Flower-Side Chats Part 3: A Q&A with Harvey Craig, CEO Harvey’s All Naturals and Co-Founder of Boot Ranch Farms

In this “Flower-Side Chats” collection of content articles, Inexperienced interviews integrated hashish businesses and flower makes that are bringing distinctive small business types to the market. Particular interest is targeted on how these organizations combine ground breaking practices in buy to navigate a promptly transforming landscape of regulatory, supply chain and shopper need.

Big-scale agricultural techniques can just take a toll on soil health and fitness primary to inefficiencies more than the extended time period. Harvey’s All Naturals is a Colorado-primarily based organization specializing in high quality farm-to-desk total spectrum CBD products. Harvey’s receives all of its hemp from Boot Ranch Farms, an off-grid sustainable hemp farm in Southern Colorado supplied by an artesian effectively.

We spoke with Harvey Craig, CEO Harvey’s All Naturals and co-founder of Boot Ranch Farms, to discover additional about the advantages of regenerative agriculture, how he thinks about soil health, and how they deliver their CBD goods. Harvey began Boot Ranch Farms in 2014 soon after the passing of the Farm Invoice and Harvey’s All Naturals followed soon thereafter.

Aaron Green: How did you get concerned in the hashish and hemp business?

Harvey Craig: I got associated at a quite young age, as the youngest of 8 little ones, 7 of which are boys, I was launched to hashish on the cannabis facet very first. As an engineer by the decades, I’ve normally been involved in producing very effective increasing systems for cannabis.

Harvey Craig, CEO Harvey’s All Naturals and co-founder of Boot Ranch Farms

In the early 2000s, I learned about CBD a minor little bit through experimenting with cannabis strains to assist a close friend who experienced Parkinson’s and also via the research carried out by Raphael Mechoulem, an natural and organic chemist and professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. In 2014, when the Farm Invoice manufactured hemp legal, I dropped all the things and went into it since I felt “this is what I have to have to be executing.”

Inexperienced: What is sustainable farming necessarily mean to you?

Craig: Sustainable farming to me indicates placing soil overall health and liable pure growing tactics at the forefront of all agriculture – regenerative processes for soil, in a nutshell. To me, soil wellness is one of the most significant difficulties in the United States suitable now. By regenerating and building our soils residing, wholesome and with a prosperous nutrient base we create an ecosystem that is superior for human overall health and health all all-around.

Green: What do you necessarily mean especially when you say, “soil overall health?”

Craig: Soil is living. A superior organic soil has a living microbiotic construction inside it. There’s a dwelling habitat that kinds inside our soil around the decades. Big scale agriculture in lots of instances has depleted or killed this residing composition as a result of readily accessible fertilizers and tilling tactics.

Farmers realize the soil. There are methods we can undertake that are assisting our dwelling soils and assisting the microbiotic habitat to prosper. Methods these as no-until technologies, rotating crops, utilizing cover crops, not currently being a monocrop, responsible water use, nutritious fertilizer and pesticide technologies, small processing, the list goes on and on…

When we chat about this issue identified as sustainability, I consider it’s incredibly vital that we understand there are two sides of hashish. There’s the cannabis and then there is the hemp. We just cannot put people two collectively – they are governed incredibly in another way. Hemp became legal by way of the Farm Invoice and is ruled by the Department of Agriculture. Hemp is just like any other crop out there genuinely. That means we can combine hemp in with other crops. It’s quite a lot like corn and other crops in how it is grown on a huge scale, industrial basis.

Cannabis on the other hand is ruled by each individual state’s regulatory commission. Individuals polices make it pretty really hard to blend in with common agriculture. So, when it arrives to the cannabis facet, unfortunately, it should be a monocrop. Most cannabis is grown in pots and pots are wonderful. Nonetheless, if you are just developing in a pot and then throwing your soil absent, that is not extremely sustainable. As it sits right now, in the marijuana sector there is truly no sustainability, sad to say. The electricity use for the lights in indoor grows, for example, makes a large carbon footprint and load on the electrical grid. I’m not striving to place indoor developing down, but which is the way it is. The only way I foresee sustainability in the marijuana facet of cannabis is to let loose a minimal bit on regulation and allow it to develop into a component of ordinary agricultural procedures.

