By Robert Adams
This year, Earl Fore was licensed to grow hemp in Round O.
An experienced farmer, Fore with the assistance of his grandson, Charles, found themselves fully enveloped in what they describe as the “Wild Wild West.”
The hemp growing industry is fast-paced and ever-growing, producing fiber for paper, textiles, insulation, etc.
Charles and Earl’s entry into hemp growing started off as a joke. But after attending the University of South Carolina-Salkehatchie in May of last year, Charles did some research and became quite interested in the topic. After some networking, and before they knew it, they were all in.
Fore has had cattle on the land since 2006. They sold the cows and last year he grew hemp under another license. This year, however, he was able to obtain his own license to grow. In addition to hemp, Fore grows fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, squash and cucumbers, though he often gives much of his produce away. Fore has four people employed on his farm to help including one part-time worker.
Their greenhouse allows them to grow year-round.
One of their goals this year is to find a unique strain and get it approved by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture. Commercial hemp plants have very little THC, unlike their relative marijuana. Different commercial strains are vital for growth and an important part of research and development. The pair plan to try growing hemp for seed this year and see what possibilities evolve.
“Doing your own research is key in this business. You will get far with time, patience and you need to network,” Charles said.
The South Carolina Department of Agriculture has hosted sessions with information on hemp growing.
Like many businesses, COVID-19 has affected Fore’s business. They are unable to participate in events and festivals that have now been canceled due to public safety concerns. Thankfully, the virus hasn’t affected the farming aspect and now he is can focus on their online hemp products business.
Charles said, “At Fore Farms, our goal is to produce a high-quality crop to create a high-quality product to sell to our consumers. In the end, our business is to help people.”
For information visit www.allforewellness.com .