Organic Entourage

We used a hand spade to knife in organic compost and introduce air into the water logged soil.
We removed the plastic "mulch" on the low lying areas to try and get them to dry out quicker.
The young cows like to herd together as it gives them a sense of security and helps keep flies off. To stay cool, they always make a mud puddle next to the water tank.
We're experimenting spraying compost tea using a Honda WX10 water pump and Turbo TeeJet TTI11005 (brown) 110 degree nozzles controlled by a 12V DC brass ZW20 solenoid valve. After experimenting, we were able to get a narrow 2-foot wide spray pattern that focused on the hemp. However, we're thinking of getting rid of the nozzles altogether and using a hand-operated spray nozzle to further focus the spray.
Standing puddles in field from so much rain necessitates removing plastic to try and salvage stunted hemp plants.
Based upon the GeoTea brewer, we built our own compost tea brewer using 1-1/2" PVC and a SweetWater 0.5hp blower. If we had it to do over again, we would seriously consider using round membrane 9" air disc diffusers as in the brewers. There's no such thing as too much air when it comes to compost tea.
Our bit helping offset honey bee colony collapse disorder.
Unlike conventional dairies where calves are fed milk "replacers", the calves on the organic dairy we are working with feeds freshly bottled whole raw milk.

Update - I got the USB microscope working better and even used our high power microscope for compost tea. I've not seen any mites or what I understand to be eggs. I'll look again tomorrow. Right now, we're leaning toward heat stress and possibly a nutrient deficiency. - Update End

Some of our hemp plants aren't looking well. We're really concerned they're showing signs of broad mites. If there are any experts out there, or folks with links to material that may be helpful, please comment. If necessary, using the video time is probably the best way to reference a plant or image. I'm going back out to try and look at more leaves under the microscope. Thanks!

Broad Mites are Real

Cyclamen,Russet,Broad Mites.....A Pictoral Guide
The effects of too much water are clearly seen as we drive down the rows. Mounding saved this CBD hemp plant on the end of a very wet row. Next year, we'll definitely be mounding to mitigate the type of stunted growth seen in the video.
We've had a few dozen of our best CBD hemp plants eaten by what we believe are groundhogs (woodchucks). Although deer do eat hemp, we had installed a Mega fence pre-season. We captured a groundhog after the fact with trail cams as it paused momentarily to look over its shoulder at our air dancer before running off. Our guess is that it was groundhogs that munched on our plants but we're not willing to lose anymore plants to confirm this by turning off the air puppet :o

Deer Feast on Industrial Hemp Crop in Oregon, Destroy 96% of the Plants

Meet Sugar Bob, Everyone's Favorite Pot-Eating, Perpetually-Stoned Deer

Mega Fence
My wife and I always get a kick watching the young heifers figuring out the lay of the land. Up until this point, they've only known confined quarters and dried feed. The fields are wet and cover is only a few inches tall when they're born in spring. They have to wait for the pasture to grow up enough to start rotational grazing.

When they get moved to their new "salad" for the day, it's common for them to go into a mad dash around the new paddock. Mmmm, fresh pasture. Today I spent a few minutes showing one of the more curious heifers how to lift the rubber lid over the mineral feeder so she can teach the others.

Managed Intensive Rotational Grazing
Flyover of one of the hemp fields as we finish up drip irrigation installation even though there is standing water in places - too much rain! This 2 acre field sits near the middle of 160 acres of organic land with a tree buffer on all sides so it's well protected against chemical over-spray from conventional fields.
Here in Wisconsin, we got 5" of rain in June 2019 when the average is 3". As a result, we estimate that 45% of the CBD hemp plants in one field, and 65% in the other, have stunted growth.
We put out an air puppet today in the hopes of stopping groundhogs and the like from munching on our CBD hemp in the field.
We've had way too much rain this year. Although developed for grapes, the UC Davis Gubler-Thomas Powdery Mildew Model suggests our hemp plants are at risk for powdery mildew. Controlling mold is so important to producing quality hemp. As such, we're spraying with wettable sulfur today as a preventative.
For the last 6 years, young heifers and a few steers have been grazed on the pasture close to the barn using rotational grazing.This year is no exception. Although, we did partition off 1.5 acres of the pasture for CBD hemp. The ten 6-month old heifers (young females) and steers have made the short 5 mile trip from our friends and partners on their organic dairy. Happily, none of girls "escaped" during unloading saving us from having to make wild dashes on the 4-wheelers to round them up! Yes, there's a learning curve to everything.

Managed Intensive Rotational Grazing
Experimenting with FIMing the tops of hemp plants to increase the number of branches and consequently the number of colas. Some experts say it increases yield while others like Jorge Cervantes say it doesn't.
A look at the hemp plants two weeks after being transplanted into the field.
A 4-foot thick rock mass below stores heat blown into it during the day.
Using a hole punch to install press-in drip tape connectors.
Our simple two-zone drip irrigation manifold with a coupled section that can be removed in order for a Dosatron metering device for fertigation to be installed.I elected to place the pressure reducer last in line so the timer, Dosatron, and spin-clean filter are under higher pressures nearer to the middle of their stated operating ranges.
Taking a break from planting 1,500 CBD hemp seedlings.
Setting up and looking at compost tea under a microscope.
The right ingredients and good aeration are critical to making good compost tea.


Created 1 month, 4 weeks ago.

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CategoryDIY & Gardening

We care deeply about our land, about our planet, about the CBD hemp we grow. Practices that nurture soil biology in turn heal the land and produce robust plants with the fullest of entourage effects. We take great pride in our efforts to nurture the land under our care. Unlike so many other operations that claim to use “sustainable, ethical and organic farming practices” in a paragraph on their websites, we invite in everyone to see our operation first hand, to see we are more than just words on a page.

Soil biology is key to vibrant soils and robust plants. The starting point for Organic Entourage is our certified organic land. In addition, we continually work to improve our soils with the use of composted cow manure, compost teas, cover crops, benign pest/disease controls, and other restorative practices. Our goal is to go well beyond organic in our efforts to revitalize the soil micro-biology and rebuild organic matter.

For example, we use composted cow manure, from our organic dairy partners, on our hemp fields and pastures. This is unlike other organic operations that truck in manure tainted with the chemicals and drugs from conventional dairies, feed lots, and the like – a practice that is technically "organic" but clearly less than ideal. Likewise, we do not bring in specialty soil that is placed in large pots and is regularly discarded and replaced. Nor do we grow our plants on barren fields devoid of microbe sustaining vegetative growth. Similarly, we do not grow our plants indoors under artificial light in soilless mediums (hydroponics). While all of these practices technically qualify as being "organic", we believe it’s an imperative to do better.

We have also taken on the work of sharing what we learn and know with others. We do this as a way of educating potential consumers about what to look for in quality CBD hemp. We also do this to hopefully help and challenge other smaller scale growers. It is our conviction that a robust farming community is built from a network of small farms, not a handful of mega-farms.

Join us in brewing excellent compost tea proven out with microscopy, turning organic manure piles into excellent compost by monitoring pile temperatures, employing rotational grazing to keep cows healthy, and all the other works we do to heal the land by rejuvenating soil biology and growing CBD hemp with the fullest of entourage effects. Join us as responsible stewards of the land.

Thank you.