“This was our best grow ever,” said M.J. Balizan, one of the owners of Campo de Oro hemp farm, adding, “We have 8-foot trees! Half of the field is 6 to 8 feet tall.” The family-run farm is located in Torrance County and just harvested its third successful crop since its inception in 2019.
Industrial hemp was legalized in 2018, and Campo de Oro was one of a few Torrance County farmers who invested in the hemp industry right away.
The family business has also been working with the community to educate both farmers and the public about benefits and multiple applications of hemp; building systems infrastructure needed in New Mexico to sustain supply and demand for products; and keeping the money flowing in the local economy, Balizar said.
The family owns three businesses: Campo de Oro, Leaf and Tackle and BeHempful, which work together to bring hemp products from the Torrance County farm to market.
Campo de Oro
Campo de Oro is a “cultivation farm,” Balizan said. The farm generates the biomass that is sold to create hemp products.
The tops of the plants contain the most desirable flowers with the most potency; the entire plant is used to create an array of high-quality CBD products. All of the biomass generated by Campo de Oro is hand-harvested.
The farm uses a submerged drip irrigation system to water the field. “One of the fallacies of hemp is that it uses a lot of water,” said Aaron Diaz, one of the owners, and Balizan’s son. “[Drip irrigation] is one of the tools for water advocacy that we use, and the plants like it.”
The hemp biomass is processed in the farm’s headquarters in Edgewood, where “nothing leaves the supply chain,” Diaz said.
The farm is also Native American owned, and has “tribal entities” who are interested in buying biomass from the farm, Balizan said. Campo de Oro sells its biomass to BeHempful, which turns it into a retail CBD product, that is available for purchase in Edgewood at The Verve Shop or online at behempful.earth.
“We almost tripled our production since 2019 and this year we grew for a contract for biomass,” Balizan said.
Leaf and Tackle
Leaf and Tackle sells genetics to other hemp farmers and offers consultations. They help other farmers to have access to high-quality organic hemp genetics, starting with the seed. Through consultations they can help new farmers to get started and to be successful with the crop; from seed to harvest. The are also the distributor of the BeHempful CBD line to both wholesale and retail businesses.
BeHempful offers a full line of full-spectrum CBD products. Full-spectrum CBD means they use the whole plant and extract the CBD with organic solvents.
The extraction is focused on CBD, CGB, THC (less than 3% by law), cannabinoids, terpenes and trichomes. BeHempful offers several products including tinctures, topical salves, edibles and flowers.
They make three tinctures using natural flavorings and either a coconut or hemp seed carrier oil and monk fruit as a sweetener. They sell it in three different flavors and with 500 milligrams, 1,000 mg or 1,500 mg of full-spectrum CBD.
They have two types of salves: an A.M. and P.M. The morning balm is made with essential oils of citrus and full-spectrum CBD; the evening blend is made with essential oils of lavender and chamomile, and full-spectrum CBD.
BeHempful’s edibles are in the form of gummies. They have two flavors: mixed berries and tropical fruit. The edibles are made with “isolate,” which is when everything but the CBD is extracted. The edibles contain no THC.
The flowers are 100% compliant with the state Environment Department’s requirements of less than 3% THC. The business is currently running a sale on the flowers. For the month of October to celebrate harvest, they are half-priced, Balizan said.
BeHempful will also have a booth at the Edgewood Celtic Festival on Oct. 16-17, and their booth at the Moriarty Pinto Bean Fiesta last weekend got a lot of attention, Balizan said.
In addition to a good harvest, the family also had a good year in terms of community support, Diaz said.
They got a warm welcome from the Santa Fe Harvest Festival last weekend, where they sold out both days of the festival and got invited to return to next year’s spring and fall festivals, he said.
“The neighboring farms are really helping us too,” Balizan said. “They have helped us with the history of the soil and water in our area and some neighbors even came over and helped us put up a fence.”
“We have something special here,” Diaz said, “and it has to do with including the community.”