USA’s First “Pick-Your-Own Hemp” Field Opens in Maine

October 11, 2019 at 4:54 pm

Farmers in Maine just opened the nation’s first pick-your-own hemp field next to their pick-your-own strawberries… guess which crop is more popular…

Photo Credit: Portland Press Herald

A young couple’s dream came true when the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill allowed for hemp cultivation in the United States, late last year.

Instead of conventional row crops, they now grow one of the most lucrative plants on the planet.

Ben and Taryn Marcus were first in line to get their state license to grow 7000 hemp plants on 3 acres last spring. They got their seeds in the ground just in time for a bountiful harvest this fall and are now enlisting the public’s help in picking it.

Photo Credit: Portland Press Herald

“It was a great crop to grow, easy to do, but it’s not a crop I’d want to harvest by myself,” Ben Marcus told Portland Press Herald.

Cutting down and trimming the large plants can be time consuming, “but these people, they’re thrilled to pick,” he said.

Their farm, Sheepscot General Farm, is home to the first known pick-your-own hemp field in the country. They also grow pick your own strawberries.

“We always wanted to do a pick-your-own, like we do with strawberries,” Marcus said. “But this has gotten a lot more attention than strawberries, that’s for sure.”

Customers can trim branches for $35 a pound or cut down the whole plant (like a Christmas tree) for $25 a pound. In a video of the field’s grand opening, a customer buys a 15-pound plant for almost $400.

Photo Credit: Portland Press Herald

That may sound pricey, but considering you’re lucky to find most refined hemp products for $25 an ounce, it’s a bargain, according to the farm’s customers, who tell the local newspaper, they’ll be using the plant’s flowers to make CBD oil, lotions and tinctures for pain, anxiety, depression and insomnia.

Ben tells the Herald he feels lucky “to be one of the pioneers of bringing it back — like to put it back in the ground. When I was a teenager, we dreamed of this moment.”