What You’ll Learn:
- About Jon Slay, Founder & CEO of Green Earth Hemp Company, and his mission
- How hemp is grown from germination to extraction
- Difference between starting a plant from seed or clone
- Seed start
Ever Wonder Where the Hemp From Koala Colony Originates?
We’ve been asked this question a few times, so we figure we’d dive into detail!
Everything You Want to Know About Green Earth Hemp Company’s Mission
Jon Slay, Founder & CEO of Green Earth Hemp Company, has been growing cannabis on a small scale for the last 20 years, but he has been growing hemp specifically for 3 years now.
Ever heard of RSO? Rick Simpson?
This infamous “dude” from Nova Scotia, Canada, discovered the medicinal applications of cannabis when he was diagnosed with cancer. He decided to attempt to treat the cancer with full extract cannabis oil by applying it directly to the affected area and covering it with a bandage. After removing the bandage and finding the affected area cleared, Simpson shared his story and RSO (Rick Simpson Oil) was born.
Slay was inspired by Rick Simpson’s story in finding out that his grandmother had been diagnosed with cancer. Making RSO available to her was the ultimate motivation in what is now known at Green Earth Hemp Company.
In developing the company into what it is today, Slay remains tied to the original mission: “my passion for helping people that are suffering is still my motivation, and that will not change.”
Green Earth Hemp Company is located near Lake Champlain, in the northern region of Vermont. At Green Earth Hemp Company, planting begins the second week of June and the hemp is harvested by late September or early October.
There are 3-4 phases to the growing cycle:
Each strain variety has a different duration of each until full maturity. Some auto flower varieties can take as little as 60 days to fully mature, whereas regular "photo" varieties (which are photo-sensitive and thus triggered to bloom by the waning of the sun) won’t bloom until fall. Hence the range in harvesting date.
Being that the hemp is grown outdoors and with natural light, some specific strains will not do well in the cool Vermont climate. With the threat of mold propagation from wet summers and early frost wiping out the entire crop, Slay has to be careful about when to plant and harvest the plant. For this reason, early bloomers are best in dealing with the harsh weather.
Hemp can be grown two ways: from seed or clone. Every seed from the same plant will feature a slightly different genotype or genetic code. Because of this, plants grown from a seed will have a variety of different characteristics, including plant structure, size, color, smell, etc.
In comparison, clones are cuttings taken from mother plants. Clones provide an exact genetic copy of the mother plant, unlike with seeds. Slay explains that “when I buy a bag of buds, I want it to be all the same.” For this reason, at Green Earth Hemp Company, “we like isolating a phenotype and then cloning her, so we KNOW it will be good.”
In using clones, Green Earth Hemp Company farming heeds “consistent buds… with the same numbers, same aroma, and same look” (Slay). Consistency is key!
Telltale sign the plant is ready for harvest? Slay recommends getting out the magnifying glass and checking out the trichomes on your flowers. Too clear? Too early for harvest. Milky opaque color, they’re ready!
The oil from the hemp is extracted with a 20 ton press with regulated heat plates. From there, a full spectrum product called rosin is born. This rosin is then used to make tinctures, salves, edibles and all of the other goodies sold at Koala Colony.
Q & A
Koala Colony: So, Jon... What's your favorite strain you have grown thus far?
Jon Slay: I am a weed snob, so I have not found my favorite hemp strain yet. I believe she is out there! We do have a great phenotype from the Ceiba line. Which is actually from the Harlequin Sour Tsunami genetic line. It's dense, frosty and smells fruity and wonderful! I had to do a lot of testing and cloning to pheno hunt for the clone we currently have. She was worth it though.
Koala Colony: How long does hemp last after it’s extracted? Does this depend on what the plant is being made into?
Jon Slay: Hemp can last quite a long time if it is dried, cured and in general handled properly. There are a few tricks to that, but temperature and humidity are very important factors. Hemp flower will start to oxidize and turn brown if it's not either frozen or stored at perfect temps, and humidity levels. It can be a delicate endeavor. Our goal is to sell it fresh, so there's no oxidation or terpene loss.
Koala Colony’s Commitment to Sustainability
Did you know that in the right environment, Koala Colony plastic can decompose in 3-6 months? That’s a way better alternative to petroleum-based plastics that take between 500-1000 years, I’d say.
We carry this mission of building a more sustainable world in the farming of our product too. Green Earth Hemp Company believes in reducing the impact they, and by extension, anyone who buys their products have on the environment too. Using only cow manure once a year and predatory insects like ladybugs, Green Lacewings, and Praying Mantises for pest control, the goal is to use only natural elements on the fields when at all possible. So next time you put a lil’ CBD oil in your coffee, you can feel good about where it came from!
What Makes Us Stand Out?
While the hemp farming industry comes with challenges, Slay has an appreciation for the job that is unparalleled. “I wake up early, and walk the field every day. There is a peace in that I can't possibly describe verbally” (Slay).
The folks at Green Earth Hemp Company have a passion for what they do. So you can have peace of mind knowing that your hemp has been grown with love, from farm to your table.