As the world population continues to grow, the farming industry needs to keep pace. Unfortunately, however, some modern farming practices have become detrimental to the planet.
When consuming cannabis in any of its forms, you should be mindful of where the plant comes from. Supporting eco-friendly businesses is the first step toward reducing your carbon footprint. Growers can help protect the ecosystem through regenerative agriculture.
What Is Regenerative Agriculture?
Regenerative agriculture is a philosophy for land management. It applies to various areas of agriculture and growing crops, with the aim of reducing carbon footprint.
The ultimate goal of regenerative agriculture is to leave the ecosystem around you better than when you arrived.
Prioritizing Soil Health
No matter the crop, most farmers have to pay close attention to the health of their soil. However, they have to pay even closer attention when using regenerative cultivation.
To prioritize the health of your soil, you want as little mechanical disturbance as possible. Soil is filled with different biological structures, fungi, and microbes. Regenerative farming does not disrupt these ecosystems; it protects them.
By keeping healthy soil, the farmer does not have to rely on outside resources. The clean, living soil comes from their farm.
Reducing Synthetic Chemical Usage
Synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides can harm the ecosystem. In cannabis cultivation, regenerative growers try to reduce their reliance on chemical or synthetic inputs.
Instead, they seek a return of wildlife and insects to the crops to create a more resilient ecosystem. When you use fewer synthetic chemicals, you also protect human health.
Regenerative growers care about protecting the relationship between humans and nature. Not only do they offer fair wages to their employees to preserve the economy, but they also make sure that their practices do not harm the ecosystem.
When people removed animals from the cropping system and stopped protecting the ecosystems, antibiotic-resistant bacteria and harmful algal blooms became more problematic.
Protecting ecosystems and fostering mutually beneficial relationships between humans, animals, and the land can help improve the soil and reduce ecological problems.
How Can Growers Use Regenerative Agriculture When Cultivating Cannabis?
Many cannabis farms are USDA Certified Organic, non-GMO, pesticide-free, and sustainably grown. Outdoor crops can change to protect the environment quickly and indoor grows can do exactly the same thing.
There may be extra challenges with greenhouses, but with effort, cannabis crops can be ethical, no matter where they are grown.
Cannabis growers can use a polyculture field to prevent pests. A polyculture field involves growing various plants and vegetables along with cannabis crops. Not only does this improve the farm’s revenue, but it also keeps the pests at bay.
In addition to growing various plants, farmers can also use other insects to control aphids. For example, farmers can purchase predator mites and ladybugs to fight off aphids. Once they invest in ladybugs, they continue to reproduce and take care of the plants.
Those with greenhouses or indoor facilities may find it more difficult to control their energy usage. One way to conserve energy is to use solar power on the property. When you use solar power, you reduce your carbon footprint and the amount of energy you use from the power grid.
Instead of energy-intensive cooling systems, use the cooler outside air to cycle through the greenhouse to lower the temperature.
One significant rule in cultivating regeneratively is using as much land as possible. Try not to outsource supplies. For example, set up a site to capture rainwater to supplement irrigation water.
Additionally, make sure to catch all wastewater to reuse it. Try to purchase very little outside soil. Instead, create living soil with various plants and insects. For outdoor crops, growers can rotate crops through different seasons to continue to nourish the soil.
What Are the Benefits of Cultivating Cannabis Using Regenerative Methods?
Cannabis has various health benefits, but how do you know that regenerative agriculture makes a difference in the crop?
Not only do you protect the environment when you choose to purchase from ethical farmers who only use regenerative methods, but you also receive a better product.
Organic Cannabis Options
If you spend your time looking for organic healthy options for food, then it only makes sense that you would do the same for cannabis. Cannabis can be consumed or used in topical therapies. When you apply anything to your skin, you want to make sure that the product is natural and free of chemicals.*
Regenerative cultivation reduces pests without increasing harmful chemicals. The plants will not be battered by pests or full of chemicals that could potentially harm you.
Less Power Consumption
Cultivating cannabis already takes less power consumption than most crops. It does not take a lot of power to grow. However, when farmers use regenerative methods, they lower water usage and power consumption.
Fortunately, cannabis requires very little water to produce. By purchasing from companies that believe in regenerative farming, you choose to support businesses that are committed to reducing their carbon footprint.
Growing cannabis in living soil is healthier for the plant. It results in higher concentrations of cannabinoids and also has fewer health risks to the person using it.
Chemicals and pesticides can cause headaches, and for those who smoke, it can result in a burning sensation not associated with organic cannabis.
Support the Importance of Cultivating Regeneratively
Your health and the health of the planet can go hand in hand. When you choose organic products from ethical farmers, you are more likely to reduce your carbon footprint and invest in a healthier product.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases. Consult a medic before taking CBD or other related products.
Written in partnership with Upstate Elevator.