Growing Hemp In Harmony With Nature At Luce Farm
If you’ve done any research on CBD, you’ve probably figured out that not all products are equal and it’s a good idea to find out where your CBD is grown and how it’s processed. This can help ensure that you end up with a quality product that is free of contaminants. Imagine a hemp farm that can not only assure you that its crops are farmed in a clean and sustainable manner but is located on a piece of land that has been farmed responsibly for the past two hundred years. That’s Luce Farm Wellness, which takes transparency to a new level.
A Passion for Natural Living
Located in Stockbridge, Vermont, Luce Farm is run by people who have a passion for natural living and sustainable agriculture. Their hemp is grown organically, watered by freshwater streams, and fertilized with manure from goats and poultry raised on the property. The CBD is extracted with a method called supercritical CO₂ extraction, which is widely seen as the best way to preserve the many cannabinoids, terpenes, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals in the hemp plant.
In addition, many of Luce Farm’s full-spectrum hemp products incorporate other beneficial botanicals. For instance, their creations include hemp and ashwagandha-infused honey, and a hemp-infused cooling rub with peppermint and calendula.
Nourishing the Land
The farm was settled in 1820 by the Luce family, who grew hops, made maple syrup, and raised dairy cows. Only a few other families have lived on the property since then, and all have stayed true to the original vision of the Luce family to respect nature and live in harmony with the earth. I talked to Sophie Shillue, Community Manager for Luce Farm Wellness, to learn more about the values and the methods behind this inspirational company. Of the past caretakers of Luce Farm Shillue says, “They have always made it a value to nourish and honor the land, making sure it will never turn into a development or be over farmed.” In 2016, Rebecca and Joe Pimental moved onto the farm with their two children and many animals, and with a team that incorporates lots of girl power (The majority of the team behind Luce Farms’ CBD products is female!), they continue this tradition. The Pimentel’s have even put the property under a historic easement, to protect it from future development.
The Pimentel’s are experienced organic farmers, having grown organic vegetables for many years. They turned to hemp after they were approached by a local research group to grow a crop of hemp for research and saw the health benefits of this amazing plant. Shillue says, “After growing the crop [for research] they were left with the flower to play around with and starting testing recipes in their kitchen.” They quickly realized how beneficial it was. She says, “After infusing the oil into local honey they gave it out to their neighbors and friends to try and people were coming back to them blown away by how much it was helping them.”
Committed to Quality
In addition to growing hemp and creating CBD products, the team at Luce Farm recently launched the Luce Farm Collective, a hemp-growing partnership with neighboring farmers. All the members of the collective are Vermont Certified Organic—like Luce Fam—and they all grow the same high-quality, cannabinoid and terpene-rich hemp as Luce Farm. Shillue says, “Through our collective, we grow community, expertise, and a holistic agricultural economy.”
Luce Farm is committed to producing a high-quality product. Shillue explains, “Our attention to detail through every process is what we feel makes us stand out and allows us to create some of the highest quality hemp products on the market.” In her opinion, “Our growing process is more like gardening rather than farming. We give attention and care to each individual plant and have the ability to monitor the growth and handling through every stage: planting, growing, harvesting, drying, extracting and manufacturing.”
Building a Sustainable Ecosystem
This year, the team at Luce Farm are taking their passion for sustainable farming a step further by utilizing a method known as permaculture. While conventional farmers often grow single crops, in a permaculture system, farmers cultivate a number of different plants together in an effort to create a self-sustaining ecosystem. Shillue explains that permaculture is modelled after the way things grow in nature, where different types of plants complement each other. She says, “The same way fields of corn yearn for beans and squash, fields of hemp yearn for chamomile and calendula.” According to her, “By growing them together, we’re just listening to what the Earth tells us when we go for a walk in the woods—that the sustained health of the natural world depends upon strong ecosystems wherein different living beings perform unique functions so that all can thrive.”
By striving to farm in a way that strengthens ecosystems, Luce Farm hopes that in addition to producing hemp products that nourish and heal, it will build a reciprocal relationship, where the Earth is nourished and healed too.