Half Hill Farm opens Wellness Emporium in Bell Buckle


left to right: Vince Oropesa, Christian Grantham, Heather Williams, Scot Smotherman, Jenny Hunt

We are very grateful for everyone who made it out Friday to the grand opening of our farm’s second store in historic Bell Buckle, Tennessee. The Wellness Emporium of Bell Buckle features all the products our farm proudly makes in Woodbury, TN plus other health & wellness products like industrial hemp products, extracts and local honey.

Special thanks to our new team member Scot Smotherman (business development), Lori Smith and Jessica Cimon for the wonderful flowers, for Heather Williams with the Chamber for bring the giant scissors, and Mayor Jenny Hunt for the very warm welcome. We look forward to bringing many years of better health & well being to our new friends and neighbors!

Half Hill Farm’s new seasonal kombucha flavor: Blood Orange

Half Hill Farm's Blood Orange Kombucha

NEW FLAVOR: Our farm’s new seasonal Blood Orange kombucha is now on tap at Half Hill Farm at the The Arts Center of Cannon County in Woodbury, TN (1424 John Bragg HWY Woodbury, TN 37190) and Wellness Emporium in Bell Buckle, TN (13 Webb Rd. E Bell Buckle, TN 37020) – it’s sunshine in a bottle made with all organic ingredients: blood orange, local honey, cardamom & clove!

Half Hill Farm restocks CBD hemp oil in Woodbury

Half Hill Farm is now restocking our CBD hemp oil products following clarity provided  by Circuit Court Judge Royce Taylor (TN Judicial District 16). The judge acknowledged in his order of injunctive relief that hemp-derived CBD products are legal under state law. Half Hill Farm removed CBD products with an abundance of caution until we could understand whether the court intended to uphold or challenge state law.

Yesterday, Judge Taylor provided injunctive relief to business owners arrested in Operation Candy Crush ordering the return of keys and cash registers seized in raids. He also placed the burden of proof on District Attorney Jennings Jones to prove the store owners knowingly sold “marijuana,” as the indictments claim.

Judge Taylor, citing Tennessee Public Chapter 369, said the state must prove that the CBD products sold by those arrested and seized by law enforcement came from marijuana and not industrial hemp which is legal in Tennessee.

The 2017 law passed unanimously by the legislature defines industrial hemp as including “any industrial hemp-derived products that do not contain more than three-tenths of one percent (0.3%) of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a topical or indigestible consumer product” (TCA 43-26-102(4)(B)). Industrial hemp also includes viable and non-viable plant, plant parts, or whole plant extracts with the same THC limits and additional restrictions if the source is growers and processors licensed by the state (TCA 43-26-102(4)(A)).

State law also explicitly removes industrial hemp (non-viable industrial hemp OR products made from non-viable industrial hemp from a licensed grower or processor) from state marijuana criminal codes (TCA 39-17-415). Despite some irresponsible television and print reports citing poorly written press releases, it is legal for consumers to purchase, consume and possess industrial hemp products without a prescription.

Half Hill Farm was part of the state hemp pilot program. We wanted to create extracts but could not plant the seed we wanted or sell the product to consumers. Recent changes in state law and Department of Agriculture rules fixed both those problems (allowing high CBD variety seed and legalizing any industrial hemp derived products) and created a market for legal, safe industrial hemp products. The legal distinction in state law between marijuana and industrial hemp creates a market for state grower and processor hemp products and for retailers to offer those products with competitive choices. Without these protections the state’s hemp pilot program would likely fail.

Here is a picture of the 2017 law beside a picture of our product’s certificate of analysis. You can view these documents in our stores.

You can purchase our CBD Hemp Oil products at our store in Woodbury (Half Hill Farm – 1424 John Bragg HWY Woodbury, TN 37190) and in Bell Buckle (Wellness Emporium – 13 Webb Rd E Bell Buckle, TN 37020). You can also view full lab reports for each purchase.

UPDATE 02-28-18: District Attorney Jennings Jones has dropped all charges against store owners. If you are a district attorney in Tennessee and have law enforcement or politicians coming to you with this issue, take note and don’t make costly mistakes like this.

Confusion over state hemp law leads judge to arrest business owners

We don’t want to go to jail or have our business shut down for helping people, but that is the situation we now face here in Tennessee.

