Like it or not, summer is winding down and the sun is setting a little bit earlier every day. Since Fall has always been the season of the harvest, we thought it would be the perfect time to catch up with our favorite farmer, Franny Tacy of Franny’s Farm and Franny’s Farmacy in our hometown of Asheville, NC. Since planting her first hemp crop in 2017, Tacy has become a vocal champion for hemp farmers across the Southeast. We sat down to chat about her latest crop, as well as the future of the hemp industry and how companies like Astral can make a difference.
Astral: How are your hemp plants doing? What stage of their life cycle are they in right now?
Franny: The hemp girls are all starting to flower now and within the month we will see “buds” developing. This is also the time that all the pests really become attracted to the plants. It’s the time for preventative pest management, pruning, feeding nutrients, watching, and smelling.
Astral: What is the seasonal life of a hemp plant?
Franny: It depends on variety, auto-flower, clone, and seed. Franny’s Farm is involved with researchers such as Triangle Hemp and Front Range Bioscience and in trials with NC State to get the scientific answers behind so many questions about growing hemp. It’s all about a lot of factors and at the top of that list are the hemp genetic variety and grow conditions, such as indoor vs. outdoor, that determine the outcome of the crop. The general rule for outdoor grow is to plant around Mother’s Day and harvest late September to early October, so about a 4 to 5-month cycle. Harvest dates will vary based on the THC tests, which must come in under .3% to be legally hemp.
Astral: Where do you see yourself making the biggest impact for the hemp industry?
Franny: I am an advocate for all things hemp! I eat it, wear it, use it on my body (inside and out), grow it, create almost 50 branded Franny’s Farmacy products, and sell CBD and hemp products. Hemp is part of a larger picture for regenerative agriculture and sustainability and I am a connector, educator, and innovator for the industry, spreading the word.
Astral: What are some problems hemp can solve?
Franny: I love this question and would encourage anyone interested to watch my TedX talk here because I’m very passionate about this topic! I BELIEVE growing hemp for all its uses will change the face of agro-economies for communities, states, and our country.
Astral: How do products like Astral’s hemp shoes bring awareness to the larger hemp industry?
Franny: Everyone wins, including consumers, manufacturers, and retailers when innovative, sustainable-minded, progressive, and hip companies like Astral create and market hemp products with ethics, education, and enthusiasm! I love my hemp shoes so much. I have multiple pairs and I wear them all the time and I’m constantly spreading the word because people stop, look, and ask.
Astral: What is the future of hemp and the hemp industry?
Franny: CBD is here to stay because “we the people” pushed to make it happen, solely based on the benefits for health and farming. The future and next growth industries for hemp will be in fiber, food, and building materials. Look for hemp to “crop up” in all things fiber and food.