Green: What is it about tilling that degrades the soil high quality?

Craig: When we till our soil, we’re turning the organisms in the soil up and we’re allowing the sunlight to dry them out. If it is not finished appropriately, you eliminate that soil construction.

Now, these minor microorganisms in our soil make a wholesome soil, but it does not occur instantly, this requires several years to generate. No person has the time anymore, everybody’s “go go go” and “make it occur instantly”. So that will get ruined. Now we have all these lifeless soils that everybody’s increasing in and growers transform to manufacturing unit-made fertilizers with quickly accessible nutrition.

When we are talking about hashish, we cannot just look at monocropping. If you mature one crop in the same soil around and around, the soil is going to get depleted. One particular of the most important factors that we deplete is nitrogen and growing other crops, these as clover, can replenish that nitrogen. Increasing go over crops guards the soil from the sun, creates nitrogen for the soil, and retains the drinking water inside of the soil.

Rather of tilling, you can rotate with crops like root vegetables, radishes and other points that have deep root constructions. Rather of tearing them up, just allow them degrade organically and go again into the soil. These deep root buildings will also help aerate the soil.

Green: What is a farmer’s very first strategy?

Craig: Farmers want their land to be wholesome. Correct farmers have a oneness with the earth and recognize the earth. The farmer’s to start with approach retains the farmer associated in generating new systems for agriculture.

Eco-friendly: Let’s say you’re a farmer that has land or recently acquired land which is been industrially grown on. How would you take that land and start contemporary with a regenerative approach?

Craig: The 1st factor you have to do is take soil samples and send out them to a lab. That’ll explain to you what you’re operating with. Also, recognizing a little historical past about the land allows as effectively. Was it used for grazing? Was it utilized for developing corn? What was it made use of for? Were natural and organic procedures utilized?

Then, there are many matters you can do to begin to regenerate your soil, but it usually takes time. In many scenarios, folks really don’t want to acquire that time. But what we’re finding out is, the people today and the farmers that do get that time generally just take a hit monetarily for the initial two or 3 yrs. Immediately after that, after that framework is managed, the normal health and fitness of the soil can be replenished. Crops will expand better, and they won’t commit as a lot income on fertilizers and pesticides in the lengthy operate for the reason that the microbiotic framework in the soil is making a healthful ecosystem. When we damage that ecosystem, it doesn’t appear back effortlessly or quickly. If there’s a very little little bit there, it can be regenerated with the right procedures.

Eco-friendly: I understand that the Boot Ranch is an off-the-grid farm. What was your drive for possibly likely off-grid or remaining off-grid?

Craig: I have a qualifications in substitute energies and engineering, and when generating Boot Ranch Farms there was a good deal that went into the sustainability facet of it. The farm is extremely considerably absent from the energy grid for starters. So, an investment in photo voltaic for electrical power was dollars perfectly invested. My assumed procedure was, why would I spend in bringing the wires in when I could basically help save dollars and assets by building a incredibly successful photo voltaic method and not be tied to the grid? Our farm is self-sustaining without the need of getting related to any grid, which is one of the key motives for remaining off-grid.

Inexperienced: I comprehend the farm is equipped by an artesian perfectly. How do you observe your water quality?

Craig: Perfectly, we’re really lucky. Present natural water quality is a single of the principal reasons we made a decision to develop in the San Luis Valley. When you’re starting off a little something new, you have to seem at your financial side of things. Investing in a hemp farm is incredibly unique than the cannabis aspect due to the fact you will not make as a great deal funds for every pound of solution marketed. So, you have to check out your spending budget and not commit far too substantially, or you are by no means likely to make a revenue.