This past week, 21 business owners were arrested in neighboring Rutherford County after Rutherford County District Attorney General Jennings Jones secured indictments from Circuit Court Judge Royce Taylor citing a 2015 law that limited sales and possession of CBD. The problem, as Tennessee Hemp Industries Association President Joe Kirkpatrick points out, is that the law was updated in May 2017 unanimously by the Tennessee State Legislature and signed by Governor Haslam (Tennessee Public Chapter 369). That mistake could have caused harm to those doing it legally.

The definition of “industrial hemp” is a clear exception to the definition of marijuana under both state law and the 2014 Farm Bill, which created the industrial hemp pilot program. The TNHIA does not take a position on marijuana legislation, only on hemp legislation. If the products in question are “industrial hemp” derived, the TNHIA takes grave exception to the actions of Rutherford County law enforcement.

Unless the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department and the Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and LaVergne municipal law enforcement investigators can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the CBD products were derived from a “marijuana” source rather than an “industrial hemp” source, they are in clear contravention of the law allowing the growth, processing, blending, and marketing of such products, and the victims of this action should be entitled to petition for any economic and/or punitive damages applicable under the law.

- Joe Kirkpatrick, President Tennessee Hemp Industries Association

The new 2017 law removes industrial hemp and any dirivatives with .3% or less THC from the state’s marijuana criminal code and allows for legal possession without a doctor’s prescription as long as the product is clearly labeled and sourced to a licensed grower or producer. Judge Jones relied on an older version of the law requiring stricter rules.

We have seen first hand what this amazing plant can do for veterans and for families helplessly caught in a policy-driven opioid crisis that has our country in a state of declared national emergency. It is unfortunate that the lawful good we can do is declared criminal by a Rutherford County District Attorney while those fomenting this national opioid crisis continue to profit on addiction and death.

Despite our confidence in state law and the products we carried that helped many customers from all walks of life, one DA and a circuit judge has undermined that confidence for us and an entire industry. We hope more clarity and education about the law does result from this. Due to the confusion and actions taken against other businesses, we have removed CBD products from our Woodbury store until we receive clarity from the 16th Judicial District of Tennessee on state industrial hemp laws. You can purchase our TN Public Chapter 369 compliant CBD products at the Wellness Emporium of Bell Buckle, TN.

UPDATE 02-17-2018: We’ve now restocked our Woodbury store with our CBD hemp oil products following clarity from the court.

UPDATE 02-28-2018: District Attorney Jennings Jones has dropped all charges against store owners. If you are a district attorney in Tennessee and have law enforcement or politicians coming to you with this issue, take note and don’t make costly mistakes like this.

Nourish your craving gut with a spoon of GingerBeet Tonic

Half Hill Farm’s GingerBeet Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic

The transition to Fall is one of our favorite times of the year. Summer harvests are winding down, the last mowing is near, and we can finally prepare wonderful treats that store away nutrients for another time like our new GingerBeet Tonic!

Our first small batch uses folate rich beets grown organically by Green Door Gourmet combined with organic and mineral-rich nettle, red clover, dandelion leaf and root as well as local honey and organic apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits including aiding with digestion. GingerBeet Tonic also helps nourish your gut’s natural craving for vitamins and minerals.*

This is our farm’s third apple cider vinegar tonic in addition to FireRoot and Elderberry and is now available online and in our Woodbury retail store at the Arts Center of Cannon County. All three would make a perfect seasonal gift that promotes better health and well being!

How To Use GingerBeet Tonic: Before using our tonic for health reasons, please consult your doctor. You can take our tonic by the tablespoon three times a day as desired or try these ideas:

  • Add 2 teaspoons per 8 oz serving of soda water with a few pepper corns, a pinch of salt and a bay leaf garnish for a sweet and savory shrub!
  • Blend two tablespoons with one tablespoon of flax or coconut oil to make a sweet vinaigrette for salads.
  • Drizzle over vegetables or fish to replace salt or butter.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always consult with your physician before using our products.

How herbal bitters help stimulate digestion

Half Hill Farm’s Dandelion Bitters – Herbal Extract

Bitters have been used for centuries to help stimulate our natural digestive processes that help address a host of issues like heartburn, gas and bloating, upset stomach or nausea. Bitter flavors are increasingly missing from modern diets as many of these conditions are coincidentally on the rise.

Good digestion is at the heart of better health and well being. The problem with some drugs used for digestive issues is that they neutralize the body’s way of telling you your diet isn’t working. Some drugs alter the balance of naturally occurring enzymes and gut bacteria to relieve symptoms rather than addressing their long-term causes. If you want to help your body’s natural digestive process work better, you need to understand how bitter flavor receptors work and stimulate them.

