The U.S. Botanical Safety Laboratory’s new gas chromatography equipment and a specially developed testing methodology are poised to bring stability and convenience to Western North Carolina’s burgeoning industrial hemp industry.
Last year, a handful of area farmers planted the first hemp crops to be grown legally in Western North Carolina in over 70 years. That first crop was plagued by delays introduced by regulators at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, who held up shipments of seeds and seedlings, leading to a late start. Growers expect a smoother process for the 2018 growing season.
Asheville loves its organic produce. But the same shoppers who scrupulously avoid conventional fruits and vegetables may not think twice about the practices used to raise another of Western North Carolina’s agricultural mainstays — Christmas trees.
Many cultures around the world cultivate native, shade-loving plants beneath the forest canopy. Recently, more farmers in the United States have been getting excited about the potential of forest farming to diversify their crops while preserving natural environments. A forest farming workshop on Saturday, Sept. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 1, is geared to farmers of all levels who are interested in growing in the shade.
Thousands of lime green cones stretched along steel cables at Echoview Farm in Weaverville and the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River on Saturday.