How Vail Valley ranchers created a zero-carbon footprint marijuana farm

Joey Hoover trims leaves off marijuana plants at the Pot Zero outdoor grow field outside Gypsum, September 22. Hoover is removing the larger leaves in preparation for removing the flowering bud. (Chris Dillman, Vail Daily)

Rob and Linda Trotter looked around at their TNT Ranch, at the fertile soil, at the snowmelt water that starts at 12,500 feet above sea level and flows to them before it goes anywhere else, and decided they should grow something.

And so they launched Pot Zero, which they say are the most environmentally conscious marijuana products in Colorado and beyond. Their outdoor grow operation creates no carbon footprint.

“We are blessed with fantastic mountain loam soil, intense ultraviolet light because of our 8,200-foot elevation and water that comes directly to our property from a pristine, 12,500-foot mountain,” Rob Trotter said.

A hydroelectric plant generates all the power the ranch needs and more.

When Colorado voters legalized marijuana, Rob and Linda expanded their operation beyond hay and cattle, but they insisted on doing it the way they’ve done everything else: 100 percent sustainable, zero carbon footprint and zero chemicals.

They have been in operation since May 2015 and they’re focused on strains that help people deal with pain and other physical and emotional issues and avoid opiates. This year’s crop is in the finishing stage.

“We are very passionate about having the cleanest, greenest and most sustainable operation in Colorado. From an energy point of view, we’re sustainable. From an environmental point of view, we’re sustainable,” Rob Trotter said.

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