While sustainability in cannabis is quickly becoming a major talking point throughout the industry on the West Coast, it’s taking a little longer to gain a foothold in markets like Massachusetts. But that hasn’t stopped Local Roots director of cultivation Kelsey Brach from implementing all-natural growing practices and maximizing energy efficiency with a at the company’s greenhouse production facility.
“We’re attempting to replicate what Mother Nature is doing, and we take the mindset that we’re feeding the soil, not the plants,” she says.
The living soil is the centerpiece of Local Roots’ grow, eliminating hundreds of pounds of grow media every year in favor for a natural soil that gets better with age.
The company also uses compost and earthworm castings for inputs and chooses dry amendments over having liquids shipped to save on costs.
Her style of growing remains a rarity in Massachusetts, for now, as many producers have taken the fastest route to getting their operation up and running while the industry plays catch-up with consumer demand.
“I think there’s big learning curves in going from indoor to greenhouse, and I think people are afraid of that,” she says. “But I would love to see the industry go that direction, just because growing cannabis indoors does not make sense from an energy standpoint.”
— Garrett Rudolph