I was asked by the Organic Cannabis Association (OCA) to present at their Kaleidoscope Event, which took place last Sunday in Denver at Culture Garden Market. The topic of the presentation – titled “Process Before Products” – was Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies able to employed by anyone safely, effectively, and at little to no cost, as they rely on conscientiousness and effort, rather than specific pesticide products or materials. You can view the slides from the presentation below. I’ll update this post with photos or videos if good ones arise.
The overarching aim of my talk was to get people to think more broadly about IPM; that it encompasses much more than simply the pesticides that are being used and rotated, or one’s preventative spray schedule. To make that point, I noted that most people employ some level of IPM practices in their homes everyday. Keeping one’s kitchen free of food scraps, having screen doors and windows, allowing spiders to stick around and help get rid of other bugs, and of course household pesticides are all pieces that form an integrated strategy that we employ daily to keep our homes free of unwanted pests. The same goes in a commercial cannabis cultivation facility; operators need to examine every aspect of their practices – from strain selection to cleanliness to fertilization, and more – and consider the implications for pest management. Hopefully the slides attached here and at the bottom of this post can provide some useful pointers that growers can employ in their day-to-day activities.
Overall the event was extremely enjoyable and featured a great introduction from John-Paul Maxfield, the OCA’s founder and chairman, about the power of cannabis to get people interested in larger agricultural issues that are incredibly important to our future, a point with which I agree wholeheartedly. The OCA recently launched its Pesticide Free Certification in order to help those growers who are employing strong IPM practices and avoiding chemical pesticides illegal for use on the crop to differentiate their products in a market still fraught with uncertainty. It is hoped that skilled cultivators can gain the certification and be recognized for their efforts to grow safely and ethically.
Thanks to the OCA for organizing a fun and educational afternoon – and for allowing me to contribute – as well as to Culture Garden Market for hosting in their beautiful store. I’m definitely looking forward to the next event and to seeing the OCA’s Pesticide Free Certification on Colorado cannabis in the coming months.