Setting the stage

Grindstone Harvest Company cultivates in communal raised beds. We purposefully source the highest quality inputs and reuse our soil over and over and over again. The best part? With each subsequent round, our soil continues to age and mature. This is something we strongly believe leads to higher quality cannabis. So not only are we operating in a system that produces virtually no waste, but those same sustainable practices are also helping us produce the highest quality flowers. 

One term that has become fairly popular in the cannabis industry lately is the term “Living Soil”. For those of you who might not be familiar with that term and what it means, it is the idea that besides focusing on cultivating the actual plant, our jobs as cultivators also mean that we are nurturing life in the soil. This requires us to carefully monitor soil moisture, soil pH, and the soil’s physical structure in order to promote a robust and diverse biological population.

We happily employ thousands of worms who help aerate our soil and cycle nutrients. Worm castings are rightfully known as black gold. To help break down organic matter and increase the nutrient cycling ability of our beds, we also rely on several different arthropods, such as Springtails. Additionally, we strongly believe in the power of compost teas to help provide a boost to the biological life in our soil. Simply put, all of these players working in concert together is how something like Alfalfa Meal can transition from a sustainable organic amendment into plant-available nutrients. 

Keep in mind that the plant is no passive player in this game. A large percentage of the plant’s energy it creates goes towards producing and releasing exudates into the area surrounding the roots, also known as the Rhizosphere. Exudates are things like sugars, amino acids, enzymes, and other different organic compounds (as a bonus these communal beds allow plants to share these). Depending on the stage of growth and different biotic and abiotic (living and environmental) factors, the plant's nutritional needs change. And with those changes, it will actively manipulate different aspects of the Rhizosphere, with those exudates, to meet those needs. This is a major factor in why we are so vigilant on where we source our genetics. Our goal is to provide the most ideal environment possible for these plants to grow in and then we let them shine. We use precise environmental controls to manipulate different aspects of our cultivation facility such as temperature, humidity, light levels, CO2 concentration, soil moisture, soil nutritional content, and balance etc... But the point I’m trying to make is that we are in a partnership with the plant and the soil. Our job is to carefully set the stage and help foster a positive relationship between the different dynamic processes occurring between the plant, soil, and environment. From there we allow the plant to take control and thrive. As you’ll see in many of our posts and discussions, biomimicry (designing our process and strategy around proven natural cycles) is always in the back of our minds. Ultimately, nature knows best.