A Day at Rush Farms
Just this weekend I was able to make it over to Ryan Rush's farm tucked in the mountainous region of Maryville, TN. With four people in just a few short hours, we transplanted over 50 plants!!! Here is a list of some of the tasks that went into transplanting clones into 3 gallon pots.
- soil formulating and mixing
- filling pots (Ryan uses cloth pots to maximize root aeration)
- preparing 6-8 in hole for insertion and adding 2 kinds of fertilizers, one high in microrrhizzae before inserting clone
- fluffing the roots to prepare them for maximum nutrient uptake
- after inserting clone, fold soil over and level out top
Ryan and I have been fellow renegades in the Tennessee hemp renaissance for the last four years. Ryan's journey has been extremely inspirational to me and other small farm owners faithfully invested in revitalizing the rural economy of the south. Ryan's construction of Rush Farms has embodied the American Dream as a small scale industrial hemp farm in Tennessee.
There are no bones about it, Ryan is a special kind of dude! His energy is infectious and evident by the community of people he attracts. By the end of the day, despite having indulged in a chocolate glazed donut, my abdominals felt relatively toned from all of the laughter. Ryan has given me and others in the program a true since of pride for our work.
The success that Ryan has had did not come effortlessly, his life experiences have shaped his hemp journey. Ryan's stature is strong and muscular, which mirrors the hard work and discipline he has had while building his grow and processing facility. His primary motivation came from his brother who had cancer and could not afford medical expenses. Ryan's compassion and heart for helping others drove him to grow hemp varieties and process hemp material to formulate medication for his brother. He knew to grow the best he needed someone to guide him some what along the way so he got in touch with a growing advisor from the Czech Republic and started refining his technique for growing cannabis. When you start talking to Ryan about processing, his years of researching safe and efficient processing methods, is evident. In Tennessee he is considered one of the most educated and knowledgeable sources for safe extraction methods. If there was a Ph.D. for the extraction processes of cannabis, Ryan should have it! Five years prior to transitioning into growing Cannabis sativa varieties under Tennessee's industrial hemp pilot program, Ryan had been increasingly enthusiastic about agriculture in general. His entry into the market with his full spectrum hemp extract was perfect timing to help meet the demand. Based on his brother's battle with cancer Ryan decided to introduce a medical registry for low-no income and seriously ill people. This was an absolute game changer in Tennessee and was something no one else offered in 2016. This registry offers everyone equal access to high quality full spectrum hemp derived products. To be considered for the registry, Ryan asks that you submit two weeks of bank statements along with you social security ID, disability papers if applicable and any doctors notes that can verify your condition. Even with Ryan's recent success he reminds me that it took him at least fourteen months of head down, around the clock work.
I start thinking about that ache I am beginning to feel four hours into my volunteer transplanting efforts for the day and sigh deeply. Then as if a wave rushed over me, I feel a sincere yearn of gratitude for the farm Ryan has created. He wishes nothing more than to have sustainable income for himself and his son, possibly a nice plot of land, and most importantly to consistently supply his customers with "Ryan's gold standard". As a small farmer Ryan has constructed the first industrial hemp company to bring consistent quality to the market. Ryan's motivation for quality, willingness to learn and adaptability have conditioned him to be one of the best producers the state has to offer.