Eco Firma Farms – Canby, OR
It’s a phrase many of us were taught in middle school chemistry class, but it’s also one Jesse Peters, CEO of Canby, Oregon’s, Eco Firma Farms, holds dear to this day. “Garbage in, garbage out,” the CEO states. This maxim is important to Peters, whose farm produces large amounts of well-regulated plants. Because, as he’ll tell you simply, “You get out what you put in.”
Peters founded Eco Firma Farms in 2013. Before that, in 2011 and 2012, he’d spent time working in the medical cannabis world. “Everything was still pretty new,” he explains. “We would watch people come in with grocery bags, zip lock bags, trash bags, just trying to sell their weed.” Peters concluded that his company needed a name, a brand and some solid numbers to back up their promise of potent product. “Out of nowhere, I decided to tell people I was with Eco Firma Farms,” he laughs. “And it took.”
But assuming such an eco-friendly name meant Peters had some work to do. “I started looking at studies,” he recalls, “seeing how many pounds of CO2 [were] put in the atmosphere to produce one pound of marijuana. And it was bad. I thought, ‘What do I say when an outdoor farm says we’re terrible on the environment?’ So, it was the right thing to do to try and find a way to be better.”
In 2014, Peters took a look at his PGE energy bill and noticed there was a number on the side to call about renewable energy. So he called it. Now, Eco Firma Farms relies almost entirely on power generated from Oregon wind turbines and no longer releases CO2 in the atmosphere from electricity usage. “We pay the money, and PGE buys that electricity from wind farms and sells it to us,” he explains. “And that enables the wind farmers to set up more turbines.” And, in 2017, the farm earned PGE’s Green Mountain Energy Gold Certification for their efforts.
The response to Eco Firma’s wind-powered pot has been “really interesting,” Peters notes. “On a consumer level, we get really good responses from being responsible,” he acknowledges. “We also haven’t used pesticides in years—we don’t spray our plants with anything. But at the dispensary level, it’s about 50/50.” Peters says a lot of dispensaries “don’t care” about how the product is made, they just want the cheapest option. Others, however, do care, and the eco-friendly work benefits their brand.
And while he strives to make his product as consistent and useful as possible, there are always ways to improve. Power aside, Peters says good cannabis requires three ingredients: experience, time and care. “You have to pay attention to the plants,” he underscores. “We’re always striving for the next step, how to be better at what we do.”