“All of our plants grow in organic soil. For us the only way to grow plants.” – with these words we introduce our production.
In fact, we go a big step further than that: we rely on worm cultures, probiotic microorganisms and various beneficial insects to provide the healthiest and most natural environment possible for plants with a living soil. With this decision against mineral fertilizers and poisons we create a “living soil”.
What is “Living Soil”?
Behind the concept of “Living Soil” is the idea of combining the advantages of a natural soil, as it is present in outdoor cultivation, with the safety of indoor cultivation. This allows the plants to grow in a healthy and balanced soil, while still being protected from harmful environmental factors all year round in a regulated climate.
Caring for a living soil and the plants growing in it involves many different methods. Probiotic microorganisms are added to the soil, making the nutrients present in the soil more available to the plants. Nutrients are added to the soil through compost, compost tea and organic fertilizers. Three different worm crops improve and loosen the soil. Around the plant a layer of cultivation residues and herbs protects the soil from drying out. At the same time, this “mulch” is food for the creatures in the soil. Live beneficial insects are added against any pests. The use of toxic pesticides is not an option, as they would cause massive damage to all life in the soil. The poisons can not distinguish between pests and beneficial insects.
Unlike outdoor production, the temperature, light and humidity can still be precisely regulated, allowing for a year-round and regular harvest.
Sustainable cultivation on living soil
Growing on living soil is not only more natural, it is also much more sustainable. Nutrient cycling driven by soil life allows us to completely eliminate the use of synthetic fertilizers. Synthetic fertilizers are produced in a very energy-intensive way from fossil substances and materials from environmentally harmful mining – a huge burden on our environment. Besides extraction, the addition of synthetic fertilizers is also a big problem. The existing cycles of nature are strongly disturbed by the addition of minerals, since a large part of the fertilizers used does not end up in the plants but in the water cycle. This problem is much smaller with organic fertilizers, as they can be completely degraded by plants and microorganisms.
Since a living soil is built up and maintained over years, it does not need to be replaced after each harvest – unlike in conventional farming. This massively reduces resource consumption, as less soil has to be prepared and transported.
Another advantage of a living soil: water consumption is smaller. The soil can absorb more water due to its structure characterized by life. As a result, the plants need to be watered less often. An additional layer of mulch on top of the soil will keep water in the system even longer because less water will evaporate.
Overall, then, by mimicking natural ecosystems, resource efficiency can be achieved to enable sustainable cultivation of hemp (or indeed other crops).
Is it worth it?
Why has the use of living soils not yet become widespread? Well, there are several reasons, but in our opinion they cannot justify conventional cultivation.
A big obstacle is the knowledge needed to keep a living soil in balance. We are open to share our knowledge of techniques, best practices and our experience with other companies.
It is also the case that switching from one cultivation system to another is always very time-consuming and sometimes costly. In view of the crises in our world, however, the change to sustainable systems is unavoidable. In the longer term, a sustainable system actually costs less, since much less soil and synthetic agents need to be purchased.
Another reason that makes many growers shy away from sustainable growing systems is the fear of lower yields. In a highly competitive market with great uncertainties, such a slump could well have a devastating effect. But it turns out: after a few years at the latest, the cultivation volume on a living soil can largely keep up with a conventional system. And most importantly, the flowers of plants grown in living soil contain more terpenes and cannabinoids than conventionally grown ones. Our method of cultivation is also a choice for higher quality, which is noticeable.
Links and sources:
– How to grow Cannabis with Soil Indoors – Verde Natural
– How Living Soil can reduce impact on the environment – hempindustrydaily.com
– What is Living Soil? – wholegrow.com