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Author Archives: miker

Hemp Flower for CBD at North Slope Farm

August 11th, 2023 | Posted by miker in Community Affairs | Crops Available Now - (Comments Off on Hemp Flower for CBD at North Slope Farm)

Currently we are selling Alpha Explorer CBD Hemp Cannabis Dried Flower. It is a quick growing crop that has already been harvested and cured and is available for purchase at our weekly Farmers Market on Saturdays in West Windsor (9-1). As part of the NJDA Hemp Program regulations, we had to get a lab test done, prior to harvest, to ensure there is limited THC, and you can see below that there are quite a number of active molecules in the Cannabis plant, which is why it is of great interest as a medicinal plant. Different varieties have different concentrations of active qualities, and this is why we are seeking more freedom to grow more varieties, including THC. In the Fall, we will harvest the remaining field plantings of Berry Blossom and Cherry Wine, CBD Cannabis Flower.

North Slope Farm has been trying for over a year to get West Amwell Township to support Agriculture, but the Township Committee has it’s priorities in reverse, fast tracking an energy intensive indoor Cannabis Cultivation operation, while obstructing our proposal for Cannabis Cultivation in the Sun, allowing for passive ventilation and negligible energy consumption. While the State of New Jersey CRC, has given our Cannabis Enterprise, NJ Grow Free llc, a time sensitive “Conditional Approval,” the West Amwell Township Committee has used their lawyer to obstruct and penalize our proposal, rather than supporting agriculture, like the Master Plan instructs them to.

What we have requested is to be “granted authority” from the Municipality to cultivate Cannabis in a Greenhouse. West Amwell Township has a Cannabis Ordinance that allows us to do this, but they are obstructing us by not responding to our request to present our proposal, after insulting us personally when we first requested our due process back in March of 2022, Farmers ask West Amwell Township Committee for Municipal Conditional Approval to use traditional farming practices to cultivate cannabis. – North Slope Farm > Organic Farming in New Jersey.

Unable to pursue the logical profitable crop of Sun Grown Cannabis, we have been forced to accept the less profitable but nearly identical Cannabis crop know as Industrial Hemp, which is regulated by the NJ Department of Agriculture Hemp Program. One of the issues West Amwell Township has regulated, without regard for logic, is a restriction on Greenhouse Grown Cannabis, that the odor is not allowed to be detected within 20 feet of the greenhouse. We have been growing Industrial Hemp for two years now, in the field, and while you periodically can catch a whiff of the flowering plants, it is neither persistent nor offensive. It is logical to support seasonal production of Sun Grown Cannabis on agricultural land, respecting the State and Local laws, while also preserving Farmland Assessment on the farmland not directly dedicated to cannabis. Sungrown Cannabis, grown seasonally (not year round) is appropriate for West Amwell Twp and other rural municipalities in NJ and can provide incentives for Agricultural Investment and modernization. At North Slope Farm we remain committed to seeking ways to support agriculture and the landscape and workers that agriculture can foster.

West Amwell Farm Awarded Conditional Cannabis Cultivation License, From New Jersey.

May 5th, 2023 | Posted by miker in Community Affairs - (Comments Off on West Amwell Farm Awarded Conditional Cannabis Cultivation License, From New Jersey.)

We are pleased to share that our potential Agricultural Enterprise, NJ Grow Free llc, has been awarded a conditional License for the Cultivation of Cannabis in New Jersey. The condition is that our Municipality grant us local authority. West Amwell Township has a (much amended) Cannabis Land Use Ordinance, and we seek to comply with it. Cannabis is a plant that we’d like to grow, like we grow other plants for sale. The State of New Jersey has processed our application and recognized that we have the potential to be a beneficial contributor to the economic health of New Jersey. Our priority is to build on our strengths, producing high quality products for long established markets. Our situation represents the case of a small farm, being ignored by “Big Agriculture, Local Government, and common sense government.”

