The Native California ladybug voluntarily comes to Autumn Brands, eating all the aphids in their path and helping to produce cannabis crops without the use of insecticide sprays
How to grow clean, pesticide-free cannabis: Autumn Brands farms have ladybugs on their side.
The Brand Family of Dutch descent has six generations of farming under their belt. That experience in sustainable and holistic farming is now making an impact in the cannabis world. Having teamed up with Autumn Shelton to create Autumn Brands Farm, together Shelton and the Brand family, Hans, his son Johnny Brand, and his daughter Hanna Brand are dedicated to growing cannabis products consumers can count on for quality and safety. They have created a modern, artisanal approach to sustainable cannabis cultivation and raise their crops without insecticide sprays. It’s all possible with the native California ladybug doing its part.
“No-Spray is more expensive, and initially there was a high rate of crop loss due to having to learn the balance between beneficial insects and eliminating the use of pesticide ” says Hans Brand, “but it’s the right thing to do for the health of the consumer because you can’t wash the pesticides off, you can’t wash your weed.”
Autumn Brands decided almost four years ago to hold their cannabis to a higher standard and grow pesticide-free. Due to growing in a year-round greenhouse, the company can still produce more crops than a traditional farm, but it is not as simple as just letting nature take over. Instead, the Brand family tested different strains and worked with different combinations and ratios of insects to combat the aphids and other pests that can destroy the plants. Johnny Brand, who has a degree in agricultural science from Cal Poly, has been a large part of the solution they’ve found. The goal: not total elimination of aphids, but to establish a natural balance on the farm that allows the aphids to survive, just enough to not affect the cannabis output too drastically. They got there, now that Native California ladybugs (without the spots) voluntarily come to Autumn Brands to lay their eggs which then turn into larvae and eat the aphids in their path.