How does SOLO Farms pull off large scale no-till? – With BrownGuy420
There are very few growers using the no-till growing method at large scale grows. Check out how BrownGuy420 pulls it off at SOLO Farms.
No-till is really cool
How do you pull this off? It’s hope and prayers, is what it is. When it comes to this kind of a level, there’s not really anybody you can just go up and get a mentor from. People have been recreational in Colorado and Washington that do have some experience that you can maybe go mentor from, but really it’s just about taking in whatever you can. Instagram is a great way. There’s so many people out there putting out good information that you can kinda go cruise Instagram, find good ideas and stuff. I’ve helped other farms, friends of ours, and I’ve learned techniques through them. I called it just being lazy, I don’t feel like tilling my soil up, mixing it every year. With the addition of the worms and the bio-activity that the worms bring… It’s no-till but the worms are doing the tilling. And they’re eating dead root matter, and dead root matter usually decomposes. Once they process it, that makes the plant available potassium and phosphorous which we’re always looking for to bloom. They make all of the aeration down low while you utilize red wigglers on the top which take control of the first 6-8 inches of the top soil. We don’t do teas because that is your tea. Every time you water, it’s an earthworm casting tea. It has all the microbes you want. No messy foam bellowing out of a 50 gallon drum anymore, it’s just in the pot. If you don’t keep the brewer clean, you get a lot of anaerobes and we’re looking for aerobic bacteria, not anaerobic bacteria.
The trees that are up in the hills and everything are doing the same no-till technique. They’re dropping their leaves every fall and branches dry up, die on certain parts of the tree, fall down. That’s its carbon. It’s naturally doing everything that you see. Hugel piles that people grow with, the same idea. It’s just decomposition. The microbes are breaking down trees and leaves and making that coffee ground soil that we’re all looking for. As long as you feed the soil, everything else will grow within it. Like I said, it’s not looking for a high nitrogen fertilizer or high potassium, phosphorous type deal. You’re not having to worry about that. I don’t worry about NPK ratios, I don’t worry about anything. There’s just certain things that the plant likes that help bring the nutrients to the plant which is a lot of enzymes. Enzymes will always be breaking stuff down. For the first four or five years I do use Full Power which is a bottled nutrient but I can’t produce my own humic acid yet. That takes time. It’s a layer within the top soil of all the decomposing leaves and stick matter and all those carbons, eventually it just makes like a big thick mat and that’ll produce all your humic acids that you’ll ever need. That’ll take about 4 or 5 years to set up, and once we set all that up there’s no need for Full Power anymore.
We use silica right now until we are able to start growing horse tail and let that decompose within our compost piles, then we’ll have natural silica within the property. It’s going to take a few years to get all of these things planted and robust throughout the property but once we have it, we shouldn’t have to go for anything. All our humics will be here, silica will be here. Through the use of KNF which you can make fermented plant juices. You can take cantaloupes and you chop up your cantaloupe, you weigh them out, you take the rinds off, you just take the meat of the cantaloupe. If you have a pound of meat, you take a pound of brown sugar, put it in a jar, let it ferment for a few weeks, then you strain it out and the liquid you have in there is better than any bloom booster you’ll ever see. It’s packed full of potassium, phosphorous, it’s natural, you’re not going to burn your plants from it, and you got it at the grocery store for $29 cents for the cantaloupe. I can grow it all organically, ferment it here on the farm, then use it to feed the cannabis plant. And whatever is left over on the vegetable side feeds my crew, they all have fresh sandwiches during the year, we’re all eating good organic food.
We can take rice and you get it al dente which is half-cooked and you take it up into the forest. You cover it over so it doesn’t get rained on or leaves don’t go into it. A week later you back and it’s full of your mycelia growth all across there. That’s local fungi and you can bring it in and water you plants with it and a little chunk of it will water your entire plants and bring the fungal kingdom in. It’s all local. That’s what is best for your plants because they’re going to have the best immunity system within the plants if they’re taking in the local microbes. The whole idea is to make your plant as comfortable in the scenario as you can so it can fight off pests, it can fight off molds, rots, all that stuff because it already knows what’s in the area. To me, no-till works because it’s so simple that even the most inexperienced guy can still follow this. Even if he messes up and he waters in kelp instead of molted barley today, it doesn’t ruin anything. It just switched it up a little bit. Nothing kills, nothing dies. We work off of just basic laminated sheets, and oil marker, and just check things off. If somethings not checked off, you say “well let’s do this.” It’s not an exact science with us. The plant needs all this stuff all the time, so just throw whatever you want on there and let it compost out.