North Slope Farm is a New Jersey Department of Agriculture licensed Hemp Grower, and hemp is basically the same plant as Cannabis, with different concentrations of THC. Our application to Cultivate Cannabis must navigate the roadblocks in local government, THEN, once West Amwell grants us Authority to comply with the Ordinance, (which has residual problems relating to invasion of privacy, and unfunded and unqualified review processes), we return to the State of New Jersey, Cannabis Regulatory Commission, to BEGIN the process of establishing COMPLIANCE – where our enterprise will establish protocols, and practices to ensure the safety of the community and maintain strict auditing of our production, so local and State Government can be assured of their TAXES.

Currently we are seeking a legitimate and accountable process to prove our application deserves the support of West Amwell Township, but there is a number of issues that the Township represents, that do not promote agriculture or support small farms, or even legitimate process, which is contrary to the West Amwell Master Plan, which clearly says that cannabis is an agricultural crop, and West Amwell agriculture should be encouraged and supported.

If you have questions, please call Mike, 609-647-9754. Leave a message if you’d like a reply.

Archive – Crops Avail Now, end of 2022

May 5th, 2023 | Posted by miker in Season Summary - (Comments Off on Archive – Crops Avail Now, end of 2022)

updated December 15, 2022

Dear Customer, thank you for your support of North Slope Farm, whether we’ve been connected for Decades, or we’ve just met…

The Farm Plan for North Slope Farm, continues to evolve.  Our focus is shifting, to allow more time to establish and care for Perennial Nut and Fruit Trees.  These Organically Grown Food Items are scarce, in our local economy, and they seem the best, for us, to Pursue.

Also new at North Slope Farm was our Hemp crop, in 2022.  We grew Joey Hemp for Seed and Fiber and Alpha Explorer CBD Hemp as a trial.  We applied to our Town for Municipal Approval for the Cultivation of Cannabis but have not been treated with respect or support.  Click Here to learn More..

North Slope Farm is Hosting’s Headquarters, and we will continue our investment, in offering Organic Management Opportunities, for practical Training and Experiential Learning.

We hope you stay connected with us, your interest and support, keeps the things you care about, Alive – Thank You!

With Love and Respect,

Mike Rassweiler, co-Founder, 1994

Links to Organic and Agricultural Information

March 23rd, 2023 | Posted by miker in Events and Workshops | References - (Comments Off on Links to Organic and Agricultural Information)

Links to the Institutions that have recognized the importance of Organic Agriculture, some more profoundly than others, but all have important information that will help to Guide the Farmers that will take us into a future.

Rodale Institute – Founder of the term Regenerative Agriculture and Long Term Farming Systems Trial

Rodale Institute – Global Leaders in Organic Agriculture Research

Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS); Organic Farming

Organic Agriculture | Natural Resources Conservation Service (

NOFA NJ; Programs.  Northeast Organic Farming Association – community support for Organics

Programs | NOFA-NJ (

Rutgers Cooperative Extension – established to assist farmers and gardeners in New Jersey

Plant & Pest Advisory — Rutgers Cooperative Extension

NJ Commercial Vegetables Growers Guide, Long established guidance for NJ Vegetable Farmers.

Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations – Vegetable Crops Online Resources (

Delaware Valley University; Organic Farming Certificate Program

Organic Farming Certificate Program | Delaware Valley University (

Penn State Extentension: Organic Farming

Introduction to Organic Farming: A Growing Opportunity for Pennsylvania Farmers (

Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

About – Cornell Small Farms

Winter Thoughts

January 23rd, 2023 | Posted by miker in Musings from the Field - (Comments Off on Winter Thoughts)

Outside the rain has been pouring down, and every farm task is muddy, wet and kinda grey.

One positive reflection is the NOFA NJ Organic Winter Conference is all lined up and sold out. We’ve put a lot into providing scholarships, to remove cost as a limiting factor, and the schedule of workshops is solid. Now we have to find a way to host more people! We’ll need a bigger space, but getting bigger requires more support. The NJ organic movement still hasn’t made it onto large corporate or even healthcare agendas, so we still are a small voice, our desires for soil, farm and community health still unheard by most, while small but meaningful connections remain the strength that keeps us going.

