Nothing against the hardworking growing staffs using hydroponic setups in warehouses, but the future of cannabis cultivation lies in nature — so why not learn more about it? Now you can, during a tour of one of Colorado's most unique cannabis operations.
Few growers are taking advantage of nature like Pot Zero, the commercial growing operation in Eagle County, a few miles out Gypsum. Owners Rob and Linda Trotter, who ranched cattle for years before expanding into a new kind of agriculture, say their farm doesn't worry about official organic designation, which currently eludes cannabis growers because of the plant's federally illegal status. “But we’re more than organic. We’re bio-dynamic," Rob said during a 2017 interview.
Colorado Cannabis Tours is taking interested visitors up to the Trotters' pot farm throughout September to learn how the couple uses the fat of the land for their sustainably operated commercial grow. Here's how the Trotters use the natural resources around them for a carbon-free grow, according to a Westword article from 2017:
"Taking advantage of natural water from a nearby creek, minerals that come down from the cliffs into that creek, cattle manure to fertilize the soil and an increase in ultraviolet rays at 8,200 feet, they’ve laid the foundation for one of the pot industry’s most unique production lines. Nematodes are added to the gypsum-filled water to combat pest larvae; hundreds of thousands of ladybugs are brought in to eat aphids and indigenous pholcidae (daddy long legs) fight off a number of other pot-eating bugs. Beetle kill — chewed debris left by beetles after they’ve gnawed on pine trees — is used to heat the shacks while the buds dry, and fans powered by a hydroelectric pump keep the frost away during growing season."
Even if you're not interested in sustainable cannabis, the tour is worth it for sightseeing purposes alone. Don't believe us? Check out Westword photographer Jake Holschuh's visit to the farm and see for yourself.
As Pot Zero nears its harvest season, visitors can take a ride from CCT's headquarters in Denver to the Trotters' farm on September 22, 23, 29 or 30 for $129. While the tour is for educational purposes, the bus will be stopping at dispensaries on the way, and cannabis consumption will be allowed during the bus ride, so all riders must be at least 21.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.