The self-sustaining artisanal very well and h2o rights have been current on the assets. There’s no pumping essential for it and the water goes into a 10,000-gallon holding tank, exactly where we can monitor and exam for h2o high quality. In buy to water our plants, we use a pump/drip water system that materials water to every unique plant. It’s really economical in comparison to most watering programs out there, these kinds of as flood irrigation or pivots, and actually doesn’t use a heck of a whole lot of h2o.

Inexperienced: Are you increasing in open air or greenhouses?

Craig: We increase in two 3,000 square feet industrial-grade greenhouses at Boot Ranch Farms. Greenhouse One particular has all the bells and whistles which include heating, cooling, light-weight deprivation, supplemental lights, automatic controls and a lot more. That greenhouse permits us to mimic Mother Mother nature a minimal little bit. We can get up to 6 harvests all through the system of the year in that greenhouse. Having said that, in fact, we get about four.

In addition, we have a second greenhouse that is established about 100 toes absent and established up to retain plants increasing on mother nature’s cycle. We can move groups of mature plants to Greenhouse One particular immediately after every single harvest for numerous flowering cycles. Last of all, in between greenhouses, we have a 10,000 square foot courtyard that is guarded with shade fabric and other factors to enable protect all those plants from the aspects. In late October, all remaining crops in both equally greenhouses and the courtyard come to be mature and all set to harvest thanks to shorter days produced by mom character.

Environmentally friendly: Do you insure your crops?

Craig: We have not. Hemp is a new market and we have not observed superior crop insurance policy.

Eco-friendly: Do you cultivate your own genetics?

Craig: We work with some other organizations in this article in Colorado to present genetics. Steady genetics are extremely important on the hemp facet mainly because we need to have to belief that they are likely to hold the THC ranges down. On the cannabis side, that element doesn’t issue so substantially

There are diverse strains that have been designed that I absolutely like, and I’ve tried to adhere with them and continue to be with that seed stock. One of them is termed The Wife and the other Cherry Wine. Most of the ideal hemp I have identified is centered on the Cherry pressure. Folks are normally on the lookout for superior CBD. I’d alternatively have a decrease CBD amount in the 8% to 12% vary. Some thing larger in the 14% to 20% vary has a better prospect of making a product or service with much more than the lawful sum of THC.

Inexperienced: Is Harvey’s All Naturals thoroughly supplied by Boot Ranch Farms?

Craig: Certainly, it is. There are a whole lot of points that go into a quality item and we concentration on that at Boot Ranch. We’re smaller, not attempting to contend with the huge-scale marketplace. Regretably, a substantial proportion of the solutions out on the market occur from huge-scale industrial hemp grows. We aim on very long-term medicinal benefit and improve very large-quality hemp and we attempt not to degrade it in any way, shape or kind in the course of processing.

Environmentally friendly: How numerous square feet or acres is the Boot Ranch Farm?

Craig: Boot Ranch farm is about 260 acres. We only develop on less than 3 of it.

Eco-friendly: What is your extraction process?

Craig: We use cold liquor extraction. We do not distill to independent our liquor from the hemp oil. We use what’s named a roto vape. That cold processing preserves our terpenes, it preserves our complete-spectrum hashish oil profile and doesn’t totally decarboxylate our CBDa. We want a significant CBDa share due to the fact there are quite a few issues that CBDa is good for when it arrives to extensive time period medicinal reasons.

Green: Are you processing your very own hemp?

Craig: No, we sub that component of it out. What I’ve discovered in this industry is a few principal sections: 1- the farming 2- the extraction, and 3- the products line. These are a few very different procedures and call for specialised experience in on their own. Each and every is a massive investment and it is incredibly challenging to do it all. I determined to operate with other folks on the extraction part of it. They have the expertise, and we pay out them nicely to do what they do.

Environmentally friendly: Alright, good. And then any remaining text for Ag Working day?

Craig: Assistance your tiny farmer in nutrient-prosperous agricultural products.

Inexperienced: Excellent. That concludes the job interview, Harvey!

Craig: Thank you pretty much!