The USDA has heard us though, and the money to support ecological focused farming is starting to get through the gauntlet of pretenders and naysayers. There is a regional grant to promote Transitions to Organic Practices that NOFANJ is a partner organization to. We will use the Grant Supporting Funds to boost Farmer to Farmer Mentoring programs, like our Journey Person Program, focusing on helping farmers get certified Organic and benefit from the long term commitment to ecological focused farming that represents.

On the home farm front, we are trialing seed germination on Lisianthus, and other tricky crops, continuing to apply for a local Cannabis Cultivation permit, tending to some frost heaved Hazelnut Seedlings and winter chicken care, and cutting up the endless Ash borer killed trees that are falling on fences and threatening structures. Our annual Organic Certification application is submitted, we need to get our NJDA Hemp Program application filed for 2023, file taxes, and get as much administration done as possible before the weather improves, when I’ll find it hard to sit down again.

Listening to the news it appears that being focused on local production of healthy food and valuable crops remains important as ever. Arrogant individuals exemplified by the Murderer Putin, and lying politicians closer to home, leave me certain that the pressing crises of Poverty and Refugees and world climatic tragedies will be untended. We are going to face increasing demands on decreasing resources and locally viable communities will be the last bastions of sanity and security. What happens close to home, how we handle disagreements and protect each others freedoms, how we provide for our needs, producing food, tending valuable resources and remembering those less fortunate than ourselves, will define us.

I am grateful for the incredible luck that has brought me to this time and place, I am invested in trying to make good choices about my impact on the earth and my communities health, and I know that for the most part, all humans want the world to be a safe and healthy place, if for no other reason than to have it be safe for their families and friends. Putin will eventually be brought down, kids will get better than us at navigating social media hype, and clarity of purpose will reassert itself, as scarcity and challenges sort out the next decades. Thank you to the Great Spirit for life on Earth, to teachers and mentors for guidance, to friends and family for joy and purpose, and the endless list of things to do for opportunity.

Farm Consulting – Technical Service Provider

December 15th, 2022 | Posted by miker in Special Projects - (Comments Off on Farm Consulting – Technical Service Provider)

Farm Consulting – Mike Rassweiler


Over 25 years’ experience using Organic Management Practices to produce crops in NJ.

Special Interests: Whole Farm Planning, Natural Resource Conservation, Regenerative Strategies, Labor, Training, Elements of Operations and Enterprise.

Consultation Minimum $80.  Rate $80/hr,

research, labor and meetings billed by project.

Written Summaries of Consultations, including recommendations, references and critical issue listings, on request.

Archive – Crops Avail Now: end of 2020

December 15th, 2022 | Posted by miker in Season Summary - (Comments Off on Archive – Crops Avail Now: end of 2020)

Below is an Archive of the “Notice to our Customers” about our change of operations, following the difficult season when the Covid Pandemic, up ended all our lives. North Slope Farm served our customers faithfully through the Covid Shut down, bringing produce to market, adjusting to the challenges of serving customers while maintaining Covid Safety Protocols. It just happened to also be our last year with Vegetables as our primary cash crop, and the posting below is in honor to the memory, of the season of 2020, and the importance of an operation’s ability to redefine itself, as times and priorities change…

updated November 20, 2020

Dear Customer, thank you for your support of NorthSlopeFarm, whether we’ve been connected for Decades, or we just met, last week…

This is the morning, of my last official vegetable harvest day.  And I’m sorry to report that the crops I had counted on, have not grown vigorously enough to be harvested.

This is the challenge of growing crops, at the ends of their viable seasons.  We are lucky, in NJ, because there is great Opportunity for Agricultural Enterprises to connect with a market, and grow a viable business.

Loyal customers of North Slope Farm, have gotten us to where we are today, and I am very grateful.

The Farm Plan for North Slope Farm, continues to evolve.  Our focus is shifting, to allow more time to establish and care for Perennial Nut and Fruit Trees.  These Organically Grown Food Items are scarce, in our local economy, and they seem the best, for us, to Pursue.

