Hemp Workshop with Ben Hartman/The Lean Farm School

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Hemp Workshop with Ben Hartman/The Lean Farm School



A key element of any lean farm is the ability to stay agile and continuously improve (called kaizen in Japanese). This year we put our top kaizen focus on growing hemp, integrating cannabis into our micro-farm. Our conclusion: there are incredible opportunities (and pitfalls) in hemp. The learning curve is steep but surmountable. Hemp grows well alongside lettuce, tomatoes, and other crops, and can even benefit those crops. The most lucrative hemp, and the best suited for small farms, is hemp grown for medicinal oil extraction.

This is the first year for legal hemp in Indiana. At this workshop we will share what we’ve learned, including seed sources, growing knowledge, processing options, and marketing strategies. Workshop participants will be invited to share what they know as well. This grower-to-grower event is geared toward small-scale farmers in the midwest (less than 10 acres), ideally with some experience growing hemp, though anyone is welcome. Join us for this Lean Farm School event!

This is truly unique, high-value workshop, and one that we wish we could have attended when we were starting our hemp enterprise.

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Who is this workshop for?

Small-scale growers who are integrating CBD hemp onto their farms, especially in Indiana and adjoining states, or those serious about getting started on a micro-scale.

What is a collaborative workshop?

Ben will present on how we are growing CBD hemp at Clay Bottom Farm, and there will also be time for other participants to share what they know. Participant contact information will be shared with the group post-workshop so that attendees can continue learning from one another.

Who is this workshop NOT for?


Macro-scale farmers. We will talk about low-input techniques for growing CBD hemp without large capital investments, and the workshop will most benefit those on 10 acres or less.

Those looking for a recreational marijuana or fiber hemp workshop. The focus of this workshop is CBD hemp.

What is the requirement to attend?

The only requirement is that you come willing to share what you know about CBD hemp, but you don’t need to be an experienced grower. Please come with an open mind and please respect others’ input.

What is the workshop size?

Workshop size is limited to 20, on a first-come basis.

Workshop Content

The workshop will be a mix of presentation and field tour of our CBD hemp production. We are growing hemp in hoophouse and in the field. Topics covered will include:

  • lean management of a CBD hemp enterprise

  • legal issues and applying for a license

  • seed and clone sourcing

  • tips for starting seeds (note: Hemp is not an easy germinator!)

  • fertility for high-CBD, low-THC hemp

  • sexing plants

  • plant spacing

  • lean strategies for weed control

  • watering requirements

  • pests and diseases

  • trellising and pruning

  • harvest and post-harvest handling

  • finding a processor

  • marketing opportunities

What to Bring

Water bottle, rain gear (this is a rain-or-shine event), insect repellent, notebook and pen.

A local food lunch will be provided.