Garrett County native Darryl Glotfelty grew up in Bittinger, with his siblings and extended family, near his grandparent’s 100 year old farm. After graduation from Northern High School, Darryl followed a traditional path: college, then a full time job. He then decided to fulfill a long-held dream to join the Peace Corps, following in a beloved uncle’s footsteps. While in Tanzania, he met Haeli Gustafson, a California girl with the same dreams as him — a love of land, nature and family, and a desire to promote sustainable living in an over polluted world, all while helping others help themselves.
After their 40 months of service in Tanzania teaching sciences and sustainable agriculture, the couple took jobs in Washington, DC but they really wanted a lifestyle that meshed with their goals and dreams so they turned to an idea Darryl had been thinking about for over a decade: growing hemp and creating a sustainable future.
Darryl had long thought that hemp could be a vital and sustainable crop in Garrett County. “Hemp is a very misunderstood plant,” says Darryl. “It is often coupled with its psychoactive sister, marijuana,. A century ago, farmers all over the United States grew hemp for a variety of products and industries until its production was banned with the enactment of the 1948 Cannabis Control Act….now the United States imports billions of dollars of hemp products annually — a product that we could be producing here.” So in 2019, they planted their first acre of hemp, got married, moved into the family farm and Meadow Mountain Hemp was born.
Hemp is an incredibly useful plant. Once established, it is hearty and grows quickly (just 3 to 4 months from planting to harvest) and Garrett County’s moderate temperatures and plentiful rainfall make for a good growing season. It enriches the soil and does not require pesticides or large amounts of fertilizer which makes it very beneficial to farmland and surrounding ecosystems.
Every part of the plant is usable. The seeds are high in protein and a great source of iron. They can be eaten raw or made into a powder or liquid for cooking. Hemp was used for centuries to make everything from clothing to sail cloth. Hemp fiber is more breathable than cloth made from cotton…and it lasts longer. Researchers are discovering it to be an excellent material for building because it is lightweight, and naturally mold, mildew and pest resistant. Because hemp absorbs more carbon than it uses, it’s carbon negative which makes it one of the best ways to make any home or building more environmentally friendly.
Contrary to popular thought, hemp does NOT contain high amounts of THC which is the psychoactive component of marijuana. Through the 2018 Farm Bill, it is legal to grow hemp containing up to 0.3% THC. Sadly, most people and legislators do not realize this and in many regions hemp is regulated just like marijuana, a fact that Darryl and Haeli are working to change.
Of course, Hemp is best known for the CBD (Cannabidiol) the flowers can produce. CBD has been touted for a variety of health reasons and the popularity of CBD has grown substantially.
Naturally, it only made sense that Meadow Mountain Hemp Farm’s first product be a premium line of CBD products. They have several products including tinctures, topical balms and oils, gummies, and smokeable flower on the market now in a variety of locations throughout the area.
Their most popular product is the Platinum1260 CBD Tincture. It is a sublingual tincture that helps reduce stress and anxiety, treat pain after excessive exercise, and allow the body to maintain internal balance. The 1,260mg dose is of the highest quality and users rave about the product. Their other tincture is the 3,000mg CBD Smooth Snooze which contains 100mg of CBD per dropper to safely promote a restful night’s sleep. It is 100% natural. They offer 1ml/100mg “Try Size” samplers of the Smooth Snooze for only $15.
They also have created Rescue Balm (250mg) and Rescue Balm Plus (750mg), which you can rub in for quick and localized pain relief. Made with cocoa and shea butter, It’s also great for dry and damaged skin. In addition, the Cosmic Relief Roll-On provides targeted localized pain which is great for arthiritis, after a workout, or a day spent in the garden. They also sell Rainbow Mountain gummies and Sugar Free Gummy Bears that can be taken orally for pain and anxiety. For smokeable flower, they offer a variety of CBD and CBG strain pre-rolls that can be used for your specific need — at night for relaxation or during the day for focus and energy.
Pets can get anxious too so Meadow Mountain Hemp also offers their Feline K9 Serenity tincture that helps relieve joint pain in our pets. It can also help reduce fear and aggression in animals and alleviate seizures, glaucoma and stress/anxiety.
Although you can find CBD products anywhere, not all of them are the same, warns Haeli. Mountain Meadow Hemp uses a supercritical CO2 extraction process and all of their tincture and topical products contain full spectrum CBD that delivers an effective dose to the customer. Since the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD it is up to the consumer to know all the facts. Says Haeli, “We want to educate our customers and encourage a better understanding of what to look for in quality CBD products.”
You can find Meadow Mountain Hemp products at HIgh Mountain Sports at the lake, LIttle Crossings Pantry and High Country Creamery in Grantsville, Gean & Olive in Oakland and several locations in Frostburg including Wholesome Harvest Cooperative, Pet Wants and Savage River Lodge. In Cumberland look for them at Basecamp Coffee, Allegany County Medical Marijuana Dispensary, and Grow West Dispensary. You can also find their products in the Baltimore area at Mana Supply Company. They will have pop-up booths at the Mt. Fresh Farmers Markets in Oakland this summer as well as local festivals. You can also purchase directly from their website with same and next day delivery available for orders over $60.
CBD is just the start, however. Darryl and Haeli are looking at more than just building a business, they are looking to create and build an industry. Because hemp can be used to develop a wide variety of sustainable raw materials, their goal is to work with other farmers to increase available acreage to grow hemp and to create markets for the harvested product. To that end, they were founding members of the Mountain Maryland Hemp Alliance, a coalition of nine area farmers working to shape and diversify the industry locally. Their goal is to make Garrett County a hub for hemp production, processing and industry. Future uses of this multi-functional group include green products for use in construction and healthcare, manufacturing textiles, even biodegradable plastics. This year they are participating in a pilot program to grow hemp fiber.
Although the regulations regarding hemp change constantly, the couple pride themselves on always staying compliant. They continue to work towards a set of federal guidelines to create standards for the entire industry and conduct third party testing on all of their products.
You can learn more about Darryl and Haeli and their company on their website at www.meadowmountainhemp.farm. There you will find detailed information on each of their products and their plans for the future. They will also be offering farm tours this summer. These 60 – 90 minute tours will take you on a walk through their fields, show you their grow operation, and learn more about how hemp can change the future of agriculture. Sign up online or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
”This whole endeavour has been a lot of fun, says Darryl. “The stress of living in the city has faded and we’re working on something that could have a big impact nationally and internationally.” With Darryl’s background in Chemistry and Haeli in Biology, says Darryl: “We’re farmers at heart, we’re just figuring out how to be successful at it.”
Written by Linda Carr