This article was written by Evan Skandalis, our VP of Farm Operations at Lazarus Farms.
Lazarus Farms is located in the High Desert of Central Oregon. We are in the middle of prime farming and ranching country and surrounded by many beautiful mountains including the Three Sisters and Smith Rock. We are truly lucky to be in the midst of so much natural beauty.
Central Oregon’s high desert climate has cool nights and sunny days. Annual precipitation averages 11.2 inches with an annual average snowfall of 23.8 inches. We have the highest average number of sunny days in the state and it’s no wonder that this area is quickly becoming a prime area for the cultivation of industrial hemp.
We water and feed our crop with a subsurface drip irrigation system that draws from an irrigation ditch and delivers just the right amount of water to the crop. We compost our previously extracted material and are working to produce our own compost to build up the organic matter content of our soil.
There was a lot of trial and error as we seeded, planted, watered, nurtured and harvested our inaugural crop. Our incredible team of dedicated, focused and passionate horticulturists, engineers and farmers put a tremendous amount of time, energy and love into growing the hemp used in our process. We hope it shows in our products.
On the farm, we are staying busy through the winter to get set up for a successful 2019 season. Farm work never really ends as we tinker with machines, dial in ideal parameters and strategize for the work ahead. The cultivation of industrial hemp has gone through a massive growth stage in the past five years and the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill is a huge development.
Lazarus Naturals is a board member of the US Hemp Farmers Alliance, which aims to advocate for American farmers of this crop. The most pressing issues currently are crop insurance and agronomic assessments of ideal growing conditions for the plant.
So much institutional knowledge has been lost due to prohibition and I hope to be part of the change that will bring the benefits of this plant to commercial success in a way that makes positive impacts on our earth, our clients and the farming community.