1st, I couldn’t have done this wothout friends, family and support from the community and ma nature. I kinda made the blog about me, but it took a lot more than just my effort to make this happen. I feel lucky today for everything that has gone right.
I now have my two legal and DATCP licensed Wisconsin hemp plots planted with a total of about 2100 plants. It was a lot of work and it really tired me out. It was hard on my knees, but I needed some yoga in my life.
But, it feels good to have so many plants in the ground and to see them take off so quickly. I am excited to see them in a few weeks!!
The big field was more challenging to plant due to its larger size. I had some help with the initial tiling and clearing. And my dad helped a lot with the manure spreading, final tiling, and straw spreading. Also, a couple of friends helped a bit and spread some enthusiasm that kept me going. It took about 16 times down the 300 foot field to hand plant all the seedlings.
I really got a lot of help as well from the weather. There has been off and on rain and mild temperatures since I started planting a week ago. The newly planted seedlings are much happier than the seedlings that were planted at the garden.
In my other plot, the garden, the plastic mulch and dry and very hot weather, then extremely wet conditions led to about 10% of the seedlings dying in the first week. Also, the many inches of rain at the end of planting the garden left them weakened and it took a week to bounce back. But, after a pleasant and needed week of mild weather the garden plot is mostly growing very rapidly.
The seedlings in the field look much happier after their transplanting. Most of them are lightly covered in straw mulch. I do worry quite a bit about the deer and turkeys eating the plants but there hasn’t been any damage yet.
I really hope that this hemp helps a lot of people and maybe some animals. It means a lot to me to work hard and to try to provide the best quality medicine possible. I want my blog to be an example of how a small scale hemp farmer gets by. I don’t expect to get rich or even make a lot of money. But, I do expect to help a lot of people and provide cbd products of the highest quality at a competitive price. I hope to provide regular updates now that the plants are in the ground.
If anybody has any questions, feel free to ask.
I haven’t had much time for blogging, but I did finish planting my first hemp garden a couple days ago. Over a week or so, I got 700 high cbd plants in the ground with a little help from some friends.
Also, some friends helped plant a perimeter fence of sunflowers all the way around the garden. The sunflowers were donated by friends and we had a nice time planting. I am very excited to see how the sunflowers end up growing
It took a lot more effort than I expected to get the first garden planted. I’m sure one of the rules of farming is to expect things to be harder than you expect.
There were dry conditions the first few days of planting, so I had to spend a lot of time watering. Getting a proper hose watering system with a long reaching watering ended up saving a lot of time .Finally in the middle of the week, things got a little better and we got some good rain.
By the Memorial Day weekend about 400 plants were in the ground and starting to look a little happier. My friend’s who own the property and their daughter had a celebration on Saturday. We ate bbq and enjoyed some time working together to make the property and the hemp garden look its best.
It was really nice to have some help watering and digging holes. It was hot, humid, and hard to be comfortable outside for most of us. It really has seemed like we went straight from winter to summer this year.
At the end of the day on Saturday, I mostly wanted to just lay down.
I’ve been very busy in the gardens, and I got some good news a few days ago. My license came in the mail!! Yes! I had been waiting and waiting and hoping to see my license and it finally came.
It was a long month of waiting to hear from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Products, and Trade, but it feels good to actually have a license to grow hemp.
And to celebrate, I started some seeds! In this picture I am starting 720 seeds of Elektra.
I am growing Oregon CBD Seed’s Lifter, Elektra, and Suver Haze. You can check them out on the link below.
The first space I’d like to share about is the Garden. The Garden is old Wisconsin farm land that hasn’t been tilled or used for farming for 25 or more years. Its a good space for organic gardening. I found this space with the help of a friend from the neighborhood who really helped navigate renting it from her family and will be around a bunch to see how it all turn out. It meant a lot to me to locate this space.
The garden had very tough sod that I had to break up using a rototiller in order to get started. The poor rototiller had a tough time breaking it up, but it did work!
The quack grass clogged the rototiller so much that I had to clean it out every few passes down the rows. This took a lot more time and effort than I had anticipated. Right before tilling, I added 600 pounds of dusty barn lime by hand. Barn lime is ground up limestone containing calcium and magnesium and is a clean, local, organic material.
