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In Summary

Carolyn Sanders & Rob Manson (CRGreenFarm.com) join Chase Nobles, CEO of Kush.com in this HempList Podcast!

Carolyn Sanders & Rob Manson share their story and how they got to growing over 800 hemp plants last year in Western Washington State. While managing day jobs, and aiming for retirement, Carolyn & Rob turned about 1 acre of the family farm (an established foraging pasture that contains Clover, Annual Winter Rye Grass, Pasture Grass, Alfalfa, and Asteraceae) into a thriving outdoor hemp plot! They have tips, tricks, and plenty of advice for anyone growing hemp in a small to medium outdoor setting. They also discuss the general life of homesteading in WA, growing your own food, and managing everything as a couple.

This was a great light hearted conversation to start out the new year!

crgreenfarm.com

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Transcript (Auto-Generated)

hey everybody chase nobles here founder
of kush.com i’ve got carolyn sanders and
rob manson from cr green farms with us
here today how are you guys you’re doing
good we’re good
right on right on well it looks like
y’all are outside at a beautiful farm
where are you guys at
well we’re actually on an island at the
moment
an island well okay you got to give us a
little bit more details what are you
doing on an island
it’s bainbridge island uh i had to work
today
so since how we had to reschedule we
couldn’t be on the farm right on well
bainbridge isn’t a bad place to be now
y’all are up here in our great state of
washington headquarters at cush.com as
well over in seattle it’s exciting to
have another washingtonian on the show
today tell us a little bit about what
y’all have been up to and how it’s going
with the farm that you guys have
she’s the one gonna tell you about that
um you know
we have had so much fun and this year
i’ve lived a larger life than i’ve ever
lived by this farm it’s been absolutely
an incredible experience and a journey
and doing it with rob is just beautiful
i love being with rob
well that’s really heartwarming rob i’m
sure that has to make you feel good to
be having a business partner that’s so
dedicated to the the work that she’s
doing carolyn it sounds like all of a
sudden your kids moved out you wanted to
start a farm what was that what was that
process like and what was rob’s reaction
to it whenever you told him hey i’m
going to start a hint farm over here and
that’s what we’re going to do
well fortunately i have the best guy in
the world so
it’s all good we’re totally cool and
groovy so what happened is we grew up
well the kids grew up on the same parcel
of land that we have today
and they were raised on the back of
agriculture whether we grew it in the
ground pulled it out and ate it or we
grew it as an animal husband tree killed
it and ate it so we’ve provided our own
food for
ever and
we did it there was a financial need for
it and the thought was just to be
healthy at the same time but really
there was a financial need for it so the
kids never had jar jam from the store
i don’t know if they buy it today
they’re like 27 now so i still don’t
know what they do with that but it’s
just it’s the it’s the
[Music]
it’s what we do in life
we go out to the forest we pick
mushrooms in september berries are
coming harvestable at different times of
year we’re just seasonal people
living
as simply
as we can and
um in 2015 i lost my mom and i didn’t
know the impact that was going to have
on me until she was gone
and thank god for rob because my mom was
my biggest cheerleader and supporter in
life and i
you know appreciate it while your
parents are still here
and so with that said
um i kind of fell into a bit of a
depression say
and this guy rob brings home some pot
after about six months and says you need
to smoke this and i’m like you know
insulting right sorry everybody but i
hadn’t done that really since high
school and you know i’m i’m a
professional in my career and that’s
just like something i thought you
wouldn’t do
well
after
enough pokes i smoked it and before i
knew it i was off the couch living life
and because of fibromyalgia i was on
five different medications from the
rheumatologist doctor
rheumatology doctor and anyways i
eventually i went off all of those five
medications
and found that i was living life so much
better than i was before i ever started
smoking pot
so next thing happens this guy brings
home a plant and he’s like here you go
and i’m like really
and now we’re going to jail for sure and
we didn’t go to jail
but we grew that plant and i fell in
love with it the way that it interacts
with with us when we’re farming it
and watching it grow and going through
its changes of life
and just following it along and
nurturing it along the way
i just so fell in love with it so we
went from one plant to like 40 plants
the next year and i said now we’re
really going to jail
and what year was this
i’m 16.
