Pot Zero – Gypsum, CO
Deep in the boondocks of Gypsum is Pot Zero, the only zero carbon footprint garden in Colorado. At 8,200 feet, they’re also one of the most elevated commercial grows in the state! The farm is like something out of a dream—nestled at the top of a hill, surrounded by panoramic canyon views. A 1200-foot fence protects their roughly 6,000 plants from deer, bears (they love those sticky, resinous leaves) and moles. Pot Zero’s owner, Robert Trotter, explained that due to katabatic air flow, the plants live a bipolar temperature life and are extremely resilient; the plants experience temperatures ranging from 25 degrees at night to 75 degrees or higher during the day.
Trotter is one of the most interesting, knowledgeable and passionate human beings I’ve had the pleasure of conversing with. He and his wife built their beautiful home on their Gypsum ranch 15 years ago and turned their love for farming and sustainable living into a full-fledged cannabis business. Trotter is 85 percent blind, but knows his land like the back of his hand and can navigate it without the slightest hesitation. Along with their family, they share the ranch with dogs, cats, horses and a herd of Scottish Highlanders, the oldest known breed of cattle in the world. Trotter refers to their cows as “Mordus,” which stands for Mobile Organic Recycling Distribution Units. The cows not only fertilize the soil, but act as a compost system for the field once the plants have been harvested. The result is a regenerated, recycled soil full of phosphorus, potassium and other micronutrients they wouldn’t have access to otherwise.
Pot Zero uses genetics from The Bank in Denver and has had phenomenal success cultivating their unique, carefully selected strains. They specialize in the production of rare cannabinoids, specifically CBG, which is non-psychoactive and significantly decreases the feeling of paranoia so many people experience when they consume cannabis. For electricity, they have a hydroelectric turbine which uses snowmelt water to power the entire ranch. This pristine water flows down a 12,500-foot mountain, directly past the farm and down the hill to the ranch; Trotter joked that their water is even cleaner than what they get down at Coors Brewery! He noted that they treat the land with the fullest amount of integrity possible, and have been rewarded by mother nature because of their efforts.