Growing Hemp – A way to replenish the soil.
We did it! Organic Oasis Farm is a qualified participant in the 2017 Minnesota Hemp Pilot Program. And, what an adventure this has been!
Our journey returning our land back to its natural state has been full of challenges. We have focused on the reward of knowing we will be leaving the soil better than when we found it. With that said, it is taking much longer than we expected. The guidelines to certify the land as “Organic” are to allow the land to ‘rest and restore’ for 4 years. It is a parallel concept in Yoga classes. Just like our soil, our physical and mental bodies require ‘rest to restore’. Our bodies are like plants, we also need clean, healthy, organic food to sustain our life as the plants need clean, healthy soil to grow our food.
In the fall of 2016 as I worked up our land in our trusty John Deere tractor, I was disappointed as to how much dust the disc was kicking up. I was hoping after 4 years of letting it rest that it would have had enough time to rebuild it’s organic matter. When I finished discing, I climbed out of the tractor and grabbed a handful of soil, it crumbled through my fingers. I learned about the soil and how it needs to have organic matter to hold moisture and nutrients from Attina Diffley, who is the Author of “Turn Here For Sweet Corn”. Attina took me out in their field and showed me how real dirt holds together , she even had an earthworm wriggling in her hand. Beautiful, rich organic soil. She mentioned how their land was dust when they 1st purchased the land and how it took years to rebuild. With that memory in mind I began researching…what is the best plant to grow in order to rebuild depleted, conventionally farmed soil? The answer came up loud and clear.
Plant Hemp – Enrich the Soil
That’s when the research really took off. In the fall of 2016, all our land was officially Certified Organic. Hemp needs to be grown organically. Divine timing! I checked with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Hemp was classified as a controlled substance in Minnesota. Huh? Illegal? Why? It has little to no THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects). Well, it was shortly after that, the government recognized their error and the MDA started their 2017 Hemp Pilot Program. I signed up right away! After researching, discussing pro’s and con’s with my husband, Dan and multiple background checks, we were officially approved.
Here we grow!
Our Hemp seed arrival is days away. The anticipation of an Organic Hemp Crop is exhilarating! The soil benefits are tremendous. We are growing our 2017 crop for the hemp oil that will be extracted from the harvested seed. It’s a long road ahead…contracts, soil preparation, organic weed control, even some chicken pellets for some natural fertilizer.
Our Retreats at Organic Oasis Farms will include ceremonies to honor Nature that includes a tour of our Hemp fields. Join us in our evolution to rest, restore and rebuild our minds, bodies and spirits alongside our greatest sustainer, Mother Earth.