RICKREALL, Ore. — Pacific Hills Farms’ unique location at the head of Oregon’s Van Duzer Corridor captures cool breezes from the Pacific Ocean as they make their way into the Willamette Valley, affording them several distinct advantages.
“We don’t use plastic mulch and our site is incredibly windy, great for providing the plants with protection from powdery mildew, bud rot and mold, allowing us to farm our hemp entirely spray-free,” Taylor Pfaff, owner and CEO of Pacific Hills, said. “Our pest control for insects and disease is entirely natural, the only additional inputs being nutrients via irrigation.
“This and the absence of plastic mulch means that our fields can be farmed and rotated easily without any adverse long-term effects on our land or soil, which is highly important since hemp is a bio accumulator and will absorb any inputs directly from the soil.”
Pfaff began his journey in 2019 by carving out 40 acres of his family’s vineyard, Left Coast Estate, for hemp production.
“My family has a viticultural background and I believed that we could apply similar principles to farming hemp: A focus on sense of place, quality growing practices and vertical integration from the ground to the end-consumer products,” Pfaff said.
The operation uses about half of its 40,000 square feet of drying space for its own needs, offering the remainder to other farmers. Hemp is slowly air-dried and cured for quality and terpene preservation. Terpenes are found in essential oils of plants.
“With high quality netting suspended from the truss arches, accommodations can be made for upward of 20 acres of smokable flower to hang dry and cure properly,” Pfaff said.
Their laboratory in Independence, Ore., is entirely focused on extraction and the creation of Pacific Hills branded products that include balms, muscle rub and facial serum shipped directly to the customer.
“Unfortunately, CBD is still relatively loosely regulated and it’s difficult for consumers to know what is actually in the products they’ve purchased,” Pfaff said. “A range of studies demonstrates a wide variance of what is in CBD products versus what the label says.”
Pacific Hills works closely with Oregon CBD in Monmouth, a federally legal cannabis research and development company. It provides farmers with scientific knowledge and works to put its best findings into their hands in the form of non-GMO and certified organic hemp seeds for production purposes.
“They are one of the premier pioneers in the industry and have some incredible genetics created specifically for our local climate,” Pfaff said. “Very few producers are able to show a transparent block chain of the product’s life from seed to end product.”
He said his wine background will help him develop his hemp business.
“We hope to continue to evolve this approach in a similar manner to the wine industry and develop a reputation for our products that is tied to our unique growing site in the Willamette Valley,” Pfaff said. “I believe that the mantra ‘You need a great crop to produce great products’ applies equally to the hemp industry.”
This Article was published May 20, 2021 by BRENNA WIEGAND For the Capital Press. Link to the article: https://www.capitalpress.com/specialsections/hemp/unique-location-produces-high-quality/article_ca0a3bbe-9e37-11eb-9897-0fd7fba9cad9.html