Unfortunately, the shift in focus, means that our Traditional Focus, on Organic Vegetables, must yield time and attention.  Our practical agricultural constraints, have always made Vegetable Production, a risky business.  It was a great focus for training, and we ran a Training Program, for Ten Years.

This Saturday, will be our last Market for 2020.  In 2021, we expect to bring to Market, Fresh Flowers, Specialty Herbs, Eggs, Specialty Organic Fruits, and Ultimately (2025) Organic Hazelnuts.

North Slope Farm is Hosting’s Headquarters, and we will continue our investment, in offering Organic Management Opportunities, for practical Training and Experiential Learning.

We hope you stay connected with us, your interest and support, keeps the things you care about, Alive – Thank You!

With Love and Respect,

Mike Rassweiler, co-Founder, 1994

The Following items are what you can expect at Market:

Winter Squash


Napa, small


Kale, loose, limited


Eggs; small flocks, organic feed, free range.  $8 / Dozen

Dried Specialty Herbs

West Amwell Township Prohibits Traditional Agricultural Practices to cultivate legal crop

September 20th, 2022 | Posted by miker in Community Affairs - (Comments Off on West Amwell Township Prohibits Traditional Agricultural Practices to cultivate legal crop)

Regarding Agricultural Opportunity in our Town, and the current prohibition against it.

Under the name “NJ Grow Free llc” my wife and I and another farmer shared our business plan with the Township Committee asking “municipal approval” to apply for a NJ State license, to grow cannabis, using our existing, traditional production practices, augmented with State Law security guidelines and monitoring requirements, this February.

The State of NJ allows Cannabis to be grown by Traditional Farmers, in the Sun, both in greenhouses and in the open air. The State law provides guidance for security, consistent with the Indoor growing that West Amwell Twp currently allows.

The Township Committee ignored us, without offering any justification why a Town whose Master Plan says Agriculture is important, and Cannabis is an Agricultural Crop would be prohibited, while energy intensive indoor production is allowed.

I shared the Master Plan language and page references, for those unaware that our Master Plan clearly states it’s support for Cannabis and Agriculture, at the April 6, 2022 Township Committee meeting, please see the link below.

Township Committee minutes 4/6/22

Members of the committee may not be interested in the new opportunity that legal cannabis cultivation offers, but you should appreciate the significance of the potential to earn more money per unit of crop grown.  Everyone speaks of the decline of agricultural viability, and this is the first obvious potential to actually offer new markets and earning potential.

Right now the Cannabis ordinance is a mess, it contradicts our master plan and promotes energy sucking indoor cultivation as the only way forward.  As a long term, WAT farmer, I need to speak up, that the opportunity for a farmer like me to benefit from this new niche market, is real, and should be actively supported, not ignored.

We would grow one or possibly two successions, on a small scale, within a State Licensed, approved, secured alarmed fenced area, with minimal smell, due to the diffuse nature of natural production, outdoors, using sun for energy.

The crop would be harvested and sold with as little as two months of flowering, so only a brief time would there be smell, or risk of theft.  

All these factors are very different from the indoor, constant intensive yearround production, and excluding traditional farmers because folks are afraid of the unknown is just hurtful to farmers who are trying to promote Agricultural Viability.

The Ag community should know, this Cannabis Ordinance contradicts our master plan, is a bad ordinance, involving a quasi legitimate review process and excludes farmers from planting a legal crop, for no justifiable reason.

The Ordinance can be fixed by replacing the current prohibition of Outdoor Cultivation with, “Outdoor and greenhouse cultivation of Cannabis is permitted following the Guidance of NJ State Law.”

Also to ditch the unfunded, ill advised, extraneous local review process, relying instead on NJ State law, and the simple process of Municipal approval according to an improved Ordinance, and NJ State Licensing and Regulation.

Thanks for your attention to this important opportunity for Traditional Agriculture.  I encourage the committee to seek justification of the current prohibition against Traditional Agricultural Viability, see for yourself if this Cannabis Ordinance “serves to promote Agriculture as a positive contributor to West Amwell’s  economy…”

I can be available, as a long term resident and established farmer of West Amwell, to represent the relevance of this topic, at your convenience.