oh wow that’s awesome okay first off
there’s a lot to unpack here carolyn and
i gotta kind of tap into rob a little
bit as well so
um
well first off homesteading y’all are
some local homesteaders and in in a kind
of a traditional sense very family
oriented
make and pick everything that you eat
selfishly we had the big rain
week and a half ago or so
when are the chan trails gonna start
popping up cause i’ve got me a spot
and i’m just waiting and i wanna know
the timing and i know for sure that
you’re gonna have good information on
this because you’re so connected to the
land out there
yeah it’s time to pick the chanterelles
can’t hear you rob
it’s time to pick chanterelles there the
first rains in september is when they
start popping up so it’s now so i need
to get out there and go go collect a
couple of a couple of bags yup okay now
that we got that out of the way needed
some vital information to the happiness
of the family here um
i i
gotta respect the way that you all
organically kind of started this
business because carolyn it sounds like
you weren’t a bad place
and rob you really picked her up with
you know trying to find a solution to to
help help carolyn out and then you fell
in love because it was something that
you could grow
something that you obviously know so
much about and have a passion for
and that is blossomed into a business
rob what is it taking to get this
business off of the ground as far as
actual operations go because it’s one
thing to
to have you know 30 40 plants it’s a
whole different thing to have a farm
right and to be creating high quality
products that you can get out into the
market so what does that operations wise
look like
so far as getting this thing up and
running
well carolyn was one she just uh you
know she sprouted the seeds she went to
cloning
i mean she she’s done it all and you
know she’s done everything over the
years you know i’ve always said hey if
you want to do it do it so yeah she did
this and then i’m out there looking i’m
like gee minnie christmas
anyways you know we started watering the
plants little guys now you know it’s re
they’re ready now anyways it’s just been
a non-stop i mean you know never a break
or a dull moment but this is even before
the plants i mean there’s always been
some kind of project
so you come home every day and carolyn’s
like i’ve done this this this and this
and i need your help with this and this
to finish up
that’s that’s what happens to me at
least whenever i
start a big project
yeah 20 years of this
so anyway
it’s been one thing but you know hey i
like plants i i like to see the product
you know i haven’t been able to go
hunting in years so i’ve raised all my
you know
everything pheasants chickens turkeys
ducks geese pigs sheep yeah
we hate them that list of things to do
is never ending and so this was just
another
you know phase of that process now tell
us a little bit about the farm caroline
you sprout you you pop the seeds you get
them in the ground
what has happened this year so far
especially in the climate that we’re in
how has it been leading up to harvest
you know it’s been beautiful
we it’s been challenged meaning we got
our seeds i i cracked them all i turned
a bedroom into a sprouting room
and um with t5 lights it’s been really
fun so i just get to wake up in my
jammies and go into my sprouting room
and do my thing before i go off to the
office and then we hardened them off
outdoors in a little
greenhouse
and then um i cloned all of the first
generation of the seeds because i wanted
to have my count my goal was a thousand
so i learned how to clone and we got the
count up to 882. they went in the ground
between um the 16th of april and the 2nd
of june
now
i know that’s not and i don’t like that
because i’ve got them at all different
stages and if you have anxiety that’s
going to make you go a little over the
edge so we’re not doing that next year
they’re all going to go on the ground at
the same time
but it’s been a blast and um
we’ve just been very blessed with our
lives we have a little bit of land and
we’re able to do things like this and
the resources are there we’ve had you
know five years of practicing and yes
you’re correct doing it on this size of
a scale has been outrageous it’s been a
blast
and i one thing i learned for sure is i
definitely don’t know enough to be doing
what i’m doing but somehow it’s all
worked out
and the plants are so beautiful and so
big
we were just watering them now they’re
like boom
everything’s been done by hand truly
hand-picked just me and rob out there
ding ding ding ding getting the leaves
every night watering them by hand
tending to them
um everything’s been by hand it’s been
we’ve been i’ve been devoted it’s really
she’s really she dug post holes with a
post hole digger for every one of those
plants she planted i’m just like gee he
just watched me that’s so much work you
know one of the things that people don’t
think about whenever they
you know go and buy weed from the store
or buy hemp from the store smokeable
flowers how much physical labor goes
into it it’s not like other crops it
takes some serious amount of commitment
