Owyhee Produce has announced their plan to create their own regenerative produce bags by converting hemp fibers sourced from their own crops. These compostable bags are set to be an available packing option releasing Spring 2020.
For the first time in their farming history, Owyhee Produce will start growing 500 acres of industrial hemp on their Oregon farm land, this year. The industrial hemp will be used to create CBD oil and the leftover fibers will be used to create compostable bags and other industrial materials. Excited to finally come full circle in their mindful efforts to develop plans in reducing carbon emissions, pollution and waste, company members have a renewed drive to make it happen, the company said.
“We know not everyone can commit to these types of standards today. However, for the most demanding companies out there, those companies who have made the massive commitment to reduce carbon emissions, pollution, and waste, we are here,” explained Owyhee Produce General Manager Shay Myers. “We are among the most climate conscience and progressive farmers in the country and we want to partner with the best companies to make a difference.” In addition to producing compostable onion bags, Owyhee Produce shared that it has plans to strengthen the foundation of their motto, “There’s a difference!” by being responsible farmers for the future. The company plans for a cleaner greener future by 2022:
- 100 percent compostable, biodegradable or recyclable packaging
- 100 percent regenerative
- 100 percent carbon neutral
- 25 percent water usage reduction per acre
- 25 percent fuel use reduction per acre
- 0 percent monoculture
According to Owyhee, the regenerative idea just gained traction in recent years, due to the political climate of “going green,” but it has always been a part of the company’s best practices. While onions may be their most demanding crop, they only grow onions in each field once every 5 to 6 years. The company says this rotation of crops restores the soil’s health naturally, reducing the need for synthetic fertilizer or fumigants, which lessens their impact on the environment and maintains their commitment to yield high-quality produce. This is why a compostable bag made more sense to them.
“It is our duty to ensure that tomorrow’s farmers are able to efficiently farm from our sustainable farming practices of today,” asserted Myers.
As a part of their rotating crops, they plant: beans and peas to fix nitrogen levels in the soil. Beets, alfalfa, and corn for weed control. Corn, wheat, and hemp, to increase organic matter and soil health. Mustard and Mint are used as natural biofumigants to prevent pest infestations other soil born diseases.