Vail Valley ranchers have the only zero-carbon footprint marijuana grow

Joey Hoover trims leaves off marijuana plants at the Pot Zero outdoor grow field Friday, Sept. 22, outside Gypsum. Hoover is removing the larger leaves in preparation for removing the flowering bud.
Chris Dillmann | |

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.

They’ve been growing things for years: hay, Scottish Highland cattle, kids … so marijuana wasn’t quite the paradigm shift others might think it would be.

The hydroelectric plant generates all the power the ranch needs and more. The sun does its part.

The TNT Ranch has been recognized twice for resource stewardship by the local Eagle County Soil Conservation District. In 2014, the TNT Ranch was named Large Acreage Conservationist of the Year.

“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.

They call their water supply “Snow to Grow.” All the material is organic and grown on the ranch. The Scottish Highland cattle herd provides some of the organics. Nature provides the rest.

“When you bring all that together, the plants love it,” Rob Trotter said.

So, when Colorado voters legalized marijuana, Rob and Linda expanded their operation, 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 said it’s the only zero carbon footprint cultivation in Colorado. They’re focusing 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.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

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