adam crowe

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since Aug 18, 2019
Hi im an agronomist for large scale hemp CBD farms as well as a homesteader with exotic fruit orchards run entirely on permaculture principles
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Recent posts by adam crowe

phillip or anyone -  what living covers would you recommend I try to implement, water is very expensive out here and so is the land.  I would love to see more covers in use out here instead of black plastic. Nut grass pops right through plastic it is pretty crazy. My strategy is too ammend, till, then water for three weeks, flame weed the nut grass that comes up, lay plastic and plant.  In a living cover bed i am thinking of low lying covers, white clover/buckwheat for off seasons.   summer covers would also have to persist in summer with the moisture from drip lines i am looking into kurupia and dimandia but seeds are pricey. we have a well but it is quite saline and soil tests already show way to much chloride in soil.  I am gonna apply gypsum to buffer that but it would be great to use our well water if we could figure out how to do it and not complicate soil problems related to excess salt.  RO is out of the question cause of the waste water it produces. Thanks again y'all
1 year ago
thanks stephen very exciting indeed.  i went ahead and ordered biological farming book.  never know when you might learn something that saves you some troubles! thanks for tip
1 year ago
redhawk-  yes tilling every crop, transplants the majority of the time, raised rows with one season black plastic that the nutgrasses poke right through.  Little chance for soil protecting living covers, but that is one of my obsessions I will trial on  a small scale.  Mostly flat out here so not much erosion from rain, probably mostly from winds actually. thanks for your interest sorry if i dont reply immediately s*** is crazy out here!
1 year ago
Thanks so much for all your feedback I have been swamped trying to keep up with demands out here.   We had the first meeting with rodale out here and honestly I think they were a bit blown away out how hard it is for farmers in Ventura. Rent costs basically make most eco friendly cropping options very uncommon.  I am trying to work out how I can present concepts like soil biology improvement reducing fertilizer costs,  low lying living mulches that can be grown with celery during rainy season (as it is quite dry most of the year and water is $$$$) then tilled in after harvest to save money on nitrogen. Most of these guys dont have soil ethics, im talking bout driscol berries and large players.  If farmers are gonna try some of these methods they have to not go bankrupt doing so. Maybe no till systems for hemp cbd using a roller crimper if rodale brings one out.  Conventional Farmers have a unique oppurtunity to make substantially more money off of hemp CBD than many crops  and transistion to organics these next few years until big ag drives the price way down.  This could be the one transistion oppurtunity they ever have that doesnt break their pocket with labor costs for the 3 years it takes to transition. They say $2000 vs $200 for weed control organic vs conventional. To top it all off mexico is importing dirt cheap organics meaning that some years farmers box their organic as conventional cause they get a better price!  Most of these guys are in the hole with little hope, it is hard to have the balls to recommend anything to them.  I guess that the flaw is in cities, economies, large scale farms, and everything else we do. too much too many too mechanized.  It is disheartening trying to think how to make something work that just needs to change. You all have been so great in lending me your ears and advice, I am taking notes!.  Im bringing in compost teas, rock dusts, mycos.  Trying to figure out the best ways, this is no easy task.  thanks again
1 year ago
Thanks you all for your feedback.  Your suggestions are interesting food for thought. I appreciate any and all thoughts coming my way. One thing I should mention is that this land is leased out and so many long term water harvesting strategies (keyline designs etc) that would require greatly modifying the land are out of the question.  This industry could be bought out by big ag and corporate america in a mtter of years.  The company I work for knows this and intends to sell to the highest bidder when the time comes.  ONe very exciting thing is that rodale institute is setting up a research facility on our property so I do see some room to experiment coming our way (cover crops, no till, living mulches).  Along the lines of microbes, minerals, and increasing the soil food web and protecting soil I feel i can get creative. As far as making closed loop systems and utilizing tree crops not so much so, unless it could be temporary.  More than likely 5 years from now these fields will be monocropped organic berries and celery.
1 year ago
Hi,  I am working as agronomist for first large scale certified organic hemp farms California. We are in Ventura co southern california and people farm like the dustbowl never happened out here.  I am in a unique position to change some of the farming principles and apply things I have learned in permaculture.  I am however taken back when I think about applying something on 50 acres let alone 500.  I have developed food forest and homesteads and know permaculture but this is not your average agriculture.  No one really cover crops cause of the 'value' of the land. They crop perpetually with very little rotation.  We can bring in compost but it is not always cost effective or practical. We have a compost yard and i am hoping to apply some biodynamic composting principles and make our own compost but again some of these plots are hundreds of acres of hemp.  It is beautiful but still a sitting duck when considering that we have few organic pest control options out here. I am using beneficials and rely on plant health to protect us. I am getting the plants what they need via fertigation and some foliar application.  I want to cost effectively (considering labor/price of ammendment/sourcing)  enhance the soil life on a large scale and implement practices on small parts of lots that will prove their worth in saving money while enhancing the soil and expand them outward till that is how all the acres are farmed.  I need help.  What would you guys do if you were forced to make the best out a large scale monocropping scenario or even on a smaller scale that could be prove its worth to be bumped up.  I have room to experiment but must proceed cautiously and wisely. Thank you
Adam
1 year ago