Your Local Farm-to-Label CBD Grower
By Stacy McCaskill
When my wife, Dr. Ronda DeVold, and I first saw our new farm property, we were both excited about the possibilities. The property came with two beautiful and well cared for rescue horses; a passion for Dr. DeVold, an emergency and specialty care veterinarian practicing in Crystal Lake, Illinois. Ronda couldn’t wait to work with the horses in the spacious six acre pasture.
I was excited however, for a different reason; it was the perfect location for a hemp grow and on-farm store. Thus was born Hempstock Pharms located in beautiful Woodstock, Illinois.
I had organized the first-ever industrial hemp workshops in Illinois as a Small Business Development Center Director and quickly became a statewide expert on all things industrial hemp. Industrial hemp is cannabis but earns its “industrial” tag because the THC, the cannabinoid which delivers the mary-j “high”, is less than .03%. Industrial hemp is NOT grown for its “high” but rather for food, fiber, or flower.
Hempstock Pharms grows for flower. Our annual harvest is dried and processed into a variety of applications from our highly rated hemp-root iced tea to topicals to tinctures to even quality smokable craft flower. All hemp flower products are enjoyed for the powerful impact of the myriad cannabinoids and terpenes that science is just beginning to unlock the mysteries thereof.
I have been thrilled with the farm’s perfect location just a mile outside of downtown Woodstock Square and close to some great county fairs and local festivals. In our first year, we grew less than 1,000 plants and launched a highly successful local CBD business, selling at farmers markets, fairs, festivals, and from our make-shift store setup in our 100 year-old farmhouse laundry room.
The majority of our early success is because people love connecting with farmers. Simply put, people are eager to be more connected to and knowledgeable about the many things they use and consume every day. This is even more true for hemp because the industry is so new and there is still yet no FDA approved daily CBD products. People want to know what they consume is local, safe, sustainable, and making a positive impact in their communities.
We plan to grow over 10,000 plants this year and are bringing on our farm-hands as partners in this second season’s grow. Rolan and Noel Valasquez worked so hard in the first year and just impressed us so much! The brothers are incredibly intelligent, caring, and passionate about the plant. We just couldn’t pass up the chance to include them in a bigger way. I’m so excited they agreed to join us! We are all excited for this new season and everyone seems eager to continue learning and growing together!
Reflecting now back on our first season, I have just been amazed at how many people go out of their way to track us down, get their products ordered and arranged for picked up. I think they suffer through our spotty hours and frequently unanswered phones because they know we are real farmers, hard working people, and simply their neighbors. Our customers have been so supportive! I am grateful and it feels so good to be such an incredible part of the growing Illinois Live-Local movement .”