just get one plant to have a good you
know harvest but when it comes to having
a thousand or 882 or or whatever that
scale
i mean you’re tracking the field all day
pooling the
you know rotten leaves making sure that
you don’t have a bug issue making sure
that you don’t have you know um uh like
seeds or seed pot or anything like that
so it’s just wild to
you know
conceive doing that as a couple that
also have other jobs you know to be
taking on a farm like that is such a big
undertaking what are some of the things
that you didn’t see coming as far
for other farmers either thinking about
getting into this or maybe having a
rough year what are some of the lessons
that you learned that you’d like to pass
on to other farms listening to this
well plants need to go in the ground
within like a two week span
that’s one thing that’s going to change
i really am glad we did zero till
and i’m not even going to post hold the
plants next year we’re just going to go
straight on top of the ground
i love the fact that we’ve taken our
farm mulch and you know our animal waste
and we’ve composted it the nutrients are
a blast
um make friends with somebody that
really understands soil health i mean we
understand you know this much of it
right
enough to enough that our plants are
beautiful
there’s absolutely no pesticides there’s
a thing called ladybugs and green lace
flyers whatever they get those guys
those are your best little army men to
the pesticide people and the bugs
and then also
the mulch
it really retains your water which is
beautiful it’s like a sponge
so
watch your watering
just because you know you’ve got one
acre of land there’s nuances throughout
that acre and some rows don’t need to be
watered as much as other rows i didn’t
know that existed i just thought you’d
give them all water just depends on the
drainage right and it’s kind of wild
that way especially well okay here’s
another question for you carolyn and and
rob as well if you have any input here
what is
you know as we’re coming up to harvest
or or maybe you all have already started
um considering that kind of the gap and
how long it took to get some of the
plants in the ground what does that
daily routine look like to to ensure
that you’re you’re gonna get what you
want because things change so fast at
the end
and with hemp especially you have to be
very careful that you don’t exceed the
you know 0.3 thc limit what’s that daily
process look like for you all and how do
y’all maintain that quality towards the
end of life of these plants
well the last few weeks um after work
we’ve been working every night and if
there was a broken branch a blow down
because of the wind or whatnot you know
we process that right away because it’s
all good for something it’s all medicine
for somebody so we’ve been processing
we’ve been keeping our eyes open we
we i like i said we’re blessed we have
not had a mold issue and i really think
that is because we are so diligent in in
our devotion to these plants
so that happens really fast on this side
of the state too so something you have
to be so careful about because once it
goes it goes right and so it’s like if
you don’t notice it
you’ll have a really big problem if you
put it off a week
right we’re not and so we’re taking all
the tops
starting tonight we shave them down
using a little fan table and then we
hang them so we’ve got cola’s i mean i
don’t even know all i know is i went
from watering them every day now i’ve
been freaking defoliating all the leaves
i’m just like one thing to the next yeah
it’s non it’s a non-end cycle
but you know our goal
oh no i’ll go go ahead oh i was gonna
ask rob i know that you’ve had to build
some things to probably make the process
easier faster what have been some of the
fun projects that you’ve gotten to work
on that you go oh man this makes our
lives so much easier or oh wow i did not
see this coming and i have to build this
really quickly have you have you had
those moments
uh
i don’t i don’t think so because i worry
about everything
and i do it i just run around and rob
just goes there she goes and he
snapchats me as i go yeah um i had to
read
you don’t look like a guy that’d be on
snapchat
oh he’s gone over how many do you have
over five hundred thousand
eighty eighty thousand
he i think he’s being not quite true no
i am are you
you have 80 000 followers on snapchat
well i’ve just taken 80 000 snapchats i
don’t want nobody following
me so you did not see that coming uh
well i’m gonna have to get your snapchat
handle and i would like to see these
stories that you boast of carolyn
buzzing around the farm because that
sounds fairly entertaining
so i had to restructure the horses and
get them into paddocks instead of the
field so i built that and i was so
confused on how is the electricity going
to run like this way and i’ve got to be
able to drive the tractor in there so i
came up with putting the wires around
and then um
a beam across and the wires go up and
over that and down and somehow
i figured it out i don’t know rob helped
me put the gates on i couldn’t figure
out how to hang the gates that way so
