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Tad Hussey ~ Keep It Simple Farm and KiS Organics Cannabis Cultivation & Science Podcast
15th November 2019 • GREEN Organic Garden Podcast • Jackie Marie Beyer
00:00:00 01:09:46

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Read the text version of my interview here: Golden Seeds Issue 13 Tad Hussey

My interview with Tara Caton At the Rodale Institute Hemp Botanist

I’m curious how you found out about me.

Haha, IDK? Well, one I’m always looking for guests! But I did just release for Earth Day April 22, 2019, this interview with Tara Caton from  the Rodale institute last week and since then I have been online researching hemp and cannabis and I am just flabbergasted at what has changed because when I started my podcast in 2015, I couldn’t find someone to come on my show and talk about hemp or cannabis for 4/20 day.

The other thing is I have always dreamed of being a sunflower farmer, and originally I thought I would sell sunflowers to florists, but then I thought bird seed would suit me better but this last winter, I thought I would like to grow sunflower sprouts after I was going crazy looking for fresh greens and my step-daughter gave me some and I was so excited, after the romaine recall. My husband planted so much kale and swiss chard etc last year for me, I didn’t have to buy any greens from August to November!

Wow, I can tell you’re a plant enthusiast.

Well, I’m a sunflower and hemp enthusiast!

It’s Thursday, April 17, 2019! Earth Day is coming up on Monday! I have another podcaster on the line. His business is KiS Organics. Welcome Tad Hussey!

I know we’re gonna learn a lot!

Are you in Oregon, Washington? Somewhere by the Pacific Coast?

I am in the North West. About 20 minutes east of Seattle in Redmond, Washington.

Tell us a little about yourself.

Sure so, I’m 41 years old, I grew up with father actually both my parents running a commercial nursery and landscape business here on 7 acres in Redmond. So, I grew up around plants, but wasn’t that into them. I kind of moved away from it but after college I came back with a masters degree in another field and I had trouble finding work in that field I really enjoyed.

So I ended up coming into my parents business  which was all about compost tea at that point so I ended up learning all about:

  • compost tea
  • microbes and
  • gardening

from that we sort of expanded we got the property where they originally had the landscape country.

This was about 2011. This was sort of the time of victory gardens and backyard chickens. Nurseries were sort of failing so we knew we didn’t want to do that.

So we started this thing:

KIS Farm

Keep It Simple Farm

It started out as a feed store.

I knew there were no feed stores in Redmond, I wanted a place to have feed cause I was getting into backyard gardens and wanted chickens.

All these people started coming in who wanted:

  • horse feed
  • dog food

and all these other things. So we expanded that into an edible nursery. We had all these unique

edibles but we found out people  in our area didn’t care. So we shaved that down to your classic favorites you find at a lot of other places.

There’s also an educational trial on the property that is focused on teaching about native habitat and salmon spanning. We get a lot of boy scout and girl scout troops through there.

There’s an outdoor preschool on the property that meets 5 days a week a lot of fun.

So the kids are out there running around in the woods learning about the outdoors which is a lot of fun and on top of all this we also have:

  • chickens
  • pigs
  • goats

free ranging on the property.

We also grow vegetables!

We have a you pick, a large green house an 85 foot greenhouse and also a pumpkin patch. Every year we plant that out and so people can stop by and buy organic produce on their way home from the store or home from work. That’s sort of what KiS Farm is all about, focused on education and community support and helping gardeners and growers learn how to sustainably organically.

We also have KiS organics which is an online garden store provider

offering a variety of soil amendments as well as soils that we have created that we have created specifically for growing high value crops like cannabis and tomatoes. We work with a lot of the legal market here and as far away as Puerto Rico.

Essentially what it is, is this whole idea of living soils this concept that we try to create living ecology in our containers with our media or in raised beds, indoor or outdoor, as a way of allowing the microbes and all the things I’m sure people have talked about on your podcast to really control the growing process so we’re not perpetually throwing out our soil every cycle each year and have to start over every years and learning how to amend that soil to build and grow each year.

In between episodes today, I was listening to your talk with Jeff Lowenfels, who wrote Teaming With Microbes and Teaming with Nutrients: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to Optimizing Plant Nutrition, etc it was interesting to hear you talk to him. I was supposed to interview him but he wanted me to wait till I had read his books. One of the things I really loved about your site is you seem really natural.

And Jeff’s newest book:

DIY Autoflowering Cannabis: An Easy Way to Grow Your Own

Yeah, I never grew up without organic gardening, it’s something my parents have been doing since I was little. My dad did the chemical thing as a landscaper back in the early 80 late 70s but moved away from it for health reasons after he learned about the dangers from it.

So organics is all I’ve ever grown. It’s funny when you mention cannabis, because when I was growing up I was always really anti-cannabis. It wasn’t until I started this compost tea business, or my parents started and I was in my early 30s. Idk really know anything about cannabis and I would get these phone calls from growers and they would say things like:

“I want to use your compost tea and I have 40 tomato plants under artificial lights, and I started looking into it and realizing this is a huge industry and these people don’t know what they’re doing in regards to compost tea.There’s all these myths around that subject and I started writing on these forums and communicating and  really trying to get all this information out there.

I thought I should try this and wanted to try growing it and learning about it and I went into this hydroponic shop and I was blown away!

I’d only been into nurseries and I had never seen this wide selection products!

My first reaction was I can’t wait to try this on vegetables! I can’t wait to try this on tomatoes!

Cannabis is this special plant and we need all these special nutrients and a lot of that is just marketing! As my knowledge grew over the years I realized that all those products if you start reading the ingredients are just the same stuff with a 1000% markup of what you will find in your garden center store or you can make yourself!

From that I realized this market that needed education because it’s been underground for so long that a lot of growers all they could do is they could talk to their buddy who could talk to their buddy, who could talk to the hydro!

There was no access to information like there is now.

That’s why I started my podcast which is called the cannabis cultivation and science to try to bridge that gap between the organic gardeners and the horticulture world.

That’s what I love to hear and that’s what I keep telling my husband, this is a very specialized skill and there is going to be a lot of people interested.

Well, I think anyone can grow cannabis if they are interested. I think it is a specialized plant for medicinal properties. But it really does want to grow, it’s called weed for a reason. If you can grow a good tomato or a good pepper you can grow  a good cannabis plant.

There are a few things are different. Most cannabis plants with the exception of auto flowers, are photogenic, as in they need a certain amount of light (lack of light- dark cycle). It’s pretty straight forward. You’ve probably grown 1000 of tomatoes, so you would probably be really successful at it!

Well, my listeners know, that technically I’m not the gardener, I’ve grown some cherry tomato plants. My husband is more the gardener and I’m the organic eater. I do like to grow sunflowers and I did grow lettuce for my guinea pig.

But as I was just saying, yes it might grow like a weed, but if you are growing it for the flower that people are going to want to smoke, you are not going to want seeds in there, there’s that whole part, there’s the light thing like you were saying, and then there are the regulations again, if you want to have enough product to last a year, I mean it depends on your situation.

I guess my point would be I would say it’s the same growing principals for someone growing tomatoes as for growing cannabis as for growing for the soil really learn the plant. There are unique challenges to grow cannabis.

Here in Washington as one of the first states to go legal, we would have a bunch of underground growers who come in and say, I have been growing 30 plants in my basement for 20 years. and grew using this line of nutrients and suddenly they are in this opportunity to be a million dollar grower as a  master grower and they didn’t realize it doesn’t scale that way

1000 plants

skill set

gardener and a farmer

a lot of people failed and lost a lot of money here in these markets or they are struggling to maintain because the cost of production is way too high so that’s what I am seeing here.

I think that is along the same lines, not even up to 1000 plants. My husband always says you couldn’t really grow it here in Montana, because you wouldn’t et the daylight, you wouldn’t get that 12 hour light period during the season. Like my dream is to grow unlimited amounts and people because they were growing to get the most potent in their basement, I think there should be big varieties and what are they putting in things, they say emergency rooms  visits are up because people don’t know how to eat their edibles and keep overdosing.

What I love about your site is growing it in dirt and growing it naturally. People are doing things in those small spaces, who knows whats in their pot.

I think there is this assumption because cannabis is this groovy pat, it’s a bunch of hippies listening to reggae. There’s a lot of people who were doing a lot of bad things back when it was in the black market.

One issue we see is people using things like a bud hardener and there are lot of people using things that are illegal for use with edible crops it raises their weight of various yields, using things not approved for use on edible crops. The effects if it is combusted vs eaten you know through your lungs versus through your stomach.

Personally I wouldn’t let friends just go to a recreational pot shot here in Washington and buy anything, I tell them which growers are producing safe product so your not risking anything by

taking it and I think it’s another consideration a lot of people should grow it on their own.

and go to your website where they can learn how to grow it naturally!

I think fertilizing and soil testing responsibly in a way that is more affordable! I know when I first started out gardening I would go to the store and I would buy the cheapest potting soil I cold find and then go to the fertilizer department and find a bag with a photo of a tomato on it.

in my experience

for me my suggestion is invest in your soil

best soil you can build using the best local inputs you can find and do a soil test and potentially a water test

We are finding a lot of people don’t have a commercial water supply

finding things

people’s water

lot more sense

customize their nutrient program for their garden. How much nitrogen is very different if you are growing lettuce and corn is different for sunflower

The right source the right products to maintain

$25 for the one we recommend

logan labs

There are ones you can do at home but are not quite as accurate, but here in Washington state there are 4-5 free soil tests they will do for you.

I was going to say, the water testing. We have 2 wells on our property, the first one is a shallow well about 19 feet deep and then a few years ago we started using the deep well that’s 560’ And he’s been using the shallow well always and now the cloner is clogging up and we wonder fi that’s from the new well.

One thing to consider your soil could be over calcium and then it could change your nutrients could be high in bicarbonates. There’s so many variables, getting it to someone who can interpret that information and a lot of

times there’s local extension agents or services.

There’s something that was brought to my attention by his book the Intelligent Gardener

Steve Solomon it’s a concept from 189-

William Albect a concept of crop nutrition

The idea that we can get the minerals and soils balanced to certain levels

healthier for us to eat

Steve talks about in his book he has some very anecdotal stories and they are quite powerful

check it out that and

Teaming With Microbes

Everyone who asks me where I should start

organic is great!

he could care less about being organic what he cares about is that his food is nutrient dense. It’s much more important

the minerals are in the soil chemical or organic source


has all these properties

how is it going to get high in iron sulfur nutrient attributed to it if it is not in our soil.

Which is a really good point if they are not in our crop they not going to be in our bodies

may not be enough

balance the soil

can do this organically

getting  a soil test

right level of these trace levels of macronutrients.

In Montana, I asked the guy from the extension office is going to come on in May, once I get the results back from the extension then he can help me.

Yes that is going to get you going in the right direction

not the end all of the quality of your soil