Feature photo (above) At Moon Made Farms shot and provided by photograher Matthew Brightman, @_matthewbrightman_
As Spring sets in, we wanted to share with our readers an important conversation between ourselves and the earth we live on. In this feature we’ll introduce you to a proven method of farming that is growing support for sustainable Cannabis farming futures.
This method of returning to the soil goes beyond Cannabis farming, it’s good for all agriculture. This type of “no till” farming alongside a multitude of practices describes regenerative farming. This is why it can save us all, generations of people, animals, and plants for a sustainable future.
“Hemp can save the earth!”
That’s what we’ve been told by our hemp-father Jack Herer. He is right, Cannabis and Hemp can save the earth, but how you ask? We discovered one way to start. Regenerative Cannabis and Hemp farming is a part of the next revolution that is already underway.
What is regenerative farming?
Regenerative agriculture goes beyond the typical organic farming practices. The term “regenerative” pretty much describes exactly what the practice requires- rebuilding the soil for the better. This involves adding mulching, less tilling of the soil, and crop rotation. These are just some of the basic building blocks of regenerative agriculture. One of the benefits of regenerative farming is restoring the environment beyond the soil. There is more involved in how these farmers bring the soil back to how nature intended it to act and look. This way of agriculture production has the ability to remove carbon from the atmosphere and put it back into the ground where it serves greater purpose.
Moon Made Farms (above) by Matthew Brightman
Being Great Stewards of the Land
The legacy and legends of Cannabis farming and breeding come from multiple generations of Cannabis farmers in Northern California. They naturally have a genuine respect and love for the environment; as they grow and live in the same space. Taking care of the land and lands around their farms is part of the heritage. They make it their responsibility by preserving and protecting the land that they call home and grow their living on.
Better than organic certification
The Sun+Earth certification program was essentially born from the Cannabis community. The Cannabis community’s culture has always been making efforts to improve the earth, provide for the people, and respect the plant. These dedicated Cannabis cultivators have gone far beyond just growing great Cannabis; they are improving the world and their communities around them. These are the fundamental pilars of what regenerative farming is about and built on. The three pillars of the Sun+Earth program’s guidelines; Earth care and cultivation, human empowerment, and community engagement. This goes far beyond just growing organically. Growing without harmful chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers is just the beginning. Regenerative farming brings everything in harmony with each other.
How is it done?
Recently we had the opportunity to interview Andrew Black, who is the executive director of the Sun+Earth certification program. He explained to us how the program was created and how it works. It’s far more work than the typical organic farming practices, but the benefits gradually start to show over time. This is how Cannabis and Hemp save the earth! One farm at a time making a difference for all. The Sun+Earth certification program is next level Cannabis farming that will challenge any outdoor cultivator. The end results are worth the hard work and dedication that is required to pass and become Sun+Earth certified. Since the official launch of Sun+Earth in 2019 the organization has certified 37 Cannabis and Hemp farms. The process is fairly tedious and requires testing of the soil and much more. You can learn more about the guidelines of becoming Sun+Earth certified here.
Moon Made Farms (above) Matthew Brightman photo.
How does a farm become certified?
Sun+Earth is a non-profit organization and they raise funds to help offset the costs of certifying these farms. This helps the farmer invest their money towards improving their farms and getting them certified ready, it can take time and a lot of work to get there. Sun+Earth understands how much goes into their program that they want to make it less of a financial hardship on the farms that have invested into their land, their people, and the communities they serve. Sun+Earth’s most recent fundraiser has met their initial goal of $25,000 and they have started an additional round of fundraising with a goal of $15,000 which as of time of press is just over half way accomplished. These funds will help offset much of the expenses of staff, travel, and lab work needed in order to certify farms.
Help from the good Dr. Bronner!
Dr. Bronner’s, is the leading natural brand of soap in North America and a longtime supporter of cannabis legalization and drug policy reform. They committed to match every donation made to the Sun+Earth crowdfunding campaign on Giving Tuesday, December 1, 2020. The program is such a success and interest that after running out of the first batch of 1,600 bars of soap in less than two weeks! With that, Dr. Bronner’s has produced an additional run of 750 units of their limited-edition Cannabis-Scented Bar Soap. This bar was made exclusively with Sun+Earth Certified hemp terpenes created specifically to support the Sun+Earth fundraising effort. Full circle!
“We are proud to be supporting Sun+Earth Certified and its efforts to make regenerative organic cannabis available to consumers around the country,” said David Bronner, CEO of Dr. Bronner’s. “Cannabis, just like any other crop, can be cultivated in regenerative organic agriculture systems that mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon in the soil, and ultimately provide a healthier, cleaner product for consumers. We see Sun+Earth as a pioneering leader in the cannabis world, as we shift production away from corporate industrialized operations, toward regenerative, sustainable systems,” he continued.
This program is available to qualifying Cannabis and Hemp farmers throughout the United States at this point. To find out more about regenerative farming and Cannabis farming, please visit https://sunandearth.org
Take a Deep Dive into Regenerative farming
Watch the documentary “Kiss the Ground” available to watch on Netflix. It’s a great film narrated by our friend in Cannabis Mr. Woody Harrelson.
Get involved! Buy from the following brands and support sustainable farms that are making a difference. The following are all certified Sun+Earth Certified farms. If they take care of their land, animals, and their communities well, imagine how great their Cannabis is!
Know your farmer, know who and how your Cannabis is grown, this is one more way you as a consumer can make a difference. For more information on each of these farms, visit Sun+Earth Certified Partners
Above: Tina Gordon of Moon Made Farms.
Above: Phoenix Rising Farms
Above: Radicle Herbs Farm
The following list is Sun+Earth Certified farms:
- Down Om Farms, North San Juan, CA
- Elysian Fields Mendocino County, CA
- Family Florals, Sebastopol, CA
- Higher Level Organics, Viola, WI
- Organic Medicinals, Humboldt County, CA
- Oshala Farms, Grants Pass, OR
- Phoenix Rising Farm, Jacksonville, OR
- Puffin Farm, Seattle, WA
- Radicle Herbs, Round Valley, CA
- ROI Urban Farms, Detroit, MI
- Seed & Star, Boonville, CA
- Sensiboldt Organics, Humboldt County, CA
- Slow Moves Farm, Willits, CA
- Sol Spirit Farm, Trinity County, CA
- Sunbright Gardens, Covelo, CA
- SunGold Botanicals, Philomath, OR
- Tall Tree Society, Mendocino County, CA
- Waterdog Herb Farm, Mendocino County, CA
- Whitethorn Valley Farm, Humboldt County, CA
- Willits Valley Farm, Mendocino County, CA