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Are you growing this year?

Updated: Jul 22, 2022

Are you growing this year? James here, and I’m here to tell you that I’ve grown

quite a few plants at Laughing Dog Farms, but I’ve grown as a person

even more. Running a commercial cannabis farm can be challenging.

As the farm has become more successful and the demand for Bio

Harmonic Cannabis has increased, I’ve had to adapt to quickly

changing regulations and the rigors of sustainable expansion. I always

joke that running a farm is 10% growing plants and 90% fixing things.

Broken pumps and fences, tractor maintenance, and clogged sprayers

are par for the course, but sometimes the things which need repair

cannot be fixed with wrenches and elbow grease.

Working with plants is a cool breeze compared to working with

human beings, which can feel more like riding on a roller coaster full

of kids who’ve just been in a hot dog eating contest. This is further

complicated when those humans are friends or family, as we are

often reluctant to bring up issues that we are having. Maintaining

positive and healing energy in the garden is fundamental to growing

nutrient-dense food and therapeutic medicine (and maintaining

sanity). Every time I have tried to approach commercial cultivation

from a maximum productivity standpoint, I have faced challenges

that threaten the peace and tranquility of the garden. And in my

humble opinion, the plants and all the other organisms in the system

can feel this anxious energy. These days I put much more thought

into preserving peace in the garden. I want everyone involved to feel

excited to be there caring for these beautiful plants and nurturing

the soil so full of life and intelligence. To grow the most therapeutic

medicine, I believe that I must consider the vibe in the garden as much

as I consider the amount of water given.

Here's 8 Healthy Tips to Kick start Your Garden

#1 Play Music

Plants love music, so buy a Bluetooth speaker (water-resistant is nice)

that can be left in the garden and listen to some tunes with your plants

and humans. I love it when I see my partners and employees dancing

around while working in the garden.

#2 Hang Out

Set some time aside to be with the plants. I will spend a few hours a

week scouting for issues like bugs, diseases, and deficiencies, but even

beyond this, it is nice to spend time with plants with no purpose other

than connecting. The plants love being touched and talked to, and we

feel good when we make time for this.

#3 Harmonic Field

Put some quartz crystals like amethyst around the garden, especially

if using electricity or if near a city. Quartz is pretty special; did you

know that the original transistor radios were called crystal sets? The

frequency of crystals is soothing to many people and plants.

#4 Check-In

Friends, family, employees, and contractors all love it when you show

interest in their lives while maintaining a calm and loving presence,

as that is so uplifting to those around. At the farm, we love to have

weekly meetings where we set goals and intentions for the week to

come and go over what went well in the previous week and what we

had trouble with. This always starts with a 5-minute group meditation

and sharing some things we are grateful for. Quick daily check-ins

are great too. Communication is paramount, and if you are having

trouble managing tasks and collaborating, I suggest checking out apps

like Basecamp for streamlining these. Find out what people enjoy

doing and set them loose. Some people love trimming, and others

despise it. It seems reasonable to expect a superior job done in less

time from someone who isn’t doing it begrudgingly. Train people well

and be available to support them without standing over them and

micromanaging them. Neuroscience suggests that rewards may be

more effective than punishments when it comes to motivating people,

so let’s make sure that we let people know when they’ve done a good

job and reserve how much we criticize.

#5 Land Steward

If you haven’t already, consider growing organically. It feels awesome

to know that you are doing things less damaging to the environment,

which can be taken a step further when you start moving toward

growing regeneratively. Growing medicine while simultaneously

healing your local ecosystem is the bee’s knees. Start small. Balance is

beautiful, and the path to mastery is slow and winding. For example,

moving from conventional to regenerative agriculture is a process

that is best done with guidance from experts. Luckily there are many

sources of free and low cost training on this subject and nothing beats

hands-on experience so go volunteer at a local regenerative garden or

attend a Korean Natural Farming or Permaculture design course.