Mike Rassweiler

NJ Grow Free llc

Organic Farm Tour at North Slope Farm

September 7th, 2022 | Posted by miker in Events and Workshops - (Comments Off on Organic Farm Tour at North Slope Farm)

Organic Farming in New Jersey remains our best means to build soil health and work towards a healthy future. Focus on life and diversity, support small farmers and production systems that reflect these values. Organic Farmers use compost and careful management to work with nature’s gifts of life and productivity, struggling with the same challenges as conventional agriculture, but developing farmer skills and Organic Practices as a means to augment and build natural systems, to provide for “regenerative agriculture systems,” and building rather than destroying our potential and the resources for future generations.

At North Slope Farm, farm managers Colleen and Mike have focused on Cut Flower production as our primary cash crop. During the tour you will see the Flowers that are yielding now and discuss the practices we use to manage our production system.

We will also visit Hemp Seed production and recently planted, quick growing Hemp CBD crop. This crop has been planted using our Favorable Furrow method, which dramatically reduces tillage of the soil and is proving the suitability of eco focused priorities to produce this climate resilient crop. Organic Hemp and Cannabis in NJ, promise great opportunity for traditional Agriculture, once local governments get over confusion about the opportunities and best management practices.

Hazelnuts are another crop that holds great potential for NJ Organic Agricultural Opportunity, and North Slope Farm is at the forefront of the implementation of the New Rutgers Hazelnut Varieties. This year’s drought has been hard on our new Orchard, and Covid interruptions in seedling production has caused years of delay in getting established, but we are invested and already seeing encouraging viability. Another crop that may provide significant value and resiliency for Organic Operations, we can provide durable protein rich nut crops, right here, so New Jersey can build our Food Security, even during the current climate crisis.

Questions about the event, call Mike at 609-647-9754, and please register at

Farmers ask West Amwell Township Committee for Municipal Conditional Approval to use traditional farming practices to cultivate cannabis.

June 17th, 2022 | Posted by miker in Community Affairs - (Comments Off on Farmers ask West Amwell Township Committee for Municipal Conditional Approval to use traditional farming practices to cultivate cannabis.)

Below is the exact presentation made to West Amwell Township Committee, after filing a complete proposal, consistent with the requirements of Applying to the State of New Jersey for a Cannabis Cultivation License for a Sun Grown, Traditional Farming operation, in West Amwell, NJ. For more information, please contact Mike at 609-647-9754. Our Proposal is consistent with the West Amwell Master Plan, while the current Land Use Ordinance is in contradiction to the Master Plan, one has to ask, why is this happening? Why would the Township exclude Agriculture from the best chance to encourage investment in Traditional Agricultural Development maybe ever. The Township Committee has made a mistake, and needs to correct it.

Presentation to West Amwell Township March 16, 2022

NJ Grow Free llc; Cannabis Cultivation as Agriculture.

Good evening and thank you for your attention. My name is Michael Rassweiler and I have been a
resident and farm owner / operator in West Amwell Township since 1995. My wife, Colleen and I and
our Co­ owner Scott Morgan formed the Entity NJ Grow Free llc for the purpose of pursuing a
Cannabis Cultivation Approval and State License, to be established on our existing Organic Farm,
located on Rock Road East.

We have submitted to the Township Committee, an information packet to provide details about our
proposed Cultivation Center. With great respect for the difficulty of the Township Authority in managing this new Industry, and as a West Amwell Organic Farmer for over 25 years, I ask for your patience to hear our Proposal, as there are some concerns we have about why Traditional Agriculture seems to be unfairly excluded from the Opportunity.

West Amwell Ordinance 06, 2021 establishes that “the Township supports the safe and appropriate
siting of cannabis related…businesses, including cultivation centers…” The ordinance defines a
Cultivation Center as “a building, structure or Premises used for the cultivation of Cannabis.”
Cannabis, as defined in the ordinance, does not include Hemp. The Ordinance also states that
“There shall be no limit on the number of Cannabis Cultivation Centers,” and, somewhat ironically that, “the look and design of such facilities shall be in keeping with the agricultural nature of the region.”

