Down Om Farm: A Sustainable Kingdom of Soil
By Ashleigh Hines
Elevation launched its local farm education training program for staff members this summer. We believe it’s beneficial for our staff to gain appreciation for the dedication involved with establishing and operating a cannabis farm in Nevada County. In addition to the overall passion required for successful cultivation, this also includes perseverance through a multi-faceted legal process. The first stop on our list was the small-batch operation, Down Om Farm.
Owner Daniel Fink has created nothing short of a majestic kingdom of soil! His main focus is regenerative farming. This practice conserves and rehabilitates farming systems for a more sustainable future. Thanks to his strong commitment to permaculture, Daniel’s gardens are flourishing. From alpacas and millipedes to chickens and guard dogs, each part of the farm has an integral purpose. He firmly believes that the actual vitality of the cannabis plant comes from the soil, and we couldn’t agree more.
Not only has Daniel achieved a masterpiece of soil ecology for his own cannabis farm, but he has begun sharing his extensive dirt knowledge with others. In June 2021, Down Om Farms teamed up with Catalyst Microbe Adventure for a series of Microbe Farming classes. During those classes, attendees had the opportunity to make compost extracts and teas, learn about microorganisms and examine their soil samples under the microscope.
Set aside from the hoops and planters is a fully productive worm farm. The worm farm is divided into sectional mixes of individual compost dirt. Each dirt bin varies with types of worms, livestock manures, and alternating brush and leaves. Earthworms play an extremely vital role in soil production. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “Worms increase soil aeration, infiltration, structure, nutrient cycling, water movement, and plant growth.” Worms aren't the only living organism within Daniels soil. The soils are flourishing with mycelium-rich mushrooms: the more mycelium, the more nutrients.
Why is Daniel so adamant on the importance of regenerating the earth? The reason should be of concern to us all: Soil is being degraded at an alarming rate. Farming techniques heavy in chemicals and pesticides are directly linked to global warming, deforestation and are significant contributors to soil degradation. These unhealthy practices can result in high flood rates, less farm land for food, animal population decline and other extreme disruptions to our ecosystem. Local Farmers like Daniel who understand the severity of the situation are working tirelessly to inform and educate the community on proper soil management and production.
We are so grateful for the opportunity to gain first-hand farm touring experience. It gives us a vast understanding of small batch cannabis farms and how crucial their survival is for Earth's hope of sustaining good quality soil and life. Large corporate farms do not put the same amount of creative passion or soil devotion into their cannabis plants as our local Nevada County farmers do. To our Nevada County farmers, we appreciate you and we support you. Thank You for your consistent dedication to the cannabis plant and our community!