If you frequent Albuquerque’s farmer’s markets for organic produce, you probably already know Eli Burgione, Seven Clover’s Master Grower.

An Albuquerque native, Eli spent his first few years in agriculture learning the art and science of organic farming on small farms in Ireland, Canada, and across the United States. He then returned to his hometown, where he and his wife Amanda have managed Chispas Farms together for 13 years. The farm, which has been certified organic since 2006, specializes in growing garlic and other vegetables.

Eli uses his knowledge of soil, climate, plant strains and beneficial insects to ensure healthy crops.

“Pesticides and herbicides are not the first answer. They are just a small part of an ecosystem that starts with vigorous plants in optimal conditions,” he says.

Eli is now taking that same approach to the growing of medical cannabis.

“We want to provide the cleanest medicine we can,” he says. “This is accomplished by selecting hardy strains and providing our plants ideal growth conditions to produce the best flower possible.”

While the federal legal status of cannabis precludes organic certification at this time, Eli says Seven Clover will be situated to transition to organic at the first chance it can.