rob did that with the wires
so getting the horses put in their area
building the seed you know the seat area
in the bedroom
all of this stuff we’ve been working on
this project um for over a year
and we were thinking okay what do we
need infrastructure-wise because of
where we came from and now we’re going
to have more so what are we going to do
so i just started this vision quest
and that’s how it came out and then in
the garage this is the biggest part
we have a three-car garage and bless
rob’s heart
he cleared it all out he’s a mechanic
anybody that’s a mechanic is gonna know
what a mechanic’s garage is like but
we’re going to build him a new garage
with a hoist that’s the goal so
i have the garage and
what did you call it the covid
containment center yeah
she’s got it all
wrapped in plastic and all the room for
dehydrating and drying oh so you built
that all out yourself that’s amazing
she didn’t
yeah no i know that’s what i’m saying
you built that out all by yourself i was
talking to caroline that’s wild also on
on on that note would the horses go and
graze on your plants if you let them
oh no no
no but the chickens would yeah chickens
would tear them up yeah chickens
chickens eat anything
though friend monster give her some
goats and i said yes just yet no i’m
going to pick them up in november
because we have about three quarters
acre
more to plant but we’ve we’ve fought
those blackberries for
i don’t know too many 10 20 years yeah
and those are the only solution right
you can dig you can dig up the roots of
a blackberry plant
fine whatever you want to call it
they’re evil
and you know
three months later you’re gonna have
like a ten foot sprouts from somewhere
there’s no way to get rid of them it’s
just wild it’s like constant maintenance
it’s the craziest thing i’ve ever seen
terrible and they attack you too because
you’ll cut one down and go to remove it
and it
it whiplashes you around your head
yeah they’re pretty terrible so we’re
getting goats for that but that’s just
the way we do things if you want to
clear land it’s goats and pigs
it’s not how most people think but then
you also get you know their their
droppings in the soil and it’s great
biological
um help for the soil and food with the
carbohydrates and everything and that’s
just really exciting the thought that we
surquested carbon and we made a
difference in this world
is so overwhelming like i don’t know if
i can wrap my mind around that what
we’ve done exactly but it’s really
really good that’s amazing well it’s
such a good story for everybody to hear
that y’all have taken you know this kind
of homestead lifestyle and turned it
into a business turn it into a farm you
can share that joy with other people and
share the result of that hard work with
the other people
that that i’m sure love your products
now before we wrap this up tell us a
little bit about what you’ve grown
you know how you plan on processing it
you know what what people can actually
buy when it comes to
uh sierra green
well we are going for the smoking flower
you know i love to smoke rob likes to
smoke so i want to be able to smoke and
this is some of the most beautiful bud
i’ve seen
and we’ve grown i don’t know probably
over
20 different varieties of different
stuff over the last years
and this is so incredibly beautiful our
thought was can we do this you know i
mean like rob would you be interested in
growing hemp for retirement and he’s
like he’s like that sounds like it’d be
fun because we really do enjoy doing it
together don’t we oh yeah yeah she never
fails or ceases to amaze me on her
ability to create more uh
reasons to keep continue on in life
that’s amazing well what a what a
heartwarming story for everybody out
there listening sierra green farms it’s
an amazing story bringing that homestead
lifestyle to the business you know
environmentally conscious you know
using some of the best practices you
could imagine without you know
spraying a bunch of pesticides all over
your product or anything no denticles
yeah just just ladybugs just spraying
ladybugs all over your product which a
which is which is another example of
just how amazing this story is so thank
you so much y’all for being a part of
the show today it’s uh great to meet
y’all and we’re gonna have to get
together soon because you’re not that
far away
we would love to have you come out we
literally wanted to grow the best bud we
could for people and i really think we
accomplished it and i don’t say that
lightly because that’s a huge
responsibility of a statement to say but
we would love to have you come out well
i’ll talk to the team see if we can get
something scheduled everybody’s tied up
with our big texas hemp convention right
now but once that’s wrapped up
maybe we’ll uh have to come out there
and see you guys and get a little taste
of the farm life
and bring joe
i will do thank you so much carolyn
thank you so much rob it’s been a
pleasure talking with y’all today and i
look forward to seeing everything that
you all do over the next couple years
okay thank you so much
thank you good luck with everything and
congratulations
thank you bye