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5 Principles of regenerative cannabis farming

Published Jul 15, 2022 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Baramee Temboonkiat

Regenerative cannabis farming is not a new idea, but it is a trend that is quickly catching on, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s best for people, crops, and the environment, and it produces some of the most incredible yields when all is said and done. With that in mind, we’re going to explain more about why it makes such a massive and positive difference, as well as the basic principles that are followed by farmers who take on the challenge.

What is regenerative farming?

Regenerative farming could include any type of crop for food or fibre, as it has less to do with the species and more to do with the land beneath it. The term essentially means to feed and care for the soil in a natural way that eliminates the need for nutrient or fertilizer treatments.

5 principles of regenerative cannabis farming

The main priority of regenerative farming is a consistent focus on strengthening the health and vitality of the soil, and to succeed, these five principles must be followed.

1. Avoid disturbing the soil

Disturbing the complex combination of air pockets, fungal hyphae, and delicate wormholes by administering large doses of fertilizers, heavy sprays of water or plowing interrupts the natural, healthy soil base.

2. Soil coverage is essential

In nature, you won’t often find open, exposed soil, and that is because the ecosystem beneath it needs some coverage in order to thrive. That is why with regenerative farming, it’s important to maintain a gentle blanket of protective crop or plant materials.

3. Maintain living roots in the soil

When crops are rotated, this can be hard to do, but it’s imperative for living roots to stay in the soil, as they perform the arduous task of feeding fungi, bacteria, arthropods, protozoa, and other creatures that provide the ultimate nourishing environment for plants to thrive.

4. Diversity is key

Living soil thrives when there is a wide range of plant types present, which simply isn’t always possible in farming, and that’s where the practices of rotating crops, cover cropping, and companion cropping come in handy. Doing this provides the surrounding environment with variety, feeding the soil in a sustainable way.

Cannex

5. Integration of animals

Bringing grazing species into the mix during ley periods provides the soil with a break while also feeding the earth, essentially charging the area so that it’s full of wonderful nutrients for the future.

Benefits of regenerative farming

Regenerative cannabis farming is gaining momentum as more farmers and consumers become aware of the environmental impact of modern farming, which leaves the soil starved for nutrients. It allows nature to take over, and she gives far more benefits than you might think, these include:

  • Nourished crops reduce the need for fertilizers effectively saving both money and the environment.

  • Regenerative practices help to fend off pests and diseases.

  • Regenerative farming helps crops by increasing water holding capacity, which reduces the need for frequent watering, and keeps root systems healthier.

  • Minimize environmental impact by using fewer chemicals and fertilizers which would otherwise seep into the surrounding environment.

  • Regenerative practices improve water filtration.

  • · Regenerative farming enhances carbon sequestration.

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