Cannabis cultivation centers were originally permitted as a conditional use in all Land Use
zones, though our zone RR6 was removed, from that list, except as a micro business, in Ordinance
10, 2021. The decision to remove the opportunity of a property owner, located in a Rural
Residential Zone from receiving conditional permission, is consistent with the Township seeking to
discourage applications, but it should not preclude the Freedom of a Citizen to Apply for a
Variance according to standard Land Use and Zoning Board public Hearing process. Especially when
Ordinance 09 2021 clearly states “ensuring the citizens of the Township of West Amwell are provided
ample opportunity to participate within this new Industry.”

There are other complexities to the situation as defined by the Township Ordinances 06, 09 and 10
2021, but none of them should be considered insurmountable and in the interest of Supporting
Agricultural Opportunity in West Amwell, we respectfully request that the following items be

While the NJ Cannabis law states that no Farmland Assessed Properties shall be licensed to
cultivate Cannabis, there is no reason why an existing farm might not give up its Farmland
Assessment, on a designated area, Pay the Rollback Penalty and have the Area designated for
cannabis cultivation, reassessed as a “Special Use Area Qualification”, thereby protecting the
continued Land Use as Agriculture but yielding the Township a higher Property Tax rate and income. Furthermore, if West Amwell cares about supporting a resident to “participate within this new Industry” it seems logical that this method would be structured without penalties and with the assistance of the Tax Assessor, especially when it ultimately supports Traditional Agricultural Practices.

Additionally confusing, the Township Ordinance after stating that Cannabis is not Hemp, refers to
Permitting Outdoor Cultivation under Special permit for the Cultivation of Hemp. We can only
remind the Township Authority that it is clearly confirming that the Outdoor Production of Hemp,
which in all but the concentration of THC, is the same plant as Cannabis, producing the same smells
and is allowed by the Township and the State of New Jersey. This needs to be taken in context with
the consideration of smells and the prohibition of them. Permitted fields of Industrial Hemp, grown
outdoors is now well established in NJ and surrounding States, and smells from outdoor Cultivation
has not been a problem. The problem with smells from Cultivation are from Indoor, Year-Round
intensive energy and actively ventilated warehouse production, especially those located in close
proximity to residences, and commercial workplaces. The clear recognition of the Township that
outdoor Hemp Production is a permitted use should demonstrate that Outdoor Production of Cannabis
should also be Conditionally Permitted. The State Cannabis Law clearly delineates those
requirements for outdoor cultivation including Secure and Alarmed Fencing, that encloses the
Cultivation Area and does not allow the public to see inside, and the Township Ordinances refer to
the State requirements as inclusive of Township requirements already.

We are not asking the Township Committee to explain these complexities·tonight.

We are asking the Township Committee to recognize that Traditional Agriculture must also be
provided Ample Opportunity to participate within this new Industry. That among the Unlimited
Cultivation permissions there must be representatives like NJ Grow Free that are owned and operated
by long standing local farmers like Colleen, Scott and Myself. We are here tonight to ask for
your Support for Traditional Agriculture, in these matters, and are pleased to answer any questions
you may have.

In the Packet there is a draft letter that we need from the Township Authority, recognizing that NJ
Grow Free has the right of any West Amwell Property owner to follow existing standards of
practice, to request Variances from Land Use Ordinances that are unduly constrictive, allowing for
the involvement of our community and judged by the Boards already formed for this purpose.

Thank you for your kind consideration.

Submitted Wednesday March 16, 2022

The Township Committee Minutes approved by the Township Committee for March 16, 2022 and on April 6, 2022, Rassweiler provides WAT Master Plan quotes that demonstrate Cannabis Cultivation is Agriculture and West Amwell should be supporting its Farmers, not telling them to “move to another Town.”

3-16-2022tcm.pdf (

4-6-2022tcm.pdf (