Growing organically and in living soil might not be as environmentally friendly as you think.
Every grower should aim to grow organic cannabis at least once in their lifetime. It produces a cleaner, safer product for consumption, which means there will always be a demand for it, and it will always be a money maker for growers.
But what does it really mean to grow organic cannabis?
Organic Inputs in Cannabis
You may be hesitant to grow organic because it limits what you’re allowed to feed your plants. The reality is that there’s a plethora of different organic inputs you can use to produce quality, organic cannabis.
The real question you need to ask before you commit to the organic way of growing is how sustainable are the organic inputs you use?
Bat and seabird guano are two of the most popular organic inputs for organic cannabis cultivation. They provide great amounts of potassium and phosphorous, and even nitrogen in certain types. But here’s the catch; to get those guanos, they need to be dug up by huge excavators. They get the potassium and phosphorous rich guanos from the top layers, and dig down even further for the nitrogen rich guanos.
In other words, for guanos to be obtained they are more or less strip mined. This destroys the homes of the seabirds and bats that lived there, displacing them and restarting the cycle of guano production in that region. A lot of organic inputs are unfortunately mined from the earth, with not much in the way of renewability.
This has become somewhat of a moral dilemma in the grow community, as in order to grow organically, you need organic inputs. But certain organic inputs are not renewable or sustainable and using them is in a way condoning how they are obtained. However before you decide that organic growing just isn’t for you based on how organic inputs are obtained, there are organic inputs that are renewable, sustainable and safer for the environment.
Sustainable organic inputs
There are plenty of renewable organic inputs from feather and bone meals, to fish emulsion, earth worm castings and kelp. Which ones you choose to use are up to you, and that will take some research on which organic inputs work best.
The most organic option however is composting. You can make it yourself, turn it into a tea, and feed your plants a full serving of essential nutrients without harming any ecosystem or wildlife. But it isn’t easy.
That’s what this week’s episode of The Real Dirt is all about. At a live talk at CannaCon in Oklahoma City in August 2019, Chip shared his knowledge on organic inputs and the true environmental impacts of growing organic cannabis. Hear that full talk right now and stream this episode of The Real Dirt now.