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EcoAg: Open-Source Marijuana

 “Building on this ecological abundance, complexity, and sustainability, a community of EcoAg marijuana producers can create resource exchange relationships and networks and nurture a resilient, sustainable and reliable industry built on a common ecological template.  In turn, industry reliability can help build trust with consumers, laying the groundwork for durable brands.  A robust and diverse community of producers based on the open-source eco-template can offer a rich basket of high-quality goods and services that will appeal to a wide range of consumers and expand the growing market.  That’s open source marijuana….”

Read the full article at MJNN.

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Companion Planting for Cannabis

By Royal Queen Seeds

If you are looking for a natural way to improve the conditions of your garden and even help with some pests, companion planting is an innovative yet not so new way to do just that. Companion planting is the strategic planting of fruits, vegetables or herbs alongside your cannabis plants in order to improve the natural ecosystem your plants are growing in – without turning to pesticides or additional supplementation. Companion planting is a natural and effective way of controlling mites and other pests, enhancing nutrient uptake and soil quality, as well as providing a habitat for beneficial creatures….

Read the full article at Royal Queen Seeds

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Caterpillar Management – Identification and IPM Practices

Fall is here and so are the caterpillars, at least in Northern California. We have documented numerous instances of caterpillar damage and can officially say there has been a decent hatch this year.  

But how to deal with these nefarious little buggers? The best physical control is to carefully groom each plant and hand pick the caterpillars off. They can be difficult to see, but there are key telltale signs of their presence: 

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Company Spotlight – California Organic Fertilizers Inc.

Based on our qualitative observations of farms using select products from this line of fertilizers, it is in our opinion that businesses, farms and co-ops, seeking to follow organic input standards, look into using this line of fertilizers. 

California Organic Fertilizers has consistently proven their line of nutrients and any single product can make a great addition to a current regime.  We recommend that farms and individuals contact their local horticultural center and request this line be carried. 

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Fermented Plant Juice

“What Is Fermented Plant Juice (FPJ)?

FPJ is used in solutions for seed and soil treatments and plant nutrition. It consists of the young shoots of vigorously growing plants that are allowed to ferment for approximately 7 days with the aid of brown sugar. The brown sugar draws the juices out of the plant material via osmosis and also serves as a food source for the microbes carrying out the fermentation process. “

-University of Hawaii

The general overarching concept is the bacteria in the fermentation process use the sugars to breakdown the plant matter and convert it into a highly available solution of nutrients, hormones, enzymes, amino acids and microbes.

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Plants to the Rescue of Plants

“Maybe it’s because of their wine-making heritage, but the French are obsessed with fermenting various plants into special insecticidal, bactericidal, and fungicidal brews to use on…other plants.”

In a world gone mad with pesticides and fungicides, it’s time we take a step backwards and analyze what our ancestors have accomplished without the use of synthetically created chemicals. This synopsis from frenchgardening.com provides a clear example of different varieties of herbs and their unique control properties on pests or pathogens. 

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Product Spotlight – OG BioWar

OG BioWar is a product that has been used rather extensively by a group of conscious minded farmers here in Humboldt County.  The root pack is a microbial inoculant. It is a blend of highly concentrated beneficial fungi and bacteria that perform many important functions in the rhizosphere. The root pack promotes plant health by boosting the immune system, increasing shoot and root growth, multiplying flower production and increasing essential oil production. The entire line of OG BIOWAR is worth checking out, definitely a CHA recommended product for biological controls. 

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Sustainable Agriculture Techniques

From Union of Concerned Scientists

“What is sustainable agriculture? What is regenerative agriculture? We will be covering these topics more in depth as we evolve our mission.  This particular article, written by the Union of Concerned Scientists covers the basics of what it means to be sustainable. Clearly crop rotation will not suit the needs of cannabis farmers, but many other of their recommendations are worth considering.  This is our open source science and we always welcome constructive criticism to expound upon this information.  We will get into no-till a little bit later…” -CHA

Sustainable agriculture provides high yields without undermining the natural systems and resources that productivity depends on. Farmers who take a sustainable approach work efficiently with natural processes rather than ignoring or struggling against them – and use the best of current knowledge and technology to avoid the unintended consequences of industrial, chemical-based agriculture. One important result is that farmers are able to minimize their use of pesticides and fertilizers, thereby saving money and protecting future productivity, as well as the environment.

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Homemade Plant Rooting Hormone – Willow Water

weeping willow tree

It’s always a fascinating learning the DIY process.  Mixed with failures and great rewards, it truly is inspiring to the pure cannaculturist. Here is a wonderful DIY article from Deep Green Permaculture.  We have not yet experimented with this ratio but are looking for feedback from someone that has!

“Willow Water” – How it Works. By: Deep Green Permaculture

“Willow Water” is a homebrew plant rooting hormone that is easily made and can be used to increase the strike rate (growth of roots) of cuttings that you’re trying to propagate.

The way that it works can be attributed to two substances that can be found within the Salix (Willow) species, namely, indolebutyric acid (IBA) and Salicylic acid (SA).

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Why Every Gardener Should Consider Using EM-1

EM-1 Microbial Inoculant

Effective Microorganisms® Amendments For Agriculture

Effective Microorganisms® has been used in agricultural applications since 1982. Farmers have documented vast benefits of EM·1® on 6 continents, demonstrating that EM·1® Microbial Inoculant works in all soil types, all farming systems and all climates on Earth. Today, EM·1® organic soil amendments are used in over 120 countries in all sorts of farming systems from row crops to orchards to composting to aquaculture to solid and liquid waste management. Whether conventional, organic or sustainable, any farming method can benefit from using EM•1® to improve the efficiency of their operation. EM·1® Microbial Inoculant is approved for use without restrictions on Certified Organic operations (OMRI Listed).

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