How bitters work: Flavor receptors for bitters (T2 receptors) begin on the back of the tongue and populate the entire gastrointestinal tract. Their presence in the gut control functions of digestion and initiates hormonal and neural pathways that affect metabolism. That fact alone should tell you how important a role these receptors play in balanced digestion.

Bitters help awaken your body’s natural digestive process by stimulating the liver to produce bile, the pancreas to produce digestive enzymes and the stomach to produce important acids. The stimulation of bitter receptors throughout the digestive tract helps digest fat, reduces absorption of toxins, and helps the gut absorb nutrients. Using bitters as a digestive aid is the perfect companion to foods that encourage probiotic gut flora.

A natural solution: Half Hill Farm’s Dandelion Bitters is our latest natural remedy to support your body’s natural digestive functions for better health and well being. It is available in 2 oz dropper bottles online or in our Woodbury store in the Arts Center of Cannon County.

Our Dandelion Bitters uses all organic dandelion leaf and root, orange peel, fennel seed, ginger, and cardamom in organic 45% USP alcohol. Take 10 drops before a meal or as needed to soothe an upset stomach.*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always consult with your physician before using our products for health reasons.

Farm Fails and How I Learned To Love Weeds


The only surviving blueberry bush at Half Hill Farm

I know it’s silly, but I’ve anguished over how to write this post for about two years.

What it boils down to is a struggle between my vision for our organic farm and what life had in mind. It literally took me a couple years to believe what was really happening.

About a year into farming, a family battle with cancer focused me on the emerging science and healing power of mushrooms that grew without any effort on our farm. It’s what I could do, so I poured myself into cultivating and perfecting a quality product I needed to work for people I loved. It took a heavy toll on the farm. We stopped going to our local farmers’ market. The hops slowly faded into the hillside. Season after season, the deer were having their way in the orchard, and I started growing way more dandelions than anything I actually planted.

Failure and Success: I felt like a total failure even though something amazing was happening at the same time. Customers began calling me from all over the country because they had heard about our mushroom extracts. Our farm’s creation of a natural remedy from our first forage in our woods was changing people’s lives. I got letters and phone calls from people telling me they felt I had saved their life. I cried many times with people on the phone who called to encourage me to keep doing what I was doing. It took a lot of healing customers to convince me it was really happening, and every one was a timely miracle.

It was a life lesson and one of the most humbling experiences of my life. Here I was trying so hard to bring another pound of produce to market when the land had a much bigger purpose in mind with mushrooms and herbaceous weeds if I would just listen to life and let it be. Eager for a purposeful life, that’s exactly what I did..

Half Hill Herbals: As our extract business grew, Vince came on full time and we moved production into an FDA-registered manufacturing kitchen in Woodbury. We expanded our mushroom extracts, partnered with certified organic growers and added new herbal tinctures, extracts and tonics. As I listened and grew with our customers I could see more clearly the path we were always on and how it unfolded in our products and stories of healing. I fell more in love with our weeds, sometimes spending hours identifying and understanding them. I still have a lot to learn and a lot more to share.

      

It literally took mowing down all but one survivor of our 100 blueberry bushes last month to find the language and finally come to terms with the fact that our farm is not what I envisioned. The farm is actually something bigger and more powerful: a beautiful mess of weeds, fungi and a platform for understanding, connecting with, and sharing the healing power of nature.

There were times I sat and cried on the hillside wondering what I was doing selling cucumbers by the pound from two farmable acres. I’ve learned to listen a lot more and trust what the land has been telling me all along. With smarter stewardship and patience, the land will show you its gifts. Weeds and wild herbs that were once in the way of another small crop row have captured my imagination, my heart and my soul.

As I look five years ahead, I see a lot less struggling with mowing and keeping a tidy garden. I see more mushrooms, clover, yellow dock, elderberries, burdock, nettle, mint, yarrow, bee balm, mullein, plantain and yes, dandelion. I see sanctuary. I see more healing. I see life and sharing our future together in the weeds!

Shop Half Hill Farm online or visit our retail store in the Arts Center of Cannon County.

How to watch the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse in Middle Tennessee


Trudy Capootie quality checks the Solar Eclipse viewers at Half Hill Farm.

