KOSCIUSKO — In a secret location somewhere in Kosciusko County, a crew of six workers from a local farming operation gingerly sowed tiny hemp plants into the moist Indiana soil. In roughly three months, the plants will be processed for their oil, and will ultimately provide relief to consumers for a variety of maladies.
Don Zolman of Zolman Farms was recently approved as one of only about 100 Indiana farmers to grow the hemp plant and began on Monday, June 17, to put approximately 60,000 of the several-inch-tall leafy plants into a patch about 30 acres in size.
The plants are sown pretty much by hand, with two planters riding on the back of a specially-made cart, which is towed slowly by a tractor. Pre-dug holes made in protective plastic accept the plants and workers trailing the planters finish adding the rest of the dirt and packing down the soil so the plants can begin to grow.
The plants will have a 90-day growing season and then will be harvested and shipped to a processing plant in Indianapolis, where the hemp-related products will be extracted.
Zolman, through his trucking company’s headquarters, has sold CBD-related products since not long after the products were legalized in Indiana. He said he hopes that the products on his shelves will soon be locally grown from his own operation.
Zolman Farms has been in operation since 1960 and was founded by Don’s parents, Gene and Libbie Zolman.