Next, I began hauling four truck loads of turkey manure from a local farmer that had been sitting out all winter. The manure smelled strongly but should work well with the aged cow compost that I am using. This turkey manure came via a friend and was greatly appreciated!
After applying lime and turkey manure, I began hauling truckloads of aged cow manure compost and a little horse compost from my family’s farm. Most of the compost I used is really old stuff mixed with kinda old stuff. It works really well in high amounts in our veggie gardens, but I could only apply about 1/3 as much to the hemp garden. Along with the turkey manure, it should be enough for strong plants but not enough nutrients for huge plants like you see out west.
For the garden, I chose to make 6 foot wide rows that will be covered with landscaping fabric and have double rows of hemp planted in them. Alongside the covered rows will be 4 feet of uncovered rows to walk in and give space to the plants. It took about 1.5 truckloads of cow compost per 80-90 foot row and 1/3 a truck load of turkey manure per row.
The soil in the garden is good for the area, but it is very poor farmland due to its high sand content and low content of organic materials. Also, it is very low in calcium has a PH below 6. The limestone should help with adding some calcium and bumping up the PH a little.
The biggest possible yield is not my goal, and I won’t be trying to push these plants too hard. Instead, I will try to work with the soil and organic nutrients that I have available locally and grow more plants per square foot that the bigger growers out west are doing. I will be applying some compost tea and plant teas later in the year to add some boost to the plants.
I ended up with 10 full size rows that are about 80-90 feet long on average and 6 shorter 40 foot rows. Right now, I have only 4 short rows left to cover with cow compost and then I’ll be ready to add landscaping fabric to the whole garden.
Today has been wet again, so I decided to get a little bit more done in town and pick up another 700 lbs of barn lime for the Field plot which is much larger. Hopefully this weekend or so, I’ll have finished adding compost and can get started on adding the landscaping fabric to the amended rows.
Hello, I am starting a blog to share my experiences growing hemp in Wisconsin in 2018 under the Wisconsin Grower’s Pilot Program. Most people who are using hemp are sourcing it from big companies and there is no way to know where that hemp was grown or how it was grown. This blog is about how my hemp is grown, and hopefully, people will get interested in my garden and see that small scale non-chemical farming of hemp is possible and preferable to mass produced hemp.
For me, one of the most important parts of cbd hemp farming is to produce a crop that is safe for people and animals to consume. The hemp I grow is not only going to be chemical free, it will also have the love and attention to detail needed to be the helping and healing herb people need right now. Profit is not the most important thing to me. Creating beauty and helping people is my highest priority. I want my hemp to taste and smell like 2018 in Western Wisconsin.
There is a lot of work to be done to get the fields in shape for this year. I’ve already gotten started, but there is a lot left to do. Join me and see how it grows.
So far, I have sent in my Grower’s and Processor’s Licence applications and am waiting to hear back from the state. They cashed my check three weeks ago, and this week asked for a little more information to complete my application. I expect to get my license in the next week and start seeds immediately after receiving my license.
I have rented two pieces of land. Both are being converted from wild spaces to cultivated spaces. “The Garden” is about 1/3 acre and will be grown in the style of organic veggie gardening that I am familiar with and have practiced for years. It will be mostly covered in landscape fabric and have access to irrigation and have about 750 plants. This will be a very pretty garden and should be easy to maintain. I found this space with the help of a friend from school. I have been doing most everything in this garden by hand with help of a rototiller, my truck, and a couple skid loaders. Later this month, we will be having a sunflower sowing party out here.
The second piece of land, “the Field” is larger and a bit more wild. The field hasn’t been farmed since the early 90’s, and the last farmer was my dad. Its close to my family’s farm and belongs to a friendly neighbor who is also very excited about hemp. This field will be grown more like a small farm field and I am planning to use mulch and straw to keep weeds away. This field is just under an acre and will have around 2000 plants. I have had help clearing and tilling the field from a local guy I found on craigslist. It was just too big to do with my tiller. Tilling may be done as soon as today! This field will have lime applied by hand and compost spread by tractor.
I have a lot of work to do, and I look forward to keeping this blog updated and full of information.
Today, I’m heading out to get lime to apply to the field by hand.