How cannabis growers use natural pest control

Narrator: Phantom Farms is in sunny southern
Oregon. From a distance, it looks just like an orchard. It’s got greenhouses and neat rows of small,
green trees. But look a little closer. These aren’t trees. They’re really large plants. Marijuana plants. In Oregon, growing cannabis has been legal
for 20 years. At first, that meant growing plants for medical
marijuana patients. Eddie Funtanellas started Phantom Farms in
2008. Before that, he’d taught himself how to
grow cannabis with a little trial and error. Eddie Funtanellas: I really had no clue what
I was doing. I started growing plants when I was 12, and
my grandma used to grow roses and she had, like, bags of blood meal and bone meal laying
around and I just threw it in these pots, didn’t really know exactly what it was going
to do. But it actually turned out good. Narrator: Oregon legalized recreational marijuana
in 2015. At the farm, Funtanellas now has employees
like Conner Luckey to help him raise plants. Conner Luckey: Being in southern Oregon, yes,
we have beautiful summers, usually we have great falls when it comes to, you know, it’s
a great climate to be growing cannabis. But at the same time we get early rains. Narrator: A wet spring can bring pests, insects,
and mildew that can damage the plants. But Funtanellas and Luckey plan ahead by spraying
plants with essential oils that repel pests. Luckey: We use cayenne, we use lemon, we use
all sorts of, you know, cinnamon—yes, exactly—peppermint. Things that just naturally are already doing
that pest deterrent. And then we try to coat the leaves with that
essential oil to prevent any further development of the bad bugs. Narrator: Another way to prevent pest damage
is just to grow healthy plants by feeding them all the nutrients they need. Funtanellas: Well the thing is, too, with
the marijuana plant, when it gets sick it puts out hormones, and it attracts pests. Narrator: An important source of nutrients
on the farm is other plants. Luckey: That’s where the dynamic accumulators
come in. Dynamic accumulators are plants that are accumulating
micro- and macronutrients down near the root zone. At the end of its life, if you chop the plant
above the ground, the roots will then spit out all the remaining good nutrients that
it needs to restart and reshoot new growth. Narrator: Funtanellas also makes sure there
are plenty of creatures on the farm ready to eat any bad bugs that show up. To add to the hungry menagerie, he buys and
releases predatory insects. Like pirate bugs. And bright orange predatory mites called persimilis. Funtanellas: Those ones are pretty cool. They’re orange. You can see them in the bottle and then when
you release them they’re just like barbarians, they’re starving. And you can just see them run on the plant. It’s crazy. And their whole goal is just to eat the other
mites and eggs. Luckey: A lot of what we do at Phantom to
keep it closed loop, we do everything we can to keep everything as organic as possible. Funtanellas: The way we’re growing is the
way we want to see ag in the future.

2 thoughts on “How cannabis growers use natural pest control

  1. WHY NO COMMENTS? Out of over 10,000 views and no comments, humm. Started watching and all it is bullshit.

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