Updated: Apr 6
Edward Woerner, from Elberta, Alabama, has created the answer for conventional farmers to transition quickly to organic, and this includes cannabis growers. The process doesn't have a name, but it is patented.
Eddie's solution uses steam and water to purify the soil to meet organic soil quality within 24 hours, much shorter than the current regulations that require soil to be free of prohibited substances for three years. Yet, chemically, it is just as "organic."
He worked with UC Davis, particularly with Steven Fennimore in the Department of Plant Sciences. Eddie said that the goal now is to get government regulations on defining organic to recognize this process.
Then, he'll need to improve the design of the machine for easier transport and for it to be produced cheaper than the prototype. But, before he does that, he needs to know there's demand, and demand may depend on whether the regulations change.
If Alabama approves medical marijuana, as a bill now proposes, then some mass outdoor farmers in Alabama may want to change their outdoor fields for organic cannabis. And that is where an opportunity may be for this invention. The steam process has been used through his (along with partner Joe Gilchrist) business Eddie Boy's Organic Soil Prep. They have used this process for a cannabis grower in Florida who sent him the soil. He revived it, making it ready to use and disease-free. But hydroponic and other greenhouse growing methods, including the use of coir (made from coconut) from India, is becoming popular for cannabis growers. So Eddie's invention has more potential for large-scale, field/outdoor growers.
Other Agriculture Accomplishments
This is not the first contribution Eddie has made to the agriculture industry. He and his siblings and even cousins have many different farming and farming-related businesses across the country, including in Hawaii.
Additionally, Eddie has other inventions: three of which are patented. One is for a turf installer machine. And one invention was not patented, but is now a popular process. That is growing sod with a plastic base so it is roll-able. In 2007, one of his companies, Southern Turf Nurseries, got the contract to lay the sod for the Super Bowl in Miami that year. According to an article in Derek Belt, he had been providing sod for the Miami stadium, but the Super Bowl contract initially went to a competitor. However, there were problems with the condition of that sod. So at the last minute, Eddie was called.
Future for Eddie
While Eddie waits to see how the situation develops for his most recent invention, he's considering his future. "I turned 70, so what do I want to do for the next 10 years," Eddie ponders. In the mean time, he'll be helping our association by serving on our board.