A small farm in rural San Diego County will be giving the public the opportunity to take an active role in sourcing CBD as it hosts a “u-pick” hemp flower event this weekend. Similar to other events that allow customers to harvest their own produce and cut flowers directly from the fields, Full Sail Farm will be welcoming visitors to its site for the event in Ramona, California on Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13.
Jason Langston grows two acres of hemp rich in CBD and CBG at the boutique farm northeast of San Diego, much of it destined to be extracted and manufactured into wellness preparations by Southern California-based CBD products company Randy’s Club. But with the CBD market beginning to be dominated by large operations, smaller farms are finding it difficult to compete. That led Tyler Strause, the president of Randy’s Club, to suggest a u-pick event as a way for Full Sail Farm to get the most out of its crop. Langston agreed and says that the event is a great way for him to connect with his customers.
“I have always had a strong passion for farming and I’ve always been very interested in it,” he said in a video interview with High Times. “And I’ve always loved going to u-pick events, whether it’s strawberries or tomatoes or blueberries— having a hand in the collecting and harvesting your own fruits and vegetables and getting to talk with the farmer. So I’m really interested in having that relationship with customers that want to come and buy our produce and our flower.”
Harvesting Knowledge As Well As Hemp
Langston said that visitors to the farm during the u-pick weekend will be able to wander through the rows of approximately 4,000 hemp plants and choose the stems of fresh flowers that they would like to harvest. Staff will be on hand and available to explain hemp agriculture and offer tips on harvesting the fresh flowers and the different ways to use them afterward.
“They’ll take as many flower stems as they like and then we’ll weigh that out and it’ll be [charged] per pound. You’ll also have the option if you want to buy the whole plant,” Langston said. “Sometimes it may be more cost-effective or just fun to cut down a whole Christmas tree. Obviously we charge a lot less if you take the whole plant,” he added, noting that stems would be charged at $35 per pound while whole plants would cost $20 per pound.
While turning a profit is an obvious goal of a farm business, Langston said that he would be satisfied with the u-pick event if he has a few dozen people come out to learn about hemp.
“I’m really excited for something like this to happen, whether somebody comes out and buys anything,” he said. “I’d just like to see folks coming out and talking about the plant and learning about the plant and growth cycle and the great benefits to the environment that this plant has.”
Manufacturers Supporting Farmers
Strause of Randy’s Club said that his company has a vested interest in nurturing relationships with small-scale hemp growers such as Full Sail Farms that provide the company the cannabinoids it needs.
“I’m excited to be able to work with a farmer who is growing hemp in my backyard so that I can see and know the quality of the product that I use to make our products,” he said, adding that events like Full Sail Farm’s u-pick weekend are a great way to promote hemp.
“I think it’s an exciting opportunity to normalize this plant and this industry. I think it’s a creative way for small farmers to be able to maintain a presence in an industry that’s becoming big business faster than we can keep track,” said Strause. “It was a tough year last year for a lot of help farmers that went too big too fast.”
Although at least one farm in Maine hosted a u-pick hemp harvest last year, Strause believes Full Sail Farm’s event is the first to be held in California. He thinks other small growers may find that holding similar events can help them grow their business in an evolving market.
“This is an opportunity for small hemp farmers to own their customers and to make sure that big business is not the only one that gets to eat at the table,” he said.