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Christopher Wilson Cultivation Specialist at Acknowledge Farms

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AGREEN1 recently conducted an interview with Christopher Wilson, the Cultivation Specialist at Acknowledge Farms in Washington County, Maryland. Acknowledge Farms is a Silver Level regenerative, organic-certified farm under Regenerative Organic Alliance and USDA Organic Certified. They utilize farming techniques that prioritize soil health, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration and never use chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.

Instagram: @AcknowledgeFarms   website: AcknowledgeFarms

AGREEN1: Why cannabis? 

CHRIS: When I was 14 years old, I tried cannabis for the first time because I was diagnosed with ADD, and the medicine prescribed to me did not agree with my body. I was looking for something more natural and something that could help me focus. After trying cannabis, I immediately fell in love with it.

Sadly, my cannabis usage got me kicked out of high school. I was also arrested in my early twenties for failing to obey the laws against cannabis. After my arrest, I decided to move to California. While I was there, I read a book by Jack Herer called; “The Emperor Wears No Clothes.” That book was very important to me, and I was amazed by all the information he had gathered.

It inspired me to enroll in a permaculture course at Sandy Ranch in California. Permaculture is “permanent agriculture“ that requires designing a system of biodiversity and specific implementation. Using the techniques I learned I started to grow a small canopy of cannabis and lots of different fruits and vegetables on some land my friend owned. With that success and the passing the 2018 Farm Bill, I could return to Maryland and farm hemp.

AG1: So, what is the most fun for you in this role? 

CHRIS: Working every day with this amazing plant while knowing that it can help people and the environment. I love knowing that 1 acre of hemp can take out a significant amount of carbon dioxide when compared to other plants. The plant cleans the soil and the air, and the fiber can sequester carbon and replace plastics and other petroleum products and materials… We’ve stumbled upon a perfect solution to many of our environmental problems due to climate change, and being a part of that is really fun.

AG1: So, what is the most challenging for you in this role? 

CHRIS:  The most challenging is dealing with the stigma and the whole reefer madness thing, and the lack of proper support from politicians and the government. The federal government had over four years to provide regulations and clear guidelines, and we still don’t have those.

AG1: Tell us more about the hemp farm. 

CHRIS: We are growing hemp for CBD and other cannabinoid extractions. We do not use synthetic fertilizers, and we make our fertilizer based on traditional Korean farming. The process relies on fermentation and aerobic microorganisms. The liquid fertilizer takes about three months to concoct. We do not till on the farm, and we use seven different cover crops that become organic matter for the field over time. We focus on soil health because that’s really where the magic happens.

AG1: How do you think your childhood impacted where you are in your career now? 

CHRIS: I learned a lot of lessons in my early years while trying to follow my dreams. It feels nice to have persevered all those bumps and bruises. It was worth it to be here now, and to be able to make a positive change in my local community.

As a child I had ADD, and needed medication. Cannabis was a big part of my journey. As an adult I like growing this wellness product and doing it in a way that takes care of the land and environment for future generations.

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