Video: Growing with Farmer Tom

Vancouver medical marijuana grower Tom Lauerman, who goes by the handle Farmer Tom, had a lot of interesting tidbits to share with us when Columbian video guru Paul Suarez and I visited a few weeks ago.


Lauerman is working with 23 strains of the plant used for a variety of different purposes.

The 54-year-old, who moved to Vancouver from his native San Deigo, Calif., about 10 years ago, is heavily into sustainable organic agriculture.

Here’s an introductory video with Farmer Tom that Suarez put together. We’ll probably have more from him in the near future, as well:


During our visit, I saw several jars of dirt and small plants sitting next to Lauerman’s larger, very healthy-looking marijuana crops.

The jars of dirt are something called paramagnetics. They’re glacial rock dust and sea solids that tend to respond to and align with magnetic fields. Lauerman said using it in the soil and just keeping them nearby helps his plants grow larger buds while also keeping them healthy.

“They’re minerals, basically,” Lauerman said.

After he started using them, his plants had a huge growth spike, he added.

The small plants are called trap plants. They’re baby green beans. Lauerman uses them to draw bugs away from his marijuana plants without need for pesticides, he said.

paramagnetics and trap plants
paramagnetics and trap plants

“Bugs, they go for the green beans over the other plants,” Lauerman said. “It’s their favorite thing to eat. So we put them out, let the bugs eat them and then when we see bugs on them we compost them and toss out another trap plant.”

While some marijuana users blame increased THC content (the stuff that gets you high) and lower CBD content (the stuff that mellows you out) in plants for paranoia problems, Lauerman says he thinks pesticides are also a big issue.

So his goal is to avoid them whenever possible, he said.

A longtime smoker, Lauerman said he uses medical marijuana for back, neck and shoulder pain. His goal is to help people feel better through his products, he said.

“Cannabis makes you feel good, and if you feel good, you’re going to be healthy,” Lauerman said.