibers for clothing and rope. It has also been found to have medicinal properties in its oil (CBD). Hemp is NOT marijuana. It has no properties that would make you "high" but it has medicinal value like any other herb or plant might (elderberries, echinacea, chamomile etc). Many people use it to help in muscle soreness, arthritis or insomnia. It has also been known to help reduce seizures in animals and humans. Here is some additional info:
When did I decide to grow Hemp?
Last fall I was approached by one of my shareholders who runs a woman owned company called Healing Harbors located in Durham. She wanted to see if I was interested in growing hemp for CBD oil for their product line. They were excited for the potential to have a local, organic woman farmer.
For the last 3 years, I have been searching for opportunities to increase farm income & viability so that I may better compensate both my employees and myself for all of our hard work and in light of the unfortunate fact that my CSA numbers have been declining. I have secured more wholesale vegetable avenues and researched other ideas around just veggies, but growing hemp seemed like a positive opportunity to continue to grow crops with greater profitability and for a good cause/good company.
After careful consideration and several meetings with Stacey and Ashley of Healing Harbors, this winter I decided to give it a try.
Will I produce the oil?
The dried hemp flowers will be brought to a local extracting facility where the CBD oil will be extracted and given to Healing Harbors.
Organic seeds? Use of fertilizer?
The seeds were purchased from a hemp grower in Richmond, ME. Hemp needs 50% less nitrogen than corn and less fertilizer than many crops I grow. It will be fed a lower concentrate of my certified use fertilizer and crab shell flour that I use on all of my other crops.
In addition, I would like to add here that the growth of hemp is legal as well as the use/sale of CBD oil (LD630). I have paid for and obtained a license from the state of Maine (see attachment). There are rules I have to adhere to, for example any seed I use has to have a certificate proving that it tested below the allowable THC levels. In the fall, a state inspector will come to the farm, collect samples and send them to a lab to again test to make sure any THC levels are below the allowable level. In addition, Healing Harbors will take samples and do lab testing looking for any mold, bacteria or pesticide residue to make sure the crop I grow is of the highest quality for their product.
Do you have buyer?
Yes. Healing Harbors and I have signed a contract and all of the flowers I grow will be sold to them for extraction.
Will it be rotated with other crops, tilled in and or given to the livestock?
This crop is certified organic by MOFGA, so it will be treated with the same rules and restrictions as all of my other crops. I am growing .5 acre, so it will take up one entire field. The location of this field will rotate around the farm in accordance with my current crop planning/rotations.
Hemp grows into a small tree-like woody shrub. It will be too woody for me to til in, so I will clip the plants, burn them and possibly use the by product as bio char.
No hemp product will be fed to the livestock.
What other benefits do you see by this crop (botanically/soil enhancing, etc..)with the other produce?
Hemp plants have a very deep root system which will help break up my clay soils. It is naturally insect free so there will be no need for use of pesticides. And as I mentioned earlier, it’s nutrient needs are less than many other crops, so even fertilizer (although organic) will be minimal. It also has the potential to clean soils of heavy metals and other toxins. Luckily I do not have toxins or heavy metals, but it is still considered to be a good soil purifier and a great plant to have in crop rotation for its deep roots and large canopy which shades out weeds.
This Week's Bounty: lettuce, red onions, scallions, zukes, summer squash, hakurei turnip, cukes, green beans! fennel bulb, eggplant, broccoli, basil cilantro...
If you still have a cabbage hanging out in your fridge, use it up as another is on its way!
Check out this recipe from a shareholder: