Is Montrose Colorado the Napa Valley of Hemp? Typhoon Farma Think So
Take one look around Typhoon Farma’s fields and it will become apparent to even an untrained eye that something special is being crafted with an abundance of skill and precision. Ryan Eakes, who heads up the 120 acre operation, considers “Montrose to be the Napa Valley of bushy CBD hemp,” thanks to abundant sunshine, dry growing conditions, daily temperature swings, and the abundant supply of snowmelt water from nearby rivers.
Photos: Savannah Conley
Many people associate cannabidiol, known as CBD, with the psychoactive ingredient THC in marajuana. However, in Colorado CBD must contain less than .3% THC. This is tested and certified by the state prior to harvest. CBD is extracted from hemp plants and is typically used for its potential to relieve the symptoms of many common health conditions, such as pain and inflammation. Typhoon Farma has their sights set on producing the finest CBD product available anywhere on the planet, with a convenient location just 5 miles outside of downtown Montrose.
Typhoon’s vision is coming to fruition through the team’s combined years of experience and sweat equity put into the fields every day. Part of the job includes sourcing outstanding genetics and working carefully to ensure product quality by measuring plant deficiency levels and immediately adjusting their nutrient intake. Typhoon is also a fully organic operation, meaning they don’t utilize pesticides anywhere on the farm and cultivation is done mostly by hand. After three years of organic farming efforts, they are hoping to be an organically certified corporation by the 2023 season.
Under Eakes’ watchful eye, the business has implemented cutting edge techniques –including an Israeli built Netafim fertigation system that conserves water while giving the plants an exact and controlled nutrient and water regimen. Rather than focusing on producing the largest quantity of plants, the goal is to maintain a sustainable operation that produces a high quality, repeatable product. This idea of quality and sustainability can also be seen when Typhoon leaves large sections of the farm dormant for a season at a time, to allow for healthy soil regeneration.
Typhoon is one of the only farms left in the region that still grows a cannabigerol (CBG) strain of hemp. CBG is often considered the ‘mother of all cannabinoids' and is known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. The CBG hemp can be consumed in either a smokable or extract form. In previous years, many farmers were growing the strain, however, this season the number of plants in the ground is low while the demand is expected to be high. The CBG plants are processed similarly to the CBD plants after harvest, and are turned into a large variety of edible options as well as topical ointments.
On the Typhoon farm, drying and curing of the plants immediately after harvest is accomplished by using varying techniques that have been modified and improved over the years. Even as seasoned hemp growers, farmers at Typhoon are continuously learning about the seemingly endless capabilities of the plant. Once the plants have been dried and cured, they are then broken down depending on the final product. Either fine milled, hand shucked, or whole flower, the farm can accommodate any preferred biomass consistency for oil extraction. CBD is commonly added to food items but can also be used as a topical ointment or in a smokable flower form. Final processing of the CBD is currently done by partner companies that Typhoon has formed relationships with over the years.
Just like last year, Typhoon Farma are inviting the community to get involved in hemp farming at a Pick-Your-Own event. During the three-day event, the farm will once again open its gates to the public and visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the growing and extracting processes, while experiencing a little bit of what it takes to make CBD. Patrons also have the option to select and harvest one of six different strains of government-certified hemp—with each plant yielding an impressive two to three pounds of flowers on average. The entire crew at Typhoon will be there to help harvest plants for the community.
The future is bright for Eakes and his team at Typhoon Farma. They are taking the first steps towards having the region recognized as one of the top places in the world to grow bushy hemp CBD plants. They're also in the early stages of expanding their farm into more than just a CBD facility. The idea is to make Typhoon Farma a space where travelers passing through the Uncompahgre Valley can stop in and grab a craft beer, park their RV and learn about the benefits of CBD.