On Monday, August 21, 2017 at 1:29 p.m., a total solar eclipse will pass almost directly over Woodbury, TN and last a whole 1 minute and 47 seconds. The partial eclipse will begin 12 p.m. and end at 2:55 p.m. It’s a once in a lifetime event for most people, and a swath of America will share this celestial event with us.

In a time when shared experiences are increasingly rare, the solar eclipse can bring together millions of people at the same time to marvel at the universal precision and geometry of something greater than us. If the weather is good, you will likely want to look up and share in the experience yourself.

FREE Solar Eclipse Glasses: We’re giving away solar eclipse viewers that you see Trudy modeling above. They are yours free with any purchase at our store in the Arts Center of Cannon County while they last. These viewers are ISO compliant for direct observation of the Sun – and they were made right here in Tennessee!

When and Where to view the 2017 Solar Eclipse: Click the map below to see NASA’s interactive 2017 solar eclipse viewer. Once loaded, click the map to see instant calculations for that point on the map.Here are a few local events you may want to consider:

Hemp extracted CBD now available in Woodbury

Cannabidiol (CBD) has received a lot of attention through recent efforts to change our nation’s cannabis laws due to a growing body of evidence suggesting many health benefits. Many people use CBD in treating seizures and other neurological disorders, anxiety, depression, cancer and pain.*

CBD is a naturally-occurring constituent of both the industrial hemp plant and marijuana that engages our endocannabinoid system. CBD extracted from both plants are molecularly identical, but extractions of marijuana can contain illegal amounts of the psychoactive constituent Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) while industrial hemp extracts do not. The distinction is one reason why imported hemp products (fiber, seed, oil) under importation rules of the United States Department of Agriculture and United States Customs and Border Protections are legal in all 50 states. Additionally, there are no interstate commerce restrictions on the sale and consumption of these imported hemp products in the United States.

When the Agricultural Act of 2014 (U.S. Farm Bill) was enacted into law, it established state pilot programs with strict controls on U.S. hemp growers and producers including the varieties that can be grown, required background checks for growers, and coordination with state and federal authorities. The federal law also allowed states to enact statewide rules on products created from domestic hemp crops, including requirements for prescriptions and state commerce restrictions.

Half Hill Farm was Tennessee’s first organic farm to grow hemp under Tennessee’s hemp pilot program with the intent of creating quality CBD extracts for our customers. After the first year’s crop, our farm left the program because of limits on varieties we could grow at that time. Recent changes to Tennessee’s industrial hemp laws are moving in the right direction. One recent change removes hemp from state marijuana criminal codes by defining all products derived from domestic hemp that contain less than .3% of THC as “industrial hemp.” The new law also provides an exemption for possessing “non-viable” industrial hemp by non-license holders as long as the product is from a licensed source. We do look forward to more changes that will allow us to grow and process varieties so we can compete with imported products.

In order to serve our customers the highest quality hemp extracted CBD now without the restrictions associated with domestic crop production, we are proud to partner with Endoca, a leader in quality imported organic and GMP certified CBD & CBDa hemp extracts.

You can now purchase Endoca CBD oil drops and capsules in our retail store at the Arts Center of Cannon County. Each batch is third party lab-tested for concentration and certified organic compliance. Certificates and lab tests are available for review.

DROPS:
  • (3%) 300mg Hemp Extract (300 drops – 1mg CBD per drop – $31)
  • (3%) 300mg Raw Hemp Extract (300 drops – 1mg CBD + CBDa per drop – $31)
  • (15%) 1500mg Hemp Extract (300 drops – 5mg CBD per drop – $150)
  • (15%) 1500mg Raw Hemp Extract (300 drops – 5mg CBD + CBDa per drop – $150)
CAPSULES:
  • (3%) 300mg Hemp Extract capsules (30 capsules – 10mg CBD per capsule – $31)
  • (3%) 300mg Raw Hemp Extract capsules (30 capsules – 10mg CBD + CBDa per capsule – $31)
MORE CBD PRODUCTS
  • 150mg CBD Chewing Gum (10 pieces / 15 mg CBD per gum – $14)
  • 750mg CBD Hemp Salve (30ml – $59)
  • 500mg CBD Suppositories (10 suppositories / 50mg CBD each – $49)
  • 20mg CBD Hemp Lip Balm ($8)

Here is more information on CBD:

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always consult with your physician before using new products. Half Hill Farm Inc does not sell or distribute any products that are in violation of the United States Controlled Substances Act. All of the cannabinoids in products we offer, including CBD, are natural constituents of industrial hemp and hemp oil.