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Culture of Collaboration

https://yn4.8eb.myftpupload.comDitch surveyors on duty

Last week we attended a meeting of acequeros in Santa Fe. Acequeros live and farm along the 400-year-old, community-owned irrigation systems In Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado; the acequias. Acequia communities share the idea that people, land and water belong to each other and that everyone suffers when they are separated from each other. Good ideas, good health and Omigod, really good food, are something we want to be part of. Luckily, we have friends who farm along the Rio Grande who could use a beneficial, high-value crop, and we thought we could offer some advice, since we have three years of mistakes and successes to share.

New Mexico recently legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp, much like Colorado did five years ago, and interest in the new-old crop is intense. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture regulates and supports hemp growers, just as in Colorado. And like many Coloradans, New Mexicans who have had to grow marijuana illegally for the last 80 years are reluctant to fully trust the government and take advantage of the new mainstream culture that is growing around hemp. Hopefully, the government will provide acequeros protection against water raids for short-term profits. 

For small-plot hemp growers, collaboration provides fertile ground for growing integrated economies. Because the hemp plant produces everything from superfoods to medicine to clothes and car bodies, it can revitalize once self-sufficient local economies and provide value-added products to export. Pooling small crops together can gain access to privately owned extractors and get a bulk discount in price. Pooling products under one brand name can increase market presence and recognition.

It’s a principle proven since prehistoric times: living networks of land, water and occupants are the basis for survival and wealth. There is no such thing as independence in nature. Lone wolves do not live long or well, but a pack of wolves can feed on just about anything they want. As the economies of extraction and separation reach their limits of survival, there will be struggles and suffering, but the combination of the acequia culture of collaboration with diverse hemp products to sell can be the keystone of a new-but-ancient economic structure, one that is based on proven natural laws. Collaborative economies will be naturally diverse, inter-related, multi-cultural, and they will survive and prosper. Who knows? Maybe some of the thousands of small towns all across the western USA that have been dried up by the separation idea of “get big or get out” will be revived by the crop of a million uses and the idea of acequia collaboration.

Ed Berg


Salida Hemp Company

Salida, Colorado

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Why Wild Grown Hemp?

Hemp, primarily Cannabis Sativa, has been a part of human life for at least 10,000 years, as food, clothing, and for emotional stability and pleasure. But that’s just the extreme short-term involvement of Cannabis in our past, our pre-human past. The plant chemicals we find useful and enjoyable are present in our endocrine and central nervous systems. Our bodies even produce them in small quantities. That indicates a very long-term association through adaptive evolution. In fact, these chemicals have been identified in virtually all vertebrates, even in fossils going back 550 million years.

Adaptive evolution tests new features and behaviors for their survival advantage. That includes legs and leaves, fins and flowers, nutritious and defensive chemicals, and complex collaborations between all plants and animals. It is not driven by profits and promotions, stock values and advertisements. It weeds out negative side effects. This is why beneficial plant chemicals like cannabinoids in natural concentrations have virtually no bad side effects. There are no naturally addictive plant chemicals, unless humans concentrate them in specialized hybrids… like opium derivatives.

We at Salida Hemp Company grow our CBD hemp plants in as close to natural conditions as possible. Yes, they are hybrids developed to contain less THC (the psychoactive chemical) and more CBD (the anti-inflammatory, regulative chemical) than wild hemp. But our plants are much closer to wild strains than those developed to be grown in greenhouses for maximum THC or CBD content and volume. They are hardy and resilient due to their chemical properties, and that transmits to your health in many, many ways.

We do not protect the plants from being preyed upon by insects, instead promoting a healthy diversity of predator insects (like lady bugs) to eat the bugs that eat our crops. We don’t worry too much about weeds because most plant associations are beneficial, not competitive. We do use fertilizer, but only natural fertilizers like manure and fish emulsion.

Yes, we harvest fewer pounds per acre. But that is a purely arbitrary measure of value. Our extracts test clean, pure and healthy, with a high natural balance of the Cannabinoid chemicals and terpenes that give our extracts their natural flavor and aroma… and effectiveness.

We hope you will join our growing community of pleased customers!

Ed Berg, CEO and Field Hand

Salida Hemp Company

Salida, Colorado

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Harvest 2018

Welcome to harvest week. I mean month. We’re harvesting by hand again this year because our process yielded such fantastic whole plant extract last year. It has been some big days with an everchanging crew of volunteers.

Thank you to all the many helping hands and big hearts who helped us get this crop out of the field and into the barn and then into bags for transport!

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How we got Here

Ed Berg came to hemp in 2015 as a conservationist looking for ways to restore overgrazed western rangeland. He had been studying and practicing permaculture for years and helped stand against the Nestle bid to take spring water out of our valley to truck to their bottling factories outside of Denver. While Nestle won that fight, Ed became even more of land conservationist and environmentalist.

Ed & Joe

He was introduced to agricultural hemp as a viable crop for ranchers looking to enhance their land management practices and hold onto their land. The economic and healing power of medicinal hemp has big potential for Rocky Mountain ranchers looking for ways to protect rangeland from the onslaught of development.

We got our hands on some hemp seed and planted our first crop in 2016. Actually, Ed did all the real labor that year. Due mostly to a lack of experience, that 2016 crop fed a healthy community of red ants and pocket gophers. In 2017, Paula, Becky and our friend Jerry stepped up and we got a half acre planted. That was the year of the blessed rain and most of that crop drowned. What we did harvest was high quality. It has an extremely good terpene and flavonoid profile and very high CBD.

This year, 2018 we’ve expanded. With the wonderful good fortune of the addition of Big Mike, our farm manager, and some good advice and assistance from our colleague Ford and his crew, we got 2.5 acres planted before the drought hit. Then we hauled water and paid for water to be delivered. Lucky for us, hemp is one tough weed, because those girls flourished! We’ve got another beautiful crop!

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2018 Harvest Prep

After a water-challenged summer, we have some BURLY plants in the field. Less than we wanted, but we’re learning, right? And OMG, the buds are growing faster than any other flowers I’ve ever seen. It’s very encouraging, after watching our irrigation ditch dry up and our well get shut in.

Autumn is in the air, so we’re working on keeping those buds growing for the last of the season, and we’re closing in the old dairy barn for drying the crop. Lots of work still to do before bringing the girls in for drying and shucking!

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Harvest 2017

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Just what is CBD?

What is CBD? CBD stands for cannabidiol, a compound found in the cannabis plant.  It is a constituent of the hemp plant that can be used in topical creams, edible oils and supplements.  Even though it has been used for thousands of years around the world, in our modern world it is surrounded by fears, misinformation and mystery.

How does it help me (or my dog or child)?  CBD works with the endogenous cannabinoid system, which directly interacts with the immune and nervous systems in the body, kinda like grease in the cogs of a machine.  It helps the systems function more smoothly.  The human body produces its own endocannabinoids, but not in amounts that our modern, stress filled lives demand.  The highest concentrations of endocannabinoids can actually be found in mother’s milk.  One of the actions of CBD is to reduce the breakdown of the body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoids. Scientific clinical research is proving CBD’s effectiveness as a treatment in a wide range of health conditions such as inflammation, arthritis, diabetes, MS, chronic pain, PTSD, depression, anxiety, epilepsy and other neurological issues and many skin conditions.

Does CBD get you ‘high?’ No, CBD does not have the psychoactive effects of THC.  In fact, CBD ameliorates the effects of THC.  Yes, it comes from a plant closely related to marajuana.  But just like your sister Nancy won’t sleep with your boyfriend like your cousin Bunny might, CBD is trusted helper and healer while THC is all about letting the good times roll.  Not that I’ve got anything against a good time . . .  but we’re talking about CBD here, right?

Is CBD legal?  Yes, sort of.  CBD is legal to purchase as long as the product contains less than 0.03% THC.  Our products are all well below that legal limit.  Growing hemp for commercial purposes is illegal at the federal level (although the 2018 Farm Bill that just passed the Senate and will be before the House soon will make it legal nationwide).  Growing CBD is legal in Colorado and regulated by the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

Is CBD safe?  Is it safe for my child and my dog?  It is safe for mammals.  In fact, CBD came to national prominence with the discovery of its ability to lessen and even halt seizures in children with drug-resistant epilipsy.  And it is impossible to overdose on CBD.  That being said, at a certain point, taking more won’t do more good and once your system is full up, you’ll need less to continue to feel benefits.  No one knows your body better than you, and we are not doctors making a prescription.  We suggest you start low, say half a dropper full of the 100mg coconut oil per day, until you feel an improvement.  Take more until you don’t feel increased improvement and then back down.

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Hello Salida!

Nosy neighbors!

Well, it sure has taken me a while to get this website operational.  Considering it is my first ever blog/website, I’m kinda proud.  Although I bet in a few years, months even, I’ll look back and be somewhat . . . well, who knows, right?

Still gotta get the shopping cart working, but everything else is up and running!