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Harvest Rain, Harvest Flowers

Rainwater Tanks

By Lizandro Salazar

As more propositions pass, tax dollars accumulate, and growers slowly creep out of the woodwork, it’s becoming clear that the CA cannabis industry is entering into a new phase.

While regulators scratch their heads trying to figure out how to best approach this topic, it’s clear that “business as usual” may turn into “business unusual.” Many farmers groan as engineering fees, soil tests, and permitting costs raise the price of going “legal”, but some growers and professionals are nodding their heads in approval. What some view as bureaucracy, others see as a opportunity to ‘do things right.’ CA is the leader in agriculture in the US. We grow the food that feeds most of the country using Billions of gallons of water, mixed with countless chemicals. Is the cannabis industry going to follow the same path? Or are we going to create sustainable and resilient systems promoting renewable energy, zero pesticides and water sovereignty? I’d like to think the latter.

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Shilajit – An Ayurvedic Powerhouse

Often times I get the question, “How do I prevent my plants from getting sick?”. The answer is simple, and that is through plant immunity. In short, there are two primary factors that contribute to plant immunity:

  1. Adequate Mineral Nutrition
  2. Having that nutrition delivered in the form of microbial metabolites

When plants are given these essential needs in the form of microbial metabolites (fulvic acid), they are capable of stacking energy reserves in the forms of fats and waxes known as lipids. These lipids can be recognized as that glossy leaf shine you see in healthy gardens; it coats the leaf surfaces and provides a layer of protection against pests & diseases. For example, in the case of powdery mildew – you’ve just inhaled hundreds of powdery mildew spores since you’ve started reading this article. The reason you’re not falling ill is due to the fact that you’ve got a functional immune system powered by microbiology in your gut. The soil is the gut of the plant; it is the very life line the plant relies on to fend off threats in the field. Plant immunity is directly correlated with disease susceptibility.

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Product Spotlight – Grass Roots Grow Mats

The CHA is happy to provide a spotlight on Grass Roots Grow Mats. They’re made from Hemp, which has been cultivated for fiber and food for over 10,000 years around the globe. The beautiful thing about Hemp is that it helps our planet and people throughout its entire life-cycle and then some! 

Grass Roots Grow Mats are now making hemp fiber grow plugs.  The CHA will be running experiments with them over the winter to determine the optimal parameters. Check out Grass Roots Grow Mats at: http://grassrootsgrowmats.com

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Cannabis Crop Recomendations

By Moriah LaChapelle

Here is a wonderful article [offline as of 1/19/2020] to become familiarized with certain techniques and practices associated with Integrated Pest Management (IPM). 

Moriah LaChapell joined Evergreen Growers Supply during 2015 as an Agronomist. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Western Oregon University and a Professional Viticulture Certificate from Washington State University.  She was previously employed at Fisher Farms as the Plant Health Manager. Most of her work at Fisher Farms involved scouting ornamental plants and releasing beneficial insects to reduce insecticide applications. She is passionate about collaborating with growers to produce long term solutions for pests and plant pathogens. You can contact her directly